London Subcultures 1980-2000
In 1980, three fashion and lifestyle magazines appeared on the streets of London: The Face, i-D and Blitz. These heralded a new generation of identities created by London's young. As with the previous generation of youth tribes, music, dress, clubs, and drugs were at their heart.
The New Romantics were a glamorously dressed evolution from punk and wore ostentatious, foppish clothes. Their clubs were Billy's in Soho's Meard Street, opened in 1978, and Blitz, where their habit of mid-week clubbing gave them the name the 'Blitz kids'. New Romantics listened to synthesised electro-pop by groups such as Spandau Ballet and Electrovox.
Goths evolved from the underground punk scene. They believed in all things 'gothic' such as gothic literature and horror movies. They wore black clothes, dyed black hair and a chalk-white face. They listened to the dark lyrics of bands such as Sisters of Mercy, The Cure, Joy Division, and Siouxie and the Banshees.
Casuals came from the ever-strong tradition of working-class male 'sharp dressing'. Casuals dressed down in outwardly conventional menswear, but wore fiercely expensive labels: Fred Perry shirts, Pringle jumpers, and Burberry accessories. They were as likely to gather at football matches as at soul-music clubs in Essex.
Clubbers, or ravers
Clubbers in the 1980s covered a variety of musical tastes, from the 'Funki Dred' followers of the south London group Soul II Soul, to the acid jazz followers who performed acrobatic jazz dances at Dingwalls in Camden. Clubbing gathered strength throughout the 1980s and came to be associated with the drug Ecstasy. Large all-night 'raves' were held in empty warehouses, most famously at King's Cross.
Ravers danced for hours to the repetitive baselines played by D.J.s- rave culture's new celebrities. Many believed in P.L.U.R: Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect for other people. Rave culture continued into the 1990s, fragmenting into the many forms of dance music: Techno, House, Trance.
Crusties drew from both rave culture and earlier hippy culture. Crusties combined dropping out of society with being politically active. In London, they were associated with squatting, road protests, and environmental activism. During the 1990s, crusty culture fed into the 'stop the city' demonstrations against capitalism. Crusties were associated with 'new age' beliefs, rejecting modern science in favour of alternative medicine.
The last 20 years of the century also saw the rise of style commentators in the media. Many loved to detect new subcultures within society, such as 'yuppies', 'dinkies', 'babytimers', 'young fogeys', and 'chavs'. These supposedly cohesive groups were often the inventions of a marketing industry looking for new ways to analyse consumers.
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