New Romantics I remember this mostly because of Top of the Pops.. I was one that lived on a East London Council Estate, and I frankly could not relate.. at all. The insinuation at androgyny the costume-like clothing, and the highly teased hair.. Frankly would've gotten my ass kicked..real bad galavanting around the E5 postcode with that.. The girls seemed to identify with it, understand it, and embrace it tho.. Good for them. Heck.. I remember Boy George performed the ribbon cutting ceremony at the new Safeway in Stamford Hill I think back in 82 or 83 or was it 84.. Big crowd came out and lots of girls bunked off from school to be there..
It wasnt until a nostalgic lookback at some youtube vids just a couple of years ago that I finally (almost 40-years later) got the first insight into what the New Romantic movement/fashion/culture was. I was young, it was a style and people that I simply didnt identify with.. tho I like to watch top of the Pops just as much as the next guy.. cant say I really saw much of it at all on the street.. Wasnt old enough to go to clubs either and I suspect that's where it largely got to be expressed.
Adidas Kick Trainers Ahh.. I coveted these but never ultimately was able to convince mum to buy a pair. Me and my bro were able to convince her to buy us our first pair of trainers (we were finally moving on from plimsoles) at woolworths.. only they had 4 white stripes. My mum being a seamstress had one of those tools you can use to undo stitching and we set about liberation our new shoes of the excess stripe and eagerly went to school asserting to our cohort of heathens that we did indeed have a pair of Adidas.
Strangely, they lasted darn near the whole school year until near the end when I wore a hole in the sole near the toe and subsequently had to spend the remainer of the year putting carboard pieces or else pushing my length of sock that would poke through back in. It was either that or I had to wear my "going to church" shoes (moccasins) to school.. and I wasnt going to do that on pain of death.. That was like actually admitting that you went to church.. regularly.. For some reason that I still cant square, that was fodder for jokes and school yard persecution.. Never could figure out why because as it turned out, most of us did go to church.. anyhoo.. I missed the boat of Adidas Kick, also I never had an anorak nor did I have a Raleigh Grifter.. but some years later, when I had a paper route and progressed to some decent pocket money... I saved and saved, and bought myself a pair of Adidas Los Angeles.. the the shock absorber bar in the rear of the sole.. I ruled the my imaginary world for a spell when I got those.. They were a nylon mesh material so totally porus and allowed the wind in, but I didnt care tho I froze my feet off in the winter.. I had an enviable pair of trainers.. finally.. They were expensive.. cost $24 as I recall..
Nature Trek Shoes I remember these. Totally traumatized me in my youth.. Dad bought 2 pair, made me wear them 'til both wore out.. While all my friends graduated from plimsoles to trainers.. Gola or them new fangled swanky Adidas Kick's.. I was wearing Nature Treks..
There ought to have been some law against such purposefully cruel and wanton child abuse.. back there were no such institutions keeping a keen eye out for such harmful things back in the late 70's/early 80's... Scarred for life all these years later.
I twitch uncontrollably when I think of them and me in my brown paisley flares.. Oh the horror.. and did I mention child abuse?..
Parents have passed on now, but every now and then I wonder, "Why!! Why'd ya do it dad?? Whyyyy!!!" I dont know if they themselves had absolutely no sense of style, or had forgotten what it was to be a youth themeselves and the necessity to have at least one item of coolness to parade amongst ones peers, or simply didnt give a fig about what the children though..
Ahh.. the questions that plague the psyche that will ultimately never be answered by the very instigators of the traumatic acts.. I'll carry the mental torment of having to have to sport 2 pair of Nature Treks.. and they were ugliest ones, with the one ridge that curved around over the big toe.. >>whimper