The 1980s were a time of big and bold fashion. For women, this meant generous shoulder pads that could only be dwarfed by voluminous hairdos that defied gravity and reached for the stars, topping an outfit at once elegant, alluring, and outrageous. Perhaps no one captured this moment in fashion as perfectly as Claudia Furschtein, the flashy villainess of 1987's The Chipmunk Adventure.
In this globe-trotting, high-flying, animated epic, Claudia (and her skunk-haired brother Klaus) fund the Chipmunks and Chipettes hot air balloon race around the world. Of course, the song-slinging kiddos have no idea that this is all a front for the Furschteins' diamond-smuggling operation, which has them swapping dolls stuffed with stolen gems for dolls stuffed with gold coins. Sure, it's totally evil that Claudia tricked children into a dangerous journey just to expand her already impressive fortune. But at least she did all this with swoon-worthy style.Who could forget her passionately pink dress suit, with shoulder pads so big she looks like a graceful linebacker?
Or how about this divine black-and-white number that seemed straight out of Dynasty?
Pool ennui never looked so fierce.Claudia moved with grace and cut her diamonds on her ruthlessly sharp cheekbones.
And girl had her evil cackle down, thanks to Susan Tyrrell, who The New York Times described as "a whiskey-voiced character actress" with a "talent for playing the downtrodden, outré and grotesque."
See, Tyrell was an Academy Award-nominated actress who'd starred in legit prestige pics, like John Huston's boxing drama Fat City, as well as way weirder fare, like Andy Warhol's art-house horror Bad, Richard Elfman's totally bonkers musical Forbidden Zone, and John Waters' kitschy comedy Cry-Baby. And she brought all this subversive cool to a kids' movie, creating a villainess who rivals The Little Mermaid's Ursula when it comes to conning naive children, attitude and giving face.
It's been a while, but she's still in style.