My favorite genre of music growing up as a teenager in the late 1970's and early 1980's was the stylistic New Romantic movement beginning primarily in the UK. Typical musical proponents of the New Romantic movement were Spandau Ballet, Visage, Japan, Ultravox, Landscape, Adam & The Ants, Culture Club, and Duran Duran - especially during the period from mid-1979 to mid-1983. Some other bands include (to some extent) Simple Minds, A Flock Of Seagulls, Kajagoogoo, Classix Nouveaux, Naked Eyes, and ABC.
The New Romantic movement was similar to that of the glam rock movement in the UK during the early 1970's, in that (male) New Romantics often dressed in caricaturally counter-sexual or androgynous clothing and wore cosmetics in the New Wave extension of (or reply to) punk fashion, with frilly "fop" shirts from the English Romantic period. David Bowie was an obvious influence and interestingly his 1980 single "Fashion" was influenced by and was simultaneously considered to be something of an anthem for the New Romantics, as were Brian Eno and Roxy Music.
The genre's genesis took place largely through clubs such as Billy's in London, which ran David Bowie and Roxy Music nights in the aftermath of punk. This evolved into the Blitz Club and later Hell, which were hosted by Steve Strange (the doorman) and Rusty Egan (the DJ) and in many ways defined the sound of the movement. Boy George was the cloakroom attendant who was fired by Steve Strange for stealing money.
Of the many differences from glam, however, was that instead of guitar rock, the music was largely synthesizer based electronic music. Now from my understanding as I recall, the Danceteria in NYC was an early champion for spotting the movement, and the Underground in NY had Spandau Ballet for a performance in 1981. As I recall, this was the beginning of the movement in America.
By 1983, California saw a slight shortening and "New Ro" (newro) became a trend among teens looking for synthetic medium between the surf and ska inspired "Mod", and the rougher guitar-based punk scene with the Dead Kennedys, the Adolescents, etc.
As with many trends in fashion and music, New Romantic was revived in England in the mid-1990's as a movement called Romo (romantic modern) in clubs such as Club Skinny. Orlando is generally seen to have been the most successful Romo group, and Electroclash, Fischerspooner and others were briefly popular. Personally, I am always looking for new ways and places to help keep the spirit of the music alive!