T-Shirt Tuesday: Miami Vice

T-Shirt Tuesday: Miami Vice

This week, we've got this sweet raglan jersey t-shirt straight from the iconic 80s cop-drama, Miami Vice. The television series was a cultural phenomenon, influencing the fashion, music, and art of the 80s. Relying on musical sequences to emphasize the cinematography and emotions, the neo-noir series valued images over writing and embraced new wave culture.

Set in Miami Beach, Florida, the show follows two undercover detectives working for the Metro-Dade Police Department, James "Sonny" Crockett and Ricardo "Rico" Tubbs, played by Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas. Other actors starring in the show included Saundra Santiago, Michael Talbott, John Diehl, Olivia Brown, Gregory Sierra, and Edward James Olmos.

Arguably the most famous scene of the series, the clip bellow shows Sonny and Rico driving around Miami listening to "In the Air Tonight," by Phil Collins, epitomizing the 80s in a sinister and decadent fashion. 

Episodes covered topics like drug trafficking and prostitution, inspired by Miami's shift from a middle-class vacation haven into a city run by violence and crime from the drug trade on Florida's Gold Coast.

The series portrays Miami glamorously, filmed almost entirely in the South Beach section of Miami Beach. However, at the time of filming, the area was defined by poverty and crime. Very few people resided in Miami, and the population was mostly elderly retirees, allowing for the crew to film virtually anywhere with little to no disturbances.

Over 80 people from South Florida were employed for the pilot episode, and the show brought in 2.5 million dollars into Florida's economy in its first season.

The production crew was faced with run down buildings, leading them to repaint many exteriors. The show is often credited for leading the support for Art Deco preservation efforts in the mid 80s and early 90s.

Miami Vice is heralded as one of the most successful television soundtracks of all time, appealing to the MTV generation of hip young people. The show is credited for its innovative use of stereo broadcast music while other shows were using made-for-TV music. Jan Hammer composed an electronic-music score to give the show a uniquely modern vibe. Artists featured on the show included Duran Duran, Sinead O'Connor, Black Uhuru, Meat Loaf, Phil Collins, Tina Turner, Pink Floyd, ZZ Top, Depeche Mode, U2, The Police, and Iron Maiden.

The costumes worn on Miami Vice went on to define the standard style of the 80s. Vittorio Ricci, Gianni Versace, and Hugo Boss were just a few of the designers consulted for the series' costumes. It's been credited for practically inventing the T-shirt under Armani jacket style, in addition to popularizing Ray-Ban Wayfarers, pastels, no socks, and rolled-up sleeves.

In addition to clothing styles, the automobiles featured on the show garnered a cult following by car enthusiasts. Namely, the fake Ferrari Testarossa, built from the 1972 De Tomaso Pantera gained much attention, along with Crockett's 1978 Porsche 911 SC Targa, and Rico's 1964 Cadillac Coupe De Ville Convertible. Other luxury car models featured included Lamborghinis, AMG Mercedes-Benzes, BMWs, Maseratis, Porsches, Corvettes. Muscle cars featured included Pontiac GTO and Firebird Trans Am, as well as Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, Plymouth GTX and Barracuda. 

The show's popularity devolved towards its later seasons, and was ultimately cancelled in 1989. Still, Miami Vice set the precedent for the evolution of the police drama genre for years to come.