Essay on The Effects Social and Political Changes Had on Fashion in the 1980’s

Essay on The Effects Social and Political Changes Had on Fashion in the 1980’s

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This essay will explore the effects social and political changes had on fashion in the 1980’s. This period was chosen because the new romantic fashions were so different to the punk fashions that had been before, this essay will therefore identify the changes that had taken place to influence this change. Primary evidence used to support findings will include interviews and photographs which will show a firsthand account of the period.

In order to understand why punk came about the preceding periods will be considered. The baby boom after the war had resulted in a large amount of people being born at the same time. A knock on effect later down the line resulted in mass unemployment for young people. The punk era showed angry, rebellious citizens voicing their opinions through loud music and creating songs about making a political statement. Celebrities and musicians such as the sex pistols sung about their belief that there was no future for themselves and the country and sung about ‘anarchy for the UK’. The slogan ‘No future’ originally came from the sex pistols song ‘God save the Queen’. The impression given by the punks was seen as a negative one from the older generation however the younger audience felt they could relate to the situations being sung about.

A turn in the 80’s showed a completely polar opposite. A new sense of hope for the country began to show through contrasting the feel of the previous eras. Artists such as Marilyn now sung about love and romance in his songs like ‘calling your name’ and ‘give it up’ that reflected a more positive attitude of the citizens. This was also a reflection in the way politics had began to change however this positivity was not embraced by everyone and a split in the citiz...


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...ear representation of how the punk accessorised their clothes as the words look handwritten like graffiti. Again it is not directly linked to the punk era yet there is a common feature running within it. In addition to this the words also link to various beliefs/ campaigns as did clothing from the 80’s. Although both these garments are modern and recently designed they both reflect aspects that were present in the 80’s.

To conclude, social and political changes have been reflected in fashion during this era and influences have impacted both the punks and new romantics of the time. The division between the two groups was not only determined by their dress but also their music, beliefs and job roles within society as discussed throughout this essay. The firsthand account has also supported evidence of the changes that have been researched.











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