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A spiraling cluster of news & events from distant decades

Retro Fashion

That Varsity Look — on College Campuses - It won't be long before shorts are accepted on the majority of college campuses for warm weather wear just as slacks are during the colder months.

Cocktails, and what shook 'em up - There were glass-and-silver shakers and those of chromed steel, pewter, brass, and porcelain, some in the guises of penguins and roosters, of zeppelins and champagne bottles...

Maternity Wear Industry Tense Over Tents - Girl watchers aren't the only people complaining about tent dresses.

The Beehive - Some say it was ' the last great hairdo'. Many hairstyles have come and gone throughout the ages, but in our memory this one stands head & shoulders above the rest.

Beatniks - By the middle of 1959, it seemed as though you could hardly open a magazine without encountering a photograph or a caricature of the typical beatnik..

Girl's Fashion - 1961 - The latest in "figure-flatterers"!

Boy's Fashion - 1961 - Clothes that will keep your boy looking smart and stylish, yet can take his roughest play!

80s Music in Vogue

As people flock to check out the Morrissey tour schedule, the retro trip is still alive and kicking in 2011, as attested by recent developments on the TV ad front. We've all seen the latest GEICO commercial, in which a lady trains her dog, Mr. Butters, and a cockatiel, to perform the A-Ha hit, "Take on Me" in order to save paying for music downloads. It's a cute story, but it could be argued that the "plot" is just a device to introduce a lively 80s tune to the situation. And GEICO isn't the only company using this technique at the moment; Target are also currently screening a TV ad that features 80s music, as well as another company who are using Adam and Ants' classic "Goody Two Shoes". H&M are also advertising a pants collection using the Duran Duran song, "Girls on Film", a gem from 1981.

When one considers the wealth of material out there from the 80s, it's no surprise companies are wising up and using some of it, as it is compelling, dramatic and usually, well, better than the music we have today. I foresee a cell phone company using Ultravox's "The Voice", a theme park ad playing Haircut 100's "Fantastic Day" and a car manufacturer cranking out Gary Numan's "Cars" - oh, no, hold on, that one's been done already. Additionally, we also have another commercial using the Kim Wilde hit, "Kids in America", yet another 80s hit.

There is however, one streak of commonality running through of these ads: The music is all from the first half of the 80s, with only A-Ha's "Take on Me" (released in September, 1985) resembling anything like a song from the second half of the shoulder-pads-and-big-hair decade. When Punk Rock screeched into that weird collision with New Wave as the 70s seemed to dry up like a drought-ridden waterhole, there were few survivors. One of those who adapted and is still going is Gordon Sumner, AKA Sting, and the 2011 Sting tour is indeed selling very well. The Police and their charismatic leader were so famous they could be featured on every third commercial on TV and you'd scarcely even consider it retro at all. But that's the way the cookie crumbles, so keep your ear to the ground and look out for those brilliant 80s tunes, 'cos apparently it's all the rage again! Awesome.

Morrissey - the Smiths


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