Friday, September 10, 2010

Delightful Discoveries - The Awesome 80s 09.10.10

Like omigod, I am stoked to the max to finally be writing this, like, bodacious post about the totally tubular 80's. Like, ya know... the movies were, like, bad to the bone, and that big hair, you know? Like, most excellently awesome, fer sure. Fashions were, like, the BOMB, you know?!?! And the music - totally boss. What a rush! I hope you're like, just as amped as I am to be remembering this outrageous and totally gnarly decade. Like, don't have a cow... just take a chill pill and lets get on with this righteous review.

Wait... do you need that translated? If you do, Dexter, you might not appreciate this post as much as someone who understood it the first time they read it! (And btw, I fell into that "Dexter" category in the 80's, so don't feel bad!)

Reaganomics, the fall of the Berlin wall, the end of the Cold War, AIDS, Chernobyl, the Challenger explosion, Mt. St. Helens blowing its top, gay rights, the Lockerbie Disaster, inflation, Bhopal - these were the topics that made the news throughout the decade. Surprisingly, the 80s have never been tagged with a nickname or label like all of the previous decades I've reviewed. If I were to coin a nickname to describe it, I'd have to call it the Decade of Confrontation. It seemed like everything that was of any consequence was due to confrontation between opposing sides and not backing down until a resolution was achieved. It was also a decade of excess and extremes since, even though inflation was growing by leaps and bounds, thanks to credit cards and a willingness to take on debt Americans had more "things" than they ever had before.

Everything about the pop culture of the decade reflected this attitude of extremes... big hair, flamboyant clothes, REALLY big shoulder pads in jackets, radical protests, punk rock, the beginnings of rap... they all screamed at the world to notice the new generation and to accept them as they were. Performers like Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Boy George, and Michael Jackson, redefined stage persona and made the older generations cringe. Youth didn't want to hide behind facades in any area of their lives - and fought it by hyperbolizing their appearances as if to say "What I look like is not necessarily who I am."

TV would come of age with the advent of expanded cable TV availability for the home, and cable network stations like MTV, VH1, HBO, Showtime, and Cinemax offered round the clock entertainment to Americans. Over the course of the 80s, the number of cable channels increased from 20 to 79... a far cry from the typical 4 channels that were available in most metropolitan markets without cable TV. No matter what kind of show you liked, you could probably find something to suit your tastes. Women could drool over Tom Selleck in Magnum P.I, while men drooled over the Bay Watch Babes; Norm and Cliff would keep your seat warm while Sam poured you a drink and Diane and Carla bickered in the back room on Cheers; Moonlighting, Murphy Brown and One Day at a Time gave a look at how single women dealt with their life situations; and thankfully, we would find out who shot JR.

Many of the memorable movies of the decades went from the big screen to the small screen via premium cable services - including On Golden Pond, ET the Extraterrestrial, Tootsie, Good Morning Vietnam, Back to the Future, Arthur, Rain Man, Out of Africa, Chariots of Fire, more Star Wars episodes, and multiple movies surrounding Star Trek and Indiana Jones stories. The Brat Pack (Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, Demi Moore, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy) treated us to unique view of white middle class teen angst in movies like Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, St Elmo's Fire, and Pretty in Pink. We laughed to inane comedy of serial movies like the Airplane movies and the Police Academy movies. We learned what the older folks had to deal with in movies like Cocoon and Driving Miss Daisy, were kept on the edge of our seats by slasher flicks in the Halloween and Nightmare on Elm Street series, and took on social issues past and present in movies like The Color Purple, Silkwood, War Games, and The Cotton Club. Even misfits and nerds had their day in movies like Porky's, Revenge of the Nerds, and Weird Science.

The entertainment world would suffer the loss of some of it's finest, and the world would be brought "out of the closet" with the loss of both Liberace and Rock Hudson to AIDS. We would be shocked to hear of John Lennon's murder in 1980, and Marvin Gaye's in 1984. John Belushi would die of a drug overdose at the age of 33 in 1982, leaving the world of comedy short one comedic genius. Dennis Wilson, drummer of the Beach Boys would lose his life in a boating accident at the age of 39 in 1983; and the world would lose the mellow sounds of 32 year old Karen Carpenter's voice on February 4, 1983 when her heart failed from complications of anorexia.

There were some trademark fashions during the 80's. The influence of the movie Fame and the subsequent TV series continuing the movie's theme gave us spandex, bodysuits, sweatbands, and leg warmers. Madonna would have a huge influence on young girls watching her music videos. Punk rock's influence continued well into the 80's with it's mohawks, leather and chains and what would eventually become the grunge look later in the decade.

Politically, the world was in turmoil and going thru major changes. Reformist policies like glasnost and perestroika led to the overthrow of communist regimes toward the end of the 80's, ultimately bringing about the fall of the USSR in 1991. November 9, 1989 saw the fall of the Berlin wall as well, with reunification of East and West Germany completed less than a year later. Conflicts were occurring and new land and governmental boundaries were being drawn in virtually all corners of the globe. Iran and Iraq were at war; Canada, Australia and New Zealand were granted independence from Great Britain; Africa, as well as Central and South America, were in tumult with uprisings, civil wars, and coups from Nicaragua to Peru, Angola to South Africa.

Here's some other things that might jog memories of the 80s - how many do you remember?

Mary Lou Retton winning the gold; 867-5309; Star Search; jelly bracelets and shoes; Fraggle Rock; The Babysitter's Club; the "power of GREYSKULL!"; Rubik's cubes; Where's the Beef?; Intellivision, Atari, Coleco; moonwalking; Smurfette; Trapper Keepers; "BELIEVE IT OR NOT, I'M WALKIN' ON AIR... I NEVER THOUGHT I COULD FEEL SO FREE-EE-EE..."; Joe Isuzu; clear Pepsi; New Coke; Max Headroom; crimping irons; Luke and Laura's Wedding; "I pity the fool"; the bar where everyone knew your name; Rainbow Brite; Neon Clothes; the birth of HMOs; "Just say no"; the recognition of toxic shock syndrome; Sweatin to the Oldies; parachute pants; swatch watches.

Pretty Rad! With that, I'll show you some of the great 80's vintage finds available on Etsy!

Let's get physical, physical... let's get into physical...

(l-r, Top to bottom)
80s graphic print UNITARD leotard or bodysuit from digvintageclothing
Neiman Marcus Pink 80s Sweat band from RogueRetro
80s Glam Dayglo Neon Lycra Stretch Exercise Dance Pants from BlueRoseRetro
Ultra Violet Vintage 1980s Leotard from misovintage
Vintage 80s RED lycra stretch Club shorts from bobbre1
FRESH PRINCE - 80s Whoa Sweatershirt from IndividJuli
Terry Cloth Shorts and Top Outfit from DeluxaClothing
Vintage 1982 Knitted Leg Warmers Pattern Book by Leisure Arts--9 Styles to Take You Back to Flashdance from PrettyPatternShop

Girls Just Wanna Have Fu-un, Yeah, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun...

(l-r, top to bottom)
Rockin' early 80's black and red striped knit angled peplum dress with belt from Violetteslippers
Vintage Neon 80s Shirt from RyanNicoleVintage
Vintage 80's Gray/Black STATIC Double Breasted Boyfriend Linen Blazer from viralthreads
Like a Virgin Vintage 80's Madonna Corset Top and Skirt Set with Copper Flecks from lyndatracyallen
Pink Peplum Sexy 80s Draped Satin Striped Party Cocktail or Day Dress from thevintagebungalow
PROM QUEEN 1980s electric BLUE sequin strapless BUBBLE mini dress from tractordog
GIANT White 80s Hair Clip from WolfHouse
Vintage METROPOLITAN Leather Oxford Ankle Boots from LadyMoonVintage
9 Colorful Vintage Plastic Bangles from MoontreeBoutique
Retro 1980's Brown Patchwork Boho Soft Leather Bag
from rockvintagesoul

Sweet dreams are made of this, Who am I to disagree? Travel the world and the seven seas Everybody's looking for something...

(l-r, top to bottom)
1981 Coleco Head to Head Electronic Boxing from NostalgiaforanEra **
Max Headroom Picture Book from OddznEndz
Vintage 1988 California Raisins Christmas Coffee Cup / Mug from ClearVintage
Country Geese Tin from daisygert
Jumbo 18 inch Patty O Green Rainbow Brite Doll from PoniesOfDooom

Wow... my last post wandering down memory lane. I hope you've enjoyed this week as much as I have... or better yet, even more than I have! I'm happy to say that I've gotten a few convos from shops that were featured this week and had sales as a result - that's part of what it's all about for me! Congratulations to everyone who had sales or at least noticed a bump in views!

Tomorrow, I'll be finishing out the week with some kids' Halloween costumes - so if anyone has any they'd like to share - you know the routine! Send them to me by clicking here for the submission form to e-mail me the link to the page of the shop where I can see your items or your favorites from another shop.

For me, it's been an emotional week - there are parts of my life that remembering can be both bittersweet and downright difficult, but I made it through pretty well! I'd like to end it with the lyrics to an appropriate song that just happened to have been a hit during the 80's...

See the dew on the sunflower
And a rose that is fading
Roses whither away
Like the sunflower
I yearn to turn my face to the dawn
I am waiting for the day . . .

Not a sound from the pavement
Has the moon lost her memory?
She is smiling alone
In the lamplight
The withered leaves collect at my feet
And the wind begins to moan

All alone in the moonlight
I can smile at the old days
I was beautiful then
I remember the time I knew what happiness was
Let the memory live again

Every streetlamp
Seems to beat a fatalistic warning
Someone mutters
And the streetlamp gutters
And soon it will be morning

I must wait for the sunrise
I must think of a new life
And I musn't give in
When the dawn comes
Tonight will be a memory too
And a new day will begin

Burnt out ends of smoky days
The stale cold smell of morning
The streetlamp dies, another night is over
Another day is dawning

Touch me
It's so easy to leave me
All alone with the memory
Of my days in the sun
If you touch me
You'll understand what happiness is

A new day has begun

~Memories, by Andrew Lloyd Webber from the musical "Cats"

Have a totally awesome weekend!

**designates an undiscovered/underdiscovered shop


lyndatracyallen said...

Very ,very cool! I love the 80's clothes.
Thank you for including me in your collection,

ViKotas said...

I was never into the eighties, especially the fashion. I was happily stunned by the fall of the Berlin wall. BTW, I painted a pic of Mary Lou....still have it.

NuVintageEra said...

Whew! Like a blast from the past! That was fun, insightful, and of course memorable. Thanks, for the inclusion.

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