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Style Notes on Duran Duran’s “Rio”

Duran Duran

Last fall, when the music video for Psy’s “Gangnam Style” was still conquering the charts, we felt compelled to scrutinize a few of its most daring style moments to better understand the cultural phenomenon.

And we learned some things in the process (namely: the mystifying powers of a triple-breasted dress shirt).

But we’ve come to realize that while there might be style lessons to be learned from modern-day music videos, the past is really where it’s at. So today we’re going back to the ’80s to have a look at Duran Duran’s video for “Rio.” It might not have had the same fanfare as their raunchy “Girls on Film,” but this is the video where they let their sartorial greatness shine, as they sailed the open sea, flitted around the beach with their bikini-clad nymphs and played the sax on cliffs... and rafts.

Now join us once again, as we give you a look-by-look breakdown of this gem of a music video.

Duran Duran While we can’t endorse this suit’s shoulder pads, we would like to applaud the bold blue shirt against the light khaki. J.Crew makes a great garment-dyed option just like it.

Duran Duran There are many questions that we’d like to ask about this scene. Like where can we get a neon-blue boat-phone? And who makes a stark-white shawl-collar blazer? Some things we may never know.

Duran Duran One important lesson to learn here: a day of sailing requires a bit of respite whenever possible. Preferably in a bright linen short-sleeve. Maybe like this one. Also: beware of sneaky painted lady-sprites.

Duran Duran If you’re going to play the sax, do so from a height. (So that everyone can hear you clearly.)

Duran Duran The only real way to captain a ship is whilst matching the sapphire-blue Caribbean Sea that surrounds you. Luckily, Oliver Spencer just released a British-inspired cotton-twill suit in just the hue.

Happy sailing.