The end of the 80s and the beginning of the 90s was a period which saw a completely new wave of subcultures that turned London and New York into a haven of eccentrics. Through hardship and recession, the youth of that time rose up and created a change of the face of partying into a spectacle that was completely new and revolutionary; it later become unheard and forgotten in the current days. Originating from the glam and punk rock movements and Andy Warhol’s death, the Club Kid scene led to the rise of many big names such as the James ST James and Michael Alig, who were actively involved in the organizing of the nights in the lime lights clubs in New York and also in some of the public places from the subway stations to the McDonalds in the Times Square. Although the club kid subculture is no longer embraced, new subcultures such as Le Freak have risen up to dominate recent memory.
The return of the club kids.
The beauty and the iconic fashion statements of the great Club Kids of the 90s did not go unnoticed; they captured the eyes of many and drew their attention towards them. There were outfits, which were ranging from the trolls, found to be covered in all forms of glitters, giant chickens, outright bribes and everything that came in-between was also of great benefit to them. It has become so hard for many to understand the reason as to why this subculture was to be forgotten so soon. Everyone present those days thought that this subculture was to last for a much extended period of time – to be inherited from one generation to the next. Unfortunately, it never came to be that way, and nobody remembers that subculture anymore. The subculture has completely been swept under the eyes of the public and has turned out to be unheard in the current days. The current economy has created room for escapism to be reborn; this is as a result of particular individuals tending to show the north east a taste of sensationalism.
Comparison with New Romantics
New Romantics started in the United Kingdom around the end of 1970s and was inspired by music. This culture was mostly adopted by disaffected students who were doing art-related courses in art school and who had a passion for Roxy Music style and David Bowie. The Roxy music was characteristically flamboyant and was usually ambiguous when it came to gender when it come to the style that was displayed on stage as well as the music itself. This also came with some outfits which had never been worn anywhere on the universe - which included clothing for both ladies as well as men that could be termed as neutral, ruffles and sashes, (to mention and few among the very many outfits they had). This group of the eccentrics reignited the flame for the Club Kids movement, and they took it to another step further.
This subculture, just like any other subculture, had a different style of clothing and general drapery. For the men, they used to wear very easily recognizable make-up because they used to put their hair looking upwards to make pouf and quiffs style. This style reminded one of the looks of hair that were very popular in the early years of 1980.
As far as music was concerned, the New Romantics subculture inspired a new style at the time in the night club scene. This subculture developed its own taste as well as a sense of exclusivity, which ultimately led to its lack of widespread adaptation because the exclusiveness meant that it had very little appeal beyond its origins. Generally, the New Romantics are associated with the years of the early 1980s, an age that is also synonymous with foppish menswear as well as excess women wear and menswear.
The Club Kid subculture drew inspiration from the New Romantics subculture and used them for the acts as well as costumes that went with the night life. While the Club Kids were centered and embraced mainly around the New York City and the New Romantics in the UK, the kind of attire that was worn by the Club Kid culture enthusiasts was similar to the one that had come and gone just a few years prior that was being embraced by the new Romantics.
A typical night at any of the two subcultures is similar primarily because the performers had to include the hours of getting ready into the outfits that been well-thought outs for some weeks in advance. For New Romantics, the most outlandish out up to date has been costume, which consisted of fancy and loose clothing both for the men as well as for the ladies, which made one’s skin appear as if he has been zipped open, it is combined with a traditional Japanese dress and also platform heels.
Alongside this fancy dress, both the cultures exhibited some freak performances too. For the return of the Club Kids, one of the performer’s best tricks involve the hammering of a six-inch nail up his nose. He also has another trick whereby he eats a broken light bulb while piercing his cheeks with some needles as he does all these tricks. When some of his fans questioned him how he can perform these amazing tricks, he responds by saying that “revealing the science behind his acts would make them lose some of the mystique that they have.” Although all his tricks still had some elements of danger, and it is not advisable to try them at home.
Knowledge of the revival.
Another member of the “Le Freake” is Martin Palmer, who is also an active character on the forefront of the revival of the North East’s Club. He is well known for his “Crystal Meth” drag persona, Martin indicates that alternative fashion and gender fluidity is something that should be embraced, cherished and be proud of being a big fan of the Club Kid movement he not only cherish and embrace that culture through his personality and line of work but also was inspired by James St James to write a book on the subject, ‘Disco Bloodbath’ novel.
Martin states that Club Kids are just like blending a theater within the nightlife, by changing the way people tend to see a typical night out into the form of art more and a place which gives people the chance to escape the reality. Martin also has a conviction that the outlandish outfits which were worn by the followers of the subculture are a far and much greater and for youth to rebel than you would probably find in a typical drunken night out.
The Club Kids movement first originated during a recession; it gave people an output and space to escape from the hard times and the platform for the freedom of expression, which is introduced in the current days during a similar climate. Nights like the “Le Freake” gave people the opportunity to show the sides of themselves that even they didn’t know that they had and the entry into an amazing world of fantasy, which is many miles away from the stresses of the day to day life.
The introduction of this subculture has added a new sense of life to the Newcastle’s club scene, creating an atmosphere which is more diverse and exciting, which is greatly needed by many. Subcultures come and vanish as the group of people which used to own that subculture move from one age group to another. Subcultures at times help people to relax and assume all is well despite the hardships and stresses they are having in life; this is due to its ability to incorporate fantasy as an essential component. By doing so it is possible for a recession to occur for the old forgotten subcultures. Subcultures can lead to traditions and heritages which a particular group of people can be identified with. The New Romantics came before the Club Kids, but the two subcultures had a similar feel and were embraced by a small population primarily because of their sense of exclusivity.
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