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May 27, 2022

The New Romantic Movement of the Early 1980s: Candid Photographs Taken at the Blitz Club, London in 1980

Photographs taken by Andrew Holligan at Covent Garden’s Blitz Club in 1980. The legendary club night held at the Great Queen Street venue every Tuesday was co-hosted by Steve Strange and Rusty Egan.

“I met Steve Strange, Boy George, Marilyn and others in 1980,” says Andrew. “I was working for (assisting) a fashion/advertising photographer in London who was doing a story on the New Romantics. He was taking hard-edged studio portraits of them and he managed to sell the story to the German magazine Stern, but they wanted some club shots too, so I was sent to Blitz Club (okayed by Steve Strange because I wasn’t a New Romantic).”

The club was a haunt for aspiring fashion designers and students from nearby St Martin’s school of art and Central School – who would often test out their designs in the club. Many went on to become respected names in their field – as well as regulars including Boy George, Marilyn and future members of Spandau Ballet. These colorful characters and creatives were amongst the main faces in the club, known as ‘The Blitz Kids’ – who pioneered the New Romantic movement of the early 1980s.

The selective door policy meant that if your face didn’t fit then you wouldn’t get into the club. Often seen as elitist, this wasn’t really the case, it was often to protect the regulars from unwanted abuse.

(Photos by © Andrew Holligan, via British Culture Archive)


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