By  on March 4, 2018

The visceral Eighties. Fashion loves it this season, including Clare Waight Keller, who built her collection after viewing “The Hunger,” and also “B-Movie: Lust & Sound in West Berlin,” a documentary about the music and club scene in Berlin at a watershed moment. “It’s from early Eighties New Wave, before the wall came down and through that period when the wall came down,” Waight Keller said backstage before showing her Givenchy collection. Her idea was “this sort of cross of the cultures between the bourgeois and the dangerous. There is a sort of tension.”

Together, bloody, sexy vampirism and that particular, gritty segment of Berlin culture provide plenty of tension-packed grist. Yet whenever a designer mines such intense material, or, for that matter, commits to virtually any retro inspiration, deft examination becomes essential: How much thematic cribbing is necessary to make the point, and conversely, how much is too much? All the more so when the shtick involved is Eighties, an era so easily lampooned.

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