Olivia Newton-John’s enduring image will always be of permed hair, bare shoulders and black spandex on the set of “Grease.” But the late actress and singer, who died Monday at age 73, was a fashion icon long before — and long after — blockbuster music.
Emerging with a string of hit singles in the early 1970s, Newton-John came to typify the anything-goes fashion of the decade. She put a glamorous spin on bohemian beauty, looking as comfortable in sparkly bodysuits and evening gowns as she was in bell-bottoms and miniskirts.
Olivia Newton-John at a press call for “Grease” in London in 1978. Credit: Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Her turn in “Grease” signaled a throwback to the leather-clad 1950s but, off-screen, Newton-John was already ahead of the curve in the ’80s. Opting for short hair and bold colors, she helped establish the era’s active wear trend (while cementing headbands at its most accessory) with her unforgettable music video for 1981’s “Physical.”
In the decades that followed, Newton-John continued to exude less elegance at Hollywood awards, premieres or film festivals. Still, she’s never been afraid to break out a nostalgic pair of skin-tight black pants or a leather jacket in honor of the movie that made her a global star.
Swipe through the gallery above for Olivia Newto-John’s style highlights.