I’m very excited about my column this fortnight as I’m looking at The 80s!
So much of the fare available on Folksy has been influenced by the decade in which many of us grew up and many others were already grown. To a lot of people (myself included) the 80s doesn’t seem that long ago so it comes as a bit of a shock that early 80s items (and babies) are around or approaching the 30 mark and considered officially vintage! Cripes.
The 80s was a time where more was well, more! Maggie T was PM and Greed is Good was something of a slogan. Mrs Thatcher made it easier to borrow money which meant that many people were able to get a foot on the property ladder as well as the beginning of “credit card culture.” Mass consumerism and a boom in private enterprise meant that the focus turned to the individual rather than the state and individual is a bit of a buzz word when talking about the 80s. Of course, the other side of this was war in the Falklands, race riots, the collapse of industry, the miners’ strike and mass unemployment.
Style too was very much LOOK AT ME and there were various statement fashions around ranging from Yuppies in power suits with massive shoulder pads and rolled up sleeves to New Romantics, Post Punks, Skinheads and everything else in between. Music and idols smacked distinctly of rebellion. A just for fun poll on my blog proclaims Madonna and Michael Jackson joint favourite 80s icons with appearances from Boy George, Mr T, Debbie Harry, Michael J Fox, Timmy Mallet and Robocop!
It’s worth pausing too to consider who the movers and shakers were during this decade. People in their twenties to thirties tend to be the trend setters and influential in as well as influenced by advertising. In the 80s these people will have been born in or around the 1950s and we all love to reminisce about our childhoods (see current 80s revival) hence the strong 50s element to much of the fashion and even some of the music (how’s it going Shakin’ Stevens!?). Rock n Roll was the first popular rebel music after all!
Nothing highlights this more than the Back to the Future trilogy which is for many the epitome of 80s! Furthermore, see Back to the Future III for Steampunk influences.
So let’s get an idea of what Eighties themed items look like?
Several of our talented folksy sellers make 80s themed jewellery or take vintage pieces and make them into something new (upcycling).
Whereas in previous decades, only women of wealth frequently wore jewellery as a symbol of their status By the 80s, the fashion was no longer fine jewellery but costume jewellery. Fashion was very important to the 80s woman and jewellery played a massive part. Think strings of faux pearls, plastic, oversized, brightly coloured geometric shapes or huge jewelled clip on earrings as a staple of the fashionable female! Laura, WooWoo Designs
Everything about the time was just bright, bold and over the top. In no other time was hair that big acceptable or neon a fashion must have! Laura, Little Red Star
What are the main materials associated with this genre?
The answer to this question is mostly synthetic but like I said above, many sellers incorporate genuine 80s ‘artefacts’ if you will, to make something new and fabulous. This includes old jewellery as well as nostalgia items such as toys and the good old cassette tape!
Cassettes were the leading format around when my music obsession kicked in, big boxes of different coloured tapes….I loved spending hours writing out the song list on the backing and using the little stickers you got with the tape. It all seems so ridiculous now! Especially the idea of using a bic pen to wind the tape back in when your walkman threatened to chew it up! Ash, Cut Copy Create
I use Lego, my little pony, strawberry shortcake and the care bears to make up fun pieces of jewellery. It’s a bit nostalgic really but in keeping with the original decade, bright, colourful and fun. Laura, Little Red Star
I use a lot of 80s pieces that I’ve collected over the years, I especially love using clip on earrings from that era and recycling them into rings. Laura, WooWoo Designs
Why do our Folksy sellers think it has become so popular?
I think the 80’s still remain popular because it still permeates so much in today’s world whether it be fashion, music or TV and film. So anyone born after the 80’s seems to still find a lot of what they wear/listen to/watch has its roots in the 80’s. And for the rest of us there’s nothing better that a good ol’ reminisce especially when it’s such a fun one! Ellen, Girl of the 80s
I think there’s something about the rarity now of things like cassettes considering they were the height of fashion then and people have a nostalgia for them. That and they just look cool. Laura, Little Red Star
So there you have it! The 80s, whether you loved them or hated them are having a revival right here in the online craft emporium that is Folksy and if like me you’re tempted to stick on Born in the USA and dust off your roller skates then I’d start right here on the quest for the perfect outfit!
List of images:
Thundercats Necklace by Kitschen Sink
Keep Calm and Spend More by Hole in my Pocket
‘No Moonwalking’ T Shirt by Retro Without a Cause
Retro Paint Splatter Earrings by CXheap Thrill Seeker
Vintage Purple Gold Trim Ring by WooWoo Designs
Cassette Badge by Cut Copy Create
My Little Pony Necklace by Little Red Star
Desperate Dan Bracelet by Girl of the 80s
Party Ring Heart Pendant by stars & scars