The Inspiration

Clare Waight Keller looked to 80’s New Wave for the Givenchy Fall 2018 collection, citing a pair of films, The Hunger and B Movie: Lust and Sound in West-Berlin, 1979-1989 as her inspiration. The movies focused on the club scene in Berlin at the time just before and after the fall of the Wall, and the tense relationship between this New Wave subculture and the bourgeois.

Man and woman in leather jackets coats walking down Berlin city streets talking in B-Movie: Lust and Sound in West Berlin
B-Movie: Lust and Sound in West Berlin

The Collection

And from this vantage point, Keller went for a gritty, trashy kind of glamour with Givenchy – the second designer fashion house after Anthony Vaccarello with Saint Laurent, with the intentional focus on bad 80’s fashion. And for the most part Keller actually made gritty look good.

Sleazy Faux Furs

She started with her “sleazy” faux furs that were anything but basic. Sumptuous striping and even a little fringe action in there. Plus cruelty free faux makes this total perfection. These were followed by leather jackets that we remember (un)fondly of that era. Power brokers, yuppies, and anyone with money all had to have one. These gave way to a major khaki cape moment over a belted mini trench. Um, yes please.

Leather and Croc-ooooooohhhhhh-dile

Things quickly took a leather turn in a kimono sleeved pencil dress, a finely thin sleeveless top, a blazer cut biker jacket, and a jaw-dropping crocodile effect trench that I can’t stop staring at.

Gimme Some Shoulder

Strong shoulders and animal print were apparent in this 80’s re-run, but there was also a vintage Art Deco vibe going on with the bourgeois glamour delicate lace, head-to-toe sequins, fringe, chain mail scarves, and drop waists.

The Trash Bag Dress

The final looks were the climactic bridge between the high class and the New Wave subculture of artists who squatted in abandoned buildings, creating their own creative collectives. They were like trash bag dresses – one with sweeping tiers of black pleats, a trapeze top with a wide “belt” band hanging at the top, with ruffled pleating rising up toward the neckline. The others, one-shouldered with ruffled necklines and an oil-slicked sheen. I’m certain a lot of women would wear this trash bag.

It’s hard to see over 80’s New Wave here. You have to squint hard. The furs, sure. Animal print…maybe even the sheer lace dress. And ok, the idea of the trash bag dress, but it’s SO elevated (which is a good thing), my mind doesn’t immediately make the connection with any of these looks really.

All About Them Boots, Bout Them Boots….

The best part of the collection? Those boots and bags, girl.


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