The pictures that show 80s fashions are back

women with buzzcuts

Every generation likes to think it's original.

But look at Derek Ridger's photos of UK teenagers in the 1980s, and you'll see we're not all that different.

"Then, because there was no Instagram, people had to dress up and go out. Now they can dress up, stay in and show the world what they look like from their own bedroom", he says.

The iconic photographer talks Newsbeat through his new book, In The Eighties.

Customised flight jackets pictured by Derek Ridgers
Image caption Customised flight jackets pictured by Derek Ridgers

Flight Jackets

They're lightweight, warm, and they've got about 20 pockets for storing your stuff. It's no wonder flight jackets have made a comeback in the past few years.

Originally worn by US pilots in the 1950s, they typically had a bright orange lining which could be used as a distress signal if their plane was shot down.

ASAP Rocky in a flight jacket
Image caption ASAP Rocky in a flight jacket

Now Gigi Hadid, Kanye West, Wiz Khalifa and even America's First Lady, Melania Trump, are all fans, but Derek says in the 80s they were for working class kids.

Derek Ridgers photo of a man in an MA-1 flight jacket
Image caption Flight and bomber jackets were popular in the 80s

"It was basically work wear," he says.

"People were decorating them in their own way. Sometimes they'd be badges people would buy, sometimes badges they'd make with bits they'd clip out of magazines. It was a creative time."

Melania Trump in a flight jacket
Image caption Melania Trump was criticised for her fashion choice while visiting areas of Texas hit by Hurricane Harvey in August

"You could go out in a bin bag and a couple of safety pins if you wanted, and I think that liberated a lot of people creatively.

"Everyone thinks it's new, but mostly it's old."


A woman with a buzzcut in the 80s
Image caption A woman with a buzzcut in the 80s

Buzzcuts have a complicated and controversial history. In the 1980s they became associated with far-right nationalists.

But they've been part of fashion for a long time too, and in the past year have made a comeback, particularly among women.

Cara Delevingne, Kristen Stewart, and models like Adwoa Aboah and Slick Woods have helped make the style popular.

Kristen Stewart with a buzzcut
Image caption Kristen Stewart recently shaved her head

Derek has photographed teenagers in subcultures from skinheads to goths, emos and rockers.

"When I started as a photographer in the latter part of the 70s, I just wandered around with a camera and photographed what I saw.

"I was basically going around holding up an empty picture frame through which other people could look, to see what I was seeing. That's all my pictures were."

Slick Woods modelling for Rihanna's Fenty range at New York Fashion Week in September
Image caption Slick Woods modelling for Rihanna's Fenty range at New York Fashion Week in September

He says it's harder to get people to stop for portraits now because everyone's got their own camera on their phone.

"When I first started taking photographs of people, I had people tell me they'd never been photographed before.

"That's not likely now. People have got their own Instagram now, and they want to control what their image is like."

A man in a fur jacket. They have reappeared on the catwalk and high street in the past few years.
Image caption Derek pictured this man in a fur jacket in the 1980s

Fur coats

Fur fell out of fashion in the 1990s after widespread protests from animal rights groups, supported by celebrities like Naomi Campbell and Pamela Anderson.

But real and fake fur has returned to the catwalk and the high street in the past couple of years.

The Kardashian family wearing fur
Image caption The Kardashians

If you were part of a subculture in the early 1980s you probably stuck rigidly to the style rules of your group.

Derek thinks we're much more likely to mix up styles now.

"When punk happened, it was a do-it-yourself thing. People could do what they wanted.

"You see that in high fashion so much now. A lot of designers are going back to DIY, taking street fashion and hardly changing it."

A woman with a head wrap
Image caption A woman with a head wrap in the 80s

"I have to work harder to find people now. People dress up but they're not all in one place.

"In the 70s and 80s they were very much focused in places like Soho and Camden. I could go out in an afternoon and photograph 50 people that had distinct styles.

A model for Marc Jacobs' S/S 18 catwalk show wearing a head wrap
Image caption Head wraps are likely to be popular again soon. Marc Jacobs sent his models down the catwalk in them at New York Fashion Week this September

"Now if I go to Camden it's full of tourists and I might find half a dozen interesting looking people.

"But subcultures definitely still exist."

In The Eighties: Portraits from Another Time is out now.

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