1980’s Club Kids
Whether or not you grew up in the 80s, it’d be impossible to ignore, let alone forget, the rather obscene decade of greed, consumerism, materialism, perfect bad taste, power dressing, shoulder pads, labelmania and ‘loadsa’ money. And how about the senile Reagan, the demented Thatcher and the shameless yuppies?
Still, at the other end of the scale, no one can possibly overlook those all-important men in make-up and the gender benders. They suddenly came out of the woodwork in their droves and frightened the life out of the masses, not only on the street but in the press and on our TV screens.
There’s no doubt that the era proved to be clubland’s heyday. Someone coined the term ligger for those who had the right look and attitude and could literally get in everywhere quicker than a terminal disease. They’d never have to pay for drinks – or anything else for that matter – and would find their name on the world and his wife’s guest lists. That surely came in handy in those pre-internet and social network days. Out every night, partying with the in-crowd … could life get any better? Indeed, many club kids lived a millionaire’s lifestyle while claiming “artistic” unemployment benefit. You’d need to be A-listers these days to expect these privileges.
It was the first time people realised that being a club kid is actually a privilege and an amazing opportunity, not just a silly pastime or addiction confined to the brain-dead and the drug-fucked. It personally taught me a lot about life and gave me the self-confidence I desperately lacked growing up. Without even trying, I got to meet and befriend some of the most fabulous people on the club, fashion and music scenes in London, Paris, New York and the rest.
The decade opened with a bang, unleashing myriad well-powdered Blitz kids and gaggles of spooky-looking goths. Clubland truly looked like a relentless celebration of youth culture, hormone-raging individuality and exacerbated multi-media creativity at every level. So much was happening that you felt – hoped – it would never end, but the 80s drew to a close as it indeed got very tired towards the end. Words like blanket uniformity, practicality and blandness had already become order of the day – yet again – but, thankfully, not for very long …

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