The New New Wave

Yesterday, the LA Times published a field guide for the preppie lifestyle in LA. In the article, it officially acknowledged as fact something that I’ve been widely claiming for a while: the 80’s are back. In case you weren’t paying attention, this week’s most downloaded album was a compilation of Madonna songs. La Roux’s “Bulletproof,” a song similar in both sound and style to 80’s synth-pop hits, has just landed at #1 on the UK’s Billboard charts. In September, Gordon Gekko will return to the big screen in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. And this spring’s biggest fashion trend? Boyfriend shirts. Ronald Reagan may be dead, but Jerry Brown’s campaign for governor of California is looking very much alive. The 80’s are definitely back.

The Future will be neon. via Flickr

While icons of the 80’s may have slipped into away into history, their parallels are just as live as ever. Who needs TCBY when Yourtlands across town are packed nearly every night? Why complain that Madonna isn’t on KIIS, when every other song played on the radio is Lady Gaga? And finally, why mourn the fact that Michael Jackson’s no longer alive, when he’s about to become the next king of the Vegas strip? Sure, the 80’s will never be duplicated, but they are certainly being replicated in almost every facet of today’s pop culture landscape. The launch of the Macintosh? Only eclipsed in height by the launch of the iPad and iPhone 4G. Spring’s fashion trends? Boyfriend shirts and lycra.

From Macintosh to iPad. via Flickr

Of course, if you’re looking for the real thing, relics of the 80’s still exist all over town. Both Mr. Chow and Spago in Beverly Hills can make you feel like you’re dining in the era of Reagan, and drinking at bars in the Beverly Hills Hotel or Beverly Hilton will make you feel like you’re in the middle of Bret Easton Ellis’ 80’s masterpiece Less Than Zero (which, by the way, has a sequel coming out this summer). True, many 80’s icons are gone fovever, but their influence is arguably stronger today than it was at any other point in the past 20 years. After all, at what other point in that span of time would you have been able to tell someone Molly Ringwald would be on stage at the Oscars and not gotten laughed at in response?

-MK

Contact the author at mksmogger@gmail.com.

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One response to “The New New Wave

  1. crop tops.
    they’re comin back.

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