I’m not old enough to remember what people thought about design before Flashdance came out in 1983, but I would bet that only a few aging beatniks wanted to live in a warehouse until Alex Owens’ danced her way into our hearts and pop cultural consciousness. I’m no design historian, but my gut says that this movie helped conceived and gave birth to today’s industrial chic.

In case you’ve forgotten, her apartment was an old warehouse with raw, unfinished materials. Today, concrete floors, exposed ceiling pipes, beams and brick walls and old warehouse windows are desirable fixtures for all downtown hipsters and condo dwellers but I’d bet that before production designer Charles Rosen introduced us to Alex’s apartment in 1983, no one was drooling over these design elements.

This production design pays homage to her working class background and the working class town of Pittsburg where the young dancer chased her dreams. The brown and beige colour palette is in sharp contrast to the flamboyance of traditional eighties design trends and grandfathers the grunge era that is a decade away.

Do you remember pre-1983? I’d love to hear how this movie influenced your opinion of loft living and industrial chic.

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