New Romanticism was a fashion movement that peaked in the United Kingdom during the early 1980s. Originally part of the New Wave music movement, it has seen several revivals since then, and continues to influence popular culture. Developing in London nightclubs such as Billy's and The Blitz, the movement was associated with bands such as Visage, Adam and the Ants, and Spandau Ballet. Brian Eno and Roxy Music were also influences.
New Romantic fashions were similar to that of glam rock during the early 1970s, in that male New Romantics often dressed in caricaturally counter-sexual or androgynous clothing, and wore cosmetics (such as eyeliner), frilly fop shirts in the style of the English Romantic period, or exaggerated versions of upscale fashion and grooming,The quiff was a common hairstyle.
New Romanticism's genesis took place largely through clubs such as Billy's in Dean Street, London, which ran David Bowie and Roxy Music nights in the aftermath of punk. This evolved into the Blitz Club in Great Queen Street, and later Hell, which were hosted by Steve Strange, who was also the doorman, and Rusty Egan who was the DJ. These two, together with Billy Currie and Midge Ure (both from Ultravox) formed the band Visage. Boy George was the cloakroom attendant until he got fired. Singer Marilyn also worked as a cloakroom attendant, doing impersonations of Marilyn Monroe. The club spawned several spin-offs, in London and in the surrounding area, including Croc's in Rayleigh, Essex, and The Regency in Chadwell Heath, where Depeche Mode and Culture Club had their debut gigs.
David Bowie has been cited as a major influence of the movement and his 1980 single "Ashes to Ashes" was influenced by, and was simultaneously considered to be an anthem for the New Romantics. However, as with many art school-based youth movements, by the time this anthem was pronounced, many commentators felt that the movement had been excessively commercialized and lost its original glamour.