A packed stadium of people witnessing the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games. Matilda the huge mascot of the games is on the field along with lots of school children.

Reliving the 1980s

1980s TV, music, hair and fashion
 Beth Taylor

The 100th curated collection on the NFSA website has been published and it's all about the 1980s.

The collection will take you on a breakdance down memory lane to a time when we were glued to the Royal Wedding, Young Talent Time and It's a Knockout on TV, and we sang along to hits by INXS, Kylie Minogue and Men at Work on the radio. We watched blockbuster movies like Ghostbusters, Mad Max 2 and Tootsie and cheered our sporting heroes at the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane and the rugby league grand final.

80s fashion gold

Fashion in Australia in the 1980s was all about Ken Done jumpers, chunky belts, spiky hair and colourful make-up.

These two 30-second ads for the MLC Centre in Sydney provide a fabulous summary of 80s fashion, including shoulder pads, preppy jackets and neckties for women. There's even a reference to the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cats which was showing at the Theatre Royal in 1985.

Another key part of the 80s look was the big hair. When Mike Walsh interviewed hairdressers Bruno and Mascolo, from the then little-known Toni&Guy salon, they showed off the latest hairstyles from London. Walsh joked, 'It looks as if they've stuck their fingers in electric light sockets'. You can see all of the styles in the collection.

Two models are dressed in formal dresses - one orange and one bright pink. They have very big hair styles and lots of 80s-style make-up.

It looks as if they've stuck their fingers in electric light sockets.

Mike Walsh

Predicting the future

INXS singer Michael Hutchence, wearing reflective sunglasses and a pork pie hat. He is filming with a handicam camera pressed up again his eye.
Michael Hutchence in Australian Made (1987). Courtesy John McLean & Ray Argall.

Digital technology took off in the 1980s with the availability of personal computers. Analog was super cool too with walkmans and VHS players new to the market. The Film Australia documentary Get with IT: The Information Technology Challenge predicts that 'mass-computerisation will take hold and become as indispensable to society as electricity'. Some predictions aren't so spot-on, with a story from Amanda Keller on Beyond 2000 in 1989 showing Japanese robot mannequins set to take the fashion world by storm.

Check out the 1980s curated collection starring Paul Hogan, Dame Edna Everage, Kylie Minogue, Nicole Kidman, Michael Hutchence (pictured at right), Jimmy Barnes, Sigourney Weaver, MP Linda Burney, Peter Russell-Clarke, Ken Done, David Attenborough, Dustin Hoffman, Adam Ant, Jeannie Little, Torvill and Dean and many more.

We look forward to publishing more collections about different decades over the coming year.

Top image: Matilda, the mascot of the 1982 Brisbane Commonwealth Games, from All That Glitters, 1983, The Official Film XII Commonwealth Games Brisbane 1982. Film Australia Collection © NFSA.