Wednesday, 6 March 2013

1980-1989 Society welcomes the Brat Pack

Thanks to Maggie Thatcher's election in 1979 power dressing for both men and women zoomed.  The average power dresser wore massive shoulder pads on jackets and coats and pencil skirts (that was just the women).
 Power Fashion is especially demonstrated in the TV drama Dynasty. Power dressing was made for impact and it definitly made one.

 Because of the introduction of MTV the 80s now had music videos which were the inspiration of many. 
Music introduced New Wave which incorporated  bands like Duran Duran (Hungry like the wolf), Adam Ant(Prince Charming) and Human League (Don't you want me). New wave fashion meant shirts and jackets with skinny ties and tailored trousers.
Music was a big deal in the 80s. Everyone wanted to be either Madonna or Michael Jackson with their groundbreaking music and fashion they were the icons of the time.
Madonna with her lacey punk image and MJ from his red leather jackets to his sharp suits and of course the single silver glove.
His legacy continues into today.
In 1985 Bob Geldof and Midge Ure created what is still one of the most influencial musics event ever LIVE AID.
This was a massive concert in order to help those in poverty. The concert included many of the big names of the decade like Bananarama, Boy George, George Michael and Phil Collins. 
Other big people in music included newcomer Kylie Minogue.

In her debut video Kylie has about a dozen costume changes and all are 80s trends from short dress and big perms to floral tops and skirts.
Another way music changed was the introduction of hip hop music. This was a fast street music style. Hip Hop singers Salt N Pepa influenced fashion as they were the first women rappers.
Their style was a mixture of street and sportswear which was also a major fashion obsession in the 80s.

Aside from worrying whether their perms were big enough the 80s had alot going on in the real world like the final fall of the
Berlin Wall bringing together long separated families and the death of peaceful warrior John Lennon.

There was also a royal wedding in 1982 Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer in Westminster Abbey.
Princess Diana was a major fashion icon  her wedding dress was designed by the Emmanuels and included a 50 foot long train.
There was also a minors strike up north in which the minors wanted better pay and the government refused. The film Billy Elliot pays tribute to the minors in this troubled time.
 As well as perms there was also a big statement..MULLETS! The mullet was big at the front and straight at the back a statement that thankfully never returned to society.
Technology blossomed in this particular decade.
Brainboxes everywhere were thinking overtime. There was the computer, the internet.
Which led to video games like pacman. There was also the VHS video, the digital watch, the brick like mobile phones (which no business man or woman would be seen without) and the boombox.
The boombox meant that the street urchins of society could listen to their music on the go and look good doing it. Well at least they thought they looked good.
These people wore shell suits, rayban sunglasses (a new innovation) or leggings with sportswear or acid wash jeans.All of these fads were totally 80s and totally bad.
If you weren't a b-boy or girl then there was always grunge.
Grunge was baggy jeans, untied shirts and doc martens amongst other baggy street wear. It appeared in the late 80s and grew into the 1990s.Grunge bands included Nivanna with the infamous lead singer Kurt Cobain, never heard of Nivanna? you would have heard of Smells Like Teen Spirit the song that made their career.
Speaking of teens they happily took over the big screen. Most were known as the Brat pack an obvious play on the Rat pack.
The Brat pack included many young stars that are still well known like Demi Moore, (star of 90's classic tearjerker Ghost but more on that later).
The most prominent are stars like Emilio Estivez (brother of Charlie Sheen), Molly Ringwald stars of the teen flick The Breakfast Club along with Antony Michael Hall, Ally Sheedy and Judd Nelson.
Each member of the Breakfast Club either the jock,the criminal, the princess, the brain or even the "basket case" had their own style of clothing.

There was also Michael J Fox star of the Back to the future trilogy where he wears fashion typical of the decade jeans,denim shirt, plaid shirt and of course the orange gilet mistakenly called a life preserver by the people in the fifties.

Along with the typical teen high school flicks there was also other teenage films like Footloose starring Kevin Bacon, Bill and Ted's excellent adventure a bodacious film starring a young Keanu Reeves 
 There was also active films like Fame and Flashdance these classics led to legwarmers and trainers being worn everywhere which of course endorsed the sportswear obsession.
 Although set in the early 1960s one of the best film moments was the final dance of Dirty Dancing the film was one of the highest grossing of the decade starring Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze
From the preppy happiness of these teen movies there came a darkly comic turn.
Tim Burton the legendary film director had arrived and with him he brought Beetlejuice (don't say his name too often!) as well as The first Batman film and many others that run into today.
 A few of his well known projects include Edward Scissorhands and the more modern Alice in Wonderland and Nightmare before Christmas. His cult following have a grungy gothic-y feel typical of the 80s.

The rock stars of the eighties also brought in poodle haircuts bands like Bon Jovi and Brian May from Queen recognised the fad and became known as poodle rockers.

The 80s are summed up in this 90s song by EuroPop band Aqua.

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