Pinning Down The 80s

The notion of "badges" turned up today. Today they are know as "pins"or "buttons", but back in the day, they were fashion statements known to adorn stone-wash denim jackets, sling bags and even hand-held (file) folders. Yes, I liked me sum badges!

A whole lot of badges I remember bore big bold text on them, via the advent of big text on plain white tees, ala WHAM! and one of the key culprits in the day: Frankie Goes To Hollywood, whose "RELAX" and "WAR" words became quite a fashion movement by itself.

Slogans aside, other images on badges most predominantly include images of music bands, with a whole lot of them being promo items tagged to music magazines. Generic imagery include the old favorites "Peace"-sign and "Smiling Face" (years later seeing it again on the promos for The Watchmen, both comicbook and the movie was somewhat more exciting than I ever gave credit for :p), both of which no doubt were a hold-over from previous decade.

And while my file-holder "showcased" more of magazine cuttings and stickers - blame "Smash Hits", "No.1" and as well Japanese music rags that featured "Checkers" and androgynous men in frills and multi-colored tunics - all romantic-synthwave et al! Tis harder to attach pins unto files, okay!

And you would need clusters of pins together, to make that look work. I never had collected a lot, and my jacket was never did rocked that look (until years later in the 90s, when I realized by then it was too late a fashion statement to be made).

These days, tis less fashionable and more "statement" to be made, as the collection of pins (which grew smaller, by the way) reflected the personality of the wearer - quite the obscure notion, and no doubt effective for certain demographics. Wearing a pin was like a similar notion to wearing a tee with big text (that does not spell the "brand" instead of a slogan), but less pervasive and instead something you had to get up close to be able to read, and maybe even appreciate what it read.

Shown above are a small selection of pins from overseas artists which I blogged about, and have gifted me. The promotional notion is cool, as are the advent of self-promotional imagery shown on the pins. These days, we embrace more illustrations and show our allegiance to the art / artworks / artists with wearing them. The name "badges" seem so apt now. But yes, we know them more as "pins" and "buttons" now (no doubt because of the small button-like size lol).

Whatever little collection I had has been chucked away foolishly, like most of my 80s, but I regained a slice of the "past" recently, when badges of my blog-icon were made for a show launch, in Bandung Indonesia! And now I am aching to have more badges made, but of course I know it is an indulgence in my past, as well a handy promotional tool that folks are used to now.