So what could an ’80s brooch have to do with the spirit of Christmas? Plenty! In grade school I looked forward to the Book Fair each year. One year we got to attend with our “8th Grade Buddies.” My buddy and I were browsing the display table when we both reached for this brooch. “It’s yours,” she said without flinching. And my job at Mirror80 is to make sure her sacrifice was not in vain! (And yes, I’m still trying to figure out why they were selling women’s jewelry at a grade school book fair, but that’s beside the point)…
Sophisti-pop appeared in the mid-’80s, merging pop, jazz and soul. Its sound was smooth, polished and mellow, often with heavy doses of synthesizer. Many of the genre’s contributors were British. Sophisti-pop acts included artists like Basia, Swing Out Sister, Sade, The Blow Monkeys, Bryan Ferry, Spandau Ballet and Curiosity Killed the Cat. While some music from this genre is lumped in with “smooth jazz,” to dismiss it as schmaltz would overlook its ’80s roots and heavy emphasis on style. And Mirror80 just can’t do that…
Friday Video Pick: “Think for a Minute” by The Housemartins
On the coldest and dreariest of days, I imagine myself out on a boat hamming it up with The Housemartins, as per this version of the video for their 1986 track “Think for a Minute.” The video comes from the documentary London 0 Hull 4 (named for their first album of the same title).
Friday Video Pick: “Dare to Be Stupid” by “Weird Al” Yankovic
In this video for “Dare To Be Stupid,” released in 1985, Weird Al parodies Devo. Whether you’re a long-time Devo fan who can spot the references, someone who liked this song as a kid, or a person looking for a three-minute distraction, you’ll appreciate this visual feast.
A Noteworthy Memphis-Milano Collection
After last week’s post on the Memphis-Milano movement (aka Memphis Group), collector Dennis Zanone posted a link to the Flickr photos of his amazing Memphis pieces. In a display nothing short of museum quality, Zanone has showcased the best of Memphis-Milano design in a space that seems tailor-made to spotlight the features of the movement (note the flooring–pale wood, blue carpet and black and white checks, the perfect compliments to the bold colors and standout geometry of the furniture and objects).
Friday Video Pick: “Crush on You” by The Jets
When gushing about this video, it’s hard to know where to start. Could it be the classic ’80s set with its grid and neon lights? Or maybe it’s the candy-colored clothing in every hue of the rainbow? The synced-up dance moves of band members?…
The Memphis Group
When you first get a glimpse of ’80s pieces by the Milan-based Memphis Group, you can’t help but have a “Eureka!” moment–countless clothing and dishware patterns took their inspiration from this collective of furniture and product designers, not to mention the graphic design motifs that popped up throughout the 1980s. In fact, many a watered down version of Memphis Group design infiltrated ’80s pop culture. Try watching the opening credits of Saved by the Bell reruns and spot the Memphis motifs…
Friday Video Pick: “Last Christmas” by Wham!
Well all you ski bunnies–it seems the Holidays are upon us! Let’s rewind to 1984, when Wham! filmed this video for their Holiday hit, “Last Christmas.” Drama ensues when George Michael’s character embarks on a ski vacation, and among the trendy friends sharing his rental is the girl who dumped him last Christmas. And she’s now with Wham! bandmate Andrew Ridgeley’s character…
Mirror80 Wishes You a Happy Thanksgiving!
And now for a little flashback to the Cabbage Patch Kids float of the 1984 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. And who better to convey the complex emotions involved in this meaningful holiday than little dolls that supposedly sprouted from the ground?
Friday Video Pick: “Our House” by Madness
In November of 1982, British ska-revival/pop band Madness released “Our House,” a bouncy tune that gained huge popularity in the US.