Did anyone actually wear neon in the ’80s? I ask this because I’ve seen a rash of ’80s party photos on Facebook and actually attended one myself last weekend.
Practically every girl there was bedecked in neon leg warmers, net skirts, beads and gloves.
The amount of black eye-liner made me look like a panda on the first three applications
I don’t remember the neon from when I was living the decade. There was a brief foray into cerise (I had a fishnet scarf and some patent high heels in that pink), but neon net? Hmm.
Perhaps it just wasn’t a thing in the venues I hung out in. For example, I spent the mid-’80s learning my best dance moves and gaining my style momentum in The Tube in Stubbington community centre.
I do remember boys in flecked trousers, white socks and loafers. But still, as hard as I recall the scene amid the smoke machine and lights, I cannot conjure up neon.
On the plus side, even if it is a conceit, at least the ’80s have an identity which is easily accessible. Like flares and flowers for the ’70s.
For the weekend party, I went as Madonna – suitably grunged up with extreme care.
The amount of black eye-liner made me look like a panda on the first three applications. By the time I’d finished trying, removing, re-applying, I’d practically worn through an entire eye pencil.
Then there was hair back combing, quiffing, de-quiffing and pushing all on to one side to make it extraordinarily big.
And there were the crosses. I piled those on, and some rosary beads, and it took me right back to when Madge burst on to the music scene and I had to pretend that she was shockingly awful (as I was an alternative), even though secretly I worshipped the ground she walked on.
Being played ’80s music by a DJ who wasn’t born then was a bit odd. There was an element of tosh in there and far too much reliance on Wham and Duran Duran for my liking.
But there were some crackers too, to which I could almost mouth all the words.
The big change, however, was my state in the morning after all that dancing. My knees and hips felt like they’d had their heyday in the 1880s, not the 1980s.