New Romanticism  

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New Romantics tended to be slightly camp and fey of behaviour regardless of whether they were gay or not. There was a bisexual vibe generally, regardless of the individual's actual sexual orientation. The clothes style was a return to the freak scene's roleplay of fashions from previous eras or imagined future ones. It was like using fashion to create a time warp. According to the music press at the time, there were some alternative names New Romantics wanted to call themselves. One was Futurists and another was the cult with no name.

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

New Romanticism (also called Blitz kids and a variety of other names) was a pop culture movement in the United Kingdom that began as a nightclub scene around 1979 and peaked around 1981. Developing in London and Birmingham, at nightclubs such as Billy's and the Blitz, and fashion boutiques such as Kahn and Bell, it spread to other major cities in the UK and was based around flamboyant, eccentric fashion and new wave music.

Several music acts at the start of the 1980s adopted the style of the movement and became known to epitomise it within the music and mainstream press, including Visage, Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, and Boy George (of Culture Club). Ultravox were also often labelled as New Romantics by the press though did not exhibit the same visual styles of the movement, despite their link to the band Visage. Japan and Adam and the Ants were also labelled as New Romantic artists by the press, although they had no direct connection to the original scene. A number of these bands adopted synthesizers and helped to develop synthpop in the early 1980s, which, combined with the distinctive New Romantic visuals, helped them first to national success in the UK, and then, with help of MTV, to play a major part in the Second British Invasion of the U.S. charts.

By the end of 1981, the original movement had largely dissipated and, although some of the artists associated with the scene continued their careers, they had largely abandoned the aesthetics of the movement. There were attempts to revive the movement from the 1990s, including the short-lived romo movement.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "New Romanticism" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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