Back in 2009, Balmain's pagoda shoulders created a furore which resulted in every iterations of pagoda shoulders possible on a dress or outerwear. Rick Owens debuted his 'robot' shoulders in the same year for his 'Crust' collection as well. While the latter re-issued the same shoulders just a few seasons ago, Balmain continued to produce more variations that went from refreshing to -Dynasty- level monstrous.
Aside from these major examples and the 80s power dressing era, shoulders have generally become soft and rounded again for womenswear. While we know that the 80s shoulders had to do with women's ascend into the boardroom to take their place alongside their male counterparts, I can only guess that its resurgence in 2009 had something to do with the global economic recession. My hypothesis is of course very much debatable, so I leave it up to you to come up with a supporting or contradictory viewpoint.
Wearing: Rick Owens jacket, vest and shorts; Margiela cement tabis