New Romantics of the Eighties, Music, Fashion, Art

The New Romantic scene was an underground subculture movement that originated in the United Kingdom in the late 1970s. The movement emerged from the nightclub scene in London and Birmingham at venues such as Billy’s and The Blitz. The New Romantic movement was characterised by flamboyant, eccentric fashion inspired by fashion boutiques such as Kahn and Bell in Birmingham and PX in London. Early adherents of the movement were often referred to by the press by such names as Blitz Kids, New Dandies and Romantic Rebels.


The New Romantic movement is sometimes characterised as a reaction to the direction in which the punk rock movement was evolving, and was heavily influenced by former glam rock stars of the 1970s such as David Bowie and Roxy Music. In terms of style, it rejected the austerity and anti-fashion stance which was becoming increasingly predominant in punk. Both sexes often dressed in androgynous clothing and wore cosmetics such as eyeliner and lipstick, partly derived from earlier punk fashions. This gender bending was particularly evident in figures such as Boy George of Culture Club, and Marilyn (Peter Robinson).



The New Romantic music scene was a diverse one, encompassing a wide range of styles, including synthpop, new wave, post-punk, and even disco. Some of the most popular New Romantic bands include:

  • Duran Duran
  • Spandau Ballet
  • Ultravox
  • Visage
  • Culture Club
  • The Human League
  • Soft Cell
  • Talk Talk
  • ABC
  • Wang Chung



The New Romantic fashion scene was also highly influential, and many of the styles that emerged from the movement are still popular today. Some of the most iconic New Romantic fashions include:

  • Flamboyant, androgynous clothing
  • Platform shoes
  • Glitter
  • Eyeliner
  • Lipstick
  • Hairspray
  • Bouffants
  • Mullets
  • Denim
  • Leather


The New Romantic movement had a lasting impact on popular culture, and its influence can still be seen in music, fashion, and art today. The movement helped to break down traditional gender roles and to promote self-expression, and it paved the way for the rise of other subcultures, such as the goth scene and the rave scene. The New Romantic movement is a fascinating and important part of British cultural history, and it continues to inspire and entertain people around the world.

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