When it comes to fictional characters who've inspired fashion, this is a big one. After Flashdance was released in 1983, women around the world started cutting up their sweatshirts and t-shirts and wearing leg warmers.
The creators of Flashdance didn't mean to have such a big influence on fashion, and they certainly didn't expect to -- they styled Alex that way because she was a dancer and those are the kinds of things dancers wear: layers that can keep their muscles warm while still facilitating movement -- but people responded in a big way.
And while Alex's frizzy '80s perm might be horrifying to modern audiences, the impulse to take the scissors to your wardrobe after watching is no less intense 30 years later.
I might do a post sometime about dance's overall influence on fashion. Every generation or so, people pick up on something dancers wear, something they've always worn, and it makes it's way into mainstream fashion for a while, shifting and evolving and being reinterpreted.
But Alex's style didn't just stray from the mean when it came to her dance attire; she didn't look like an ordinary girl in her street clothes either. With her ripped painter's jeans, work boots, and military jackets, she dressed more like her fellow welders than an ordinary 18-year-old girl.
And, she seemed to enjoy fashion too, and to have fun with it, from the fancy dress she asks Hannah to make for her to the Tuxedo she wears for a fancy lobster dinner.
...Umm, make that Tuxedo costume.
Always shocking, always individual, and still an influence decades later: Alex Owens definitely has what it takes to be called an icon.