Miami Vice was the mid to late eighties super cop show that highlighted some of the greatest music of the era, cutting edge cinematography, action scenes and defined the decade’s fashion. Since the show’s finale in 1989, we have not seen any decade- defining TV show that set the standard in fashion trends. In the eighties, every man wanted to be Don Johnson and every girl wanted their significant others to be like him. The show defined cool with the elegant pastel colors, the white suits and the lack of socks. When the eighties ended, so did Miami Vice and with that the associated fashion trends. No other cop show or television show in the nineties and beyond came close to having the same effect, defining what would be considered fashionable and/or cool.
We had Friends and various other shows but they did not define fashion the way Miami Vice did, no matter how popular they were. The nineties fashion was popularized by the Grunge movement in the United States. However, most of the influences were associated with the artists and the music genre, not with something in particular. Miami Vice was a showcase of music, fashion and action coming together in most scenes with the use of innovative techniques. We saw different video clips in the episodes that showcased the story without using dialogue. Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas played undercover detectives James “Sonny” Crockett and Ricardo Tubbs respectively and were required to have strong fashion sense since they dealt with the rich crime lords of the Miami underworld. Don Johnson became a superstar and it was his looks, his suits and sockless attire that became a fashion staple of the mid to late eighties. Even today there is no defining fashion trend as it was in the Vice era of the eighties.
The decade that we live in is in dire need of a defining fashion trend and that can only be popularized by a show as stylish and powerful as Miami Vice was. The reason this is so necessary now is that when we look back at the nineties and the first decade of the new millennium, there is no one way we can define them. The eighties will forever be remembered for Miami Vice and the fashion trends that were created by that show.
It can be debated that since it was a cop show targeted to a male audience, it did not help out with women fashion but this is definitely not the case. However, we all remember the men’s sport coats and sockless loafers.
The 2006 Miami Vice movie tried to distance itself from the show in terms of fashion trends but did have several nods and throwbacks to the eighties fashion trends if observed carefully. Nineties blockbusters like Bad Boys starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence showcased the stylish super cop duo trend set by Miami Vice and in more ways than one the actors dressed like Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas, with more nineties colors.
In conclusion, with the lofty standards set by Miami Vice, does any current television show have the guts to define fashion the way the classic cop show did? It remains to be seen but it would be something great to see!