I am obsessed with the 80’s. I was not alive during the 80’s, but I should’ve been.
Synth heavy pop, John Hughes films, and the ushering in of the grunge punk style; these are a few of my favorite things.
Anyone who’s at all aware of 80’s pop culture has heard of the Brat Pack, and if you haven’t, you’re sorely missing out. The Brat Pack was the nickname given to a group of young actors who dominated the screen back in the day, primarily seen in the coming of age films the 80’s are known for. Most specifically, the Brat Pack included the group of actors who starred in The Breakfast Club and St. Elmo’s Fire, but essentially that term is an umbrella for that group of artists and creative types who were just constantly teaming up with each other and collaborating to produce all these iconic works of the 80’s.
Now, the Brat Pack is a thing of the past, and the kids who grew up obsessing over those actors are the ones running the show. Years from now, who will we look back on as the iconic artists of our generation? Who will we look back on and see as this group of artists that made up a team to promote each other and push each other?
Meet the Brat Pack 2.0.
Sure, this group may seem a little more obscure than the original pack, but in a world of flash in the pan acts, this group has substance and as a result the type of staying power that means 20 or 30 years down the road, people will still be obsessed with them. They’re the type of artists who make an impact, leave a mark, and push the current boundaries in order to shape our generation into something new. Plus, they’re inherently brat pack in that they are all good friends who are constantly collaborating with one another to make each other better.
Where do I even begin?
Duh, would I write anything discussing parallels from current times to the 80’s without immediately mentioning Jack Antonoff? Short answer: no.
Seriously though, Jack is all about the 80’s and that whole coming of age vibe. He debuted his solo project, under the band name Bleachers, and subsequently his first single was named one of the top songs of 2014 by Rolling Stone. What truly makes Jack seem like a key player in a group that will define our time isn’t just his creative genius, but equally that he’s constantly collaborating with his pals. .
Like his lovely long time girlfriend, Lena Dunham. Lena is amazingly talented, and doing plenty to shape our generation, all on her own. She’s most known for the HBO series Girls, for which she boasts the title of not only creator, but also producer, writer, director, and actor. Not so surprisingly, the show is about four twentysomething girls growing up and figuring life out. She’s a huge advocate of women’s rights and recently published a book of essays as well. Still, when Jack needed a music video for Bleachers first single, I Wanna Get Better, who else was gonna be the one to direct it?
His girlfriend isn’t the only woman in Jack’s life that’s part of his inner circle. Obviously his sister Rachel Antonoff is a part of his squad too. Rachel is a fashion designer, which makes this brat pack a lot more all encompassing than the exclusively actors group of the 80’s. She designed a special line of merchandise for Bleachers, and has mentioned that she often seeks Jack’s opinion on her designs. Most recently, Rachel revealed her Fall 2015 line at New York Fashion Week earlier this month, and the line proved incredibly memorable. With a science fair themed set up Rachel combined elements of biology and botany to her signature girlish style. Most notable were a sweater with a uterus printed on it and a t-shirt sporting the phrase “Seymour Pussy.” This is what I mean when I say this group is pushing the envelope. This group does things no one else is willing to try, and it is why they’ll be talked about for decades to come.
One of the coolest things about Rachel is that in the past she’s used friends as models for each of her lines. Who’s on that list of friends turned models? Sarah Ramos and Mae Whitman who worked together on the NBC show Parenthood, as well as Lena’s younger sister, Grace Dunham.
As of late, Sarah, Mae, and Rachel have been all over each other’s Instagram accounts with pictures promoting each other’s work and just hanging out. Of course Mae also brings Miles Heizer to the mix. The two live together, worked together on Parenthood, and are all around best friends. In addition to acting, Miles’ is a musician who’s had a song featured on Parenthood, thus proving the versatility and creativity of this new group.
Tavi Gevinson seems to belong within the ranks of this unique, new brat pack too. She and Sarah went to Taylor Swift’s birthday party together, and all of the crew seems to rep her online magazine Rookie, and she had a guest role on Parenthood too. See how tied together this group is?
On the outskirts of the group there are countless others. Of course Taylor Swift makes appearances from time to time, but I’m not counting her as part of the pack because she’s friends with literally everyone; then again, maybe she’s ultimately the leader of the crew. As the group continues to develop and put forth more creative content, I’d have my eye on the Haim sisters, Este, Danielle, and Alana, who performed with and impressed Jack at a concert in Norfolk, VA a few months ago, and have since been seen together.
Additionally, I’d watch how the other two members of fun. coexist with the new brat pack. Singer Nate Ruess is Rachel’s ex boyfriend, so does that mean he’s out of the circle? Or does it just mean the brat pack gets big enough to accommodate him, his new designer girl friend, Charlotte Ronson, and her famous siblings, too? Third member, Andrew Dost seems to have a better chance of finding himself in the new brat pack’s circle. Although he’s currently scoring films in LA, and the majority of the crew resides in NYC, Andrew has acted in one of Rachel’s videos promoting her brand alongside Jenny Slate, who I’ll also just go ahead and add to the group, Mae and more, and he recently tweeted about Mae’s latest film, The Duff.
Overall the group is broad and ever changing. With no one project to define them by, like the original brat pack, it’s difficult to cover everyone, and of course this sense of camaraderie isn’t unique to this group, but there just seems to be such an enormous level of talent within the ranks of this group that make them without a doubt the brat pack of our time.
Let me know what you think. Are these guys the new Brat Pack? Are you a fan of this cool crew? Does anyone need to be added to the ranks? Is there another group of celebrities who you think are a better squad? Do you think Nate and the Ronsons can fit into this elite group? Tell me all your thoughts in the comments below.
Photo Credits: all Instagram