Flashback Friday: Culture Club – “Karma Chameleon”


Well folx, it’s been a crazy week, and I’m thrilled I made it to Friday more or less intact. So, to celebrate, I’ve got another offering for you in my ongoing exploration of music videos with historical costume content. You really can’t beat 1980s music videos when it comes to wacky interpretations of historical costume, after all.

So, sit back and let the art wash over you.

Bring on the parasols, the teased hair, and the lack of bustles, I’m here for it!


The gents are all gentlemanly.


I love Boy George, I don’t care what you say. He’s perfect. I have low-key wanted to be him since I was about 6 years old.


OH THE HAIR IS SO PAINFUL. That bodice, though, shows some real potential.


OH THANK GOD THE SHOW GIRLS AND THE MARCHING BAND HAVE ARRIVED. I was really worried the party was going to suck without them.


That blue plaid number is actually really nice. There’s a couple of shots of it throughout the video but I couldn’t get a clear screen grab of her standing up other than this one.


“OH NO, I JUST REALIZED I WORE A 1770s GOWN, NOT 1870s!” <– I have 100% had this nightmare before.



Would loving you be easy if your colors were like my dreams? Tell us in the comments!


About the author

Sarah Lorraine

Sarah has an undergraduate degree in Clothing & Textile Design and a Master's in Art History and Visual Culture, with an emphasis on fashion history. When she’s not caught in paralyzing existential dread, she's drinking craft cocktails and writing about historical costume in film and television. She's been pissing people off on the internet since 1995.

8 Responses

  1. Roxana

    Is it me or do the men’s suits have a regency vibe with the high collars, cravats and frills? Women’s outfits are all over the nineteenth century, except for the 1870s!! 😆

  2. Susan Pola Staples

    Why do I enjoy this video? Well it’s fun. Costumes are across the board. The crowd is a nice mix of people. And I enjoy seeing a Thief at work. Favourite woman’s costume the the yellow worn by the woman of colour. Favourite male. Harder but im going with the thief with the AL Mundy vibes.

  3. Roxana

    I’m thrilled to have made it to Friday too. My week started with a bronchoscopy, ick! 🤪

  4. Martina

    I saw Culture Club, the B52s and Thompson Twins November 2019. Still awesome.

  5. Saraquill

    It’s endearing, seeing people of different races and classes in this “period piece” being happy together.

  6. Orian Hutton

    Love Boy George. Lovely to see a review of a music video.

  7. Andy

    I love the video and the song.

    My favourite part is probably when the ladies use their parasols to force the thief to walk the plank hahaha.

    And I always found the diversity shown in the video nice, it always makes me think it’s like “a dream of history how we’d wish it would have been” all innocent and without the horrible bits.
    I bet they are also cool with same-sex couples in the “Karma Chameleon” version of the 1870s.