The Blitz – we got in! 1980





I shared a small shop at Kensington Market London with my friend Vicki. Kensington Market was an indoor market on three floors. It was an enormous clothing heaven where mysterious passages wound past hutch like shops jam packed with fifties suits, army fatigues, and frilly frocks with netted petticoats. There were many people like ourselves, out of work who had scraped together enough money to rent a space and have a go at selling their own creations.

Vicki and I went to The Blitz Club. We spent days preparing our outfits. I printed an image of Mona Lisa together with a love letter to her from an fictitious admirer. I’d banged the letter out in haste out on my typewriter. I photocopied it, positioned it in a repeated stripe and exposed it onto a silk screen. I printed the image, sewed it into a shirt with a matching bow tie and veiled pillbox hat. I wore pedal pushers and short boots. I thought I looked like the bees knees.

It was well-known that Steve Strange ran the Blitz club and the ex drummer of The Rich Kids, Rusty Egan, spun the music. It was also renowned that to get into the club there was a ruthless selective dress policy by Steve Strange and you’d really had your chips if you turned up wearing anything dreary. Vicki dressed in one of her amazing vamp creations so it was going to be a doddle for her to get in.

But would I?  I imagined myself rejected and alone on the top deck of a number 19 bus on my way back to The Angel Islington. Luckily we passed inspection and entered into wall to wall posing by the weird and wonderful of the time. In all the newspapers the New Romantic fashion period was described as a response to social unrest and unemployment brought about by the hard hitting Thatcher government. New Romantics were rebelling by refusing to look down trodden. They dressed-up, thumbed their noses at the conservatives and partied all night. Secretly, I don’t think anyone who went to The Blitz club knew or even cared what was going on in politics. Like me, I think everyone just loved dressing up, reveling in being young and free… and getting inebriated.

Read a brilliant Steve Strange interview quote:

“ It was just my luck that a quite drunk Mick Jagger turned up at the door with his entourage.  It has always been said that I held a mirror up to his wrinkly face, as I did with a lot of potential customers, and said, “Would you let yourself in? “.

Click the following link to read the rest of the interview on Danillo Monzillo’s site:

http://www.theblitzkids.com/site_archive/sharahmakeup/blitzbystrange.html

A great site called Shapers of the 80s-British youth culture at its finest is run by David Johnson and is packed with great snippets of the time. http://shapersofthe80s.com/

Most remembered record being played at The Blitz was Being Boiled by the Human League.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbM-Yh-G9Vc