Once-ma­ligned, the aes­thetic of the ’80s is fi­nally get­ting a much-needed re­vival

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Contents -

Neale Whi­taker fore­casts an ’80s dé­cor re­vival.

One of my sum­mer high­lights was Luca Guadagnino’s beau­ti­ful film Call Me By Your Name. Set in Italy in 1983, the movie cap­tures a ten­der and fleet­ing love af­fair be­tween two young men. It’s a poignant, gen­tle tale, mem­o­rable for fine per­for­mances, ex­quis­ite cin­e­matog­ra­phy… and mag­nif­i­cent in­te­ri­ors. In­stinct tells me that style-wise, Call Me By Your Name will be as in­flu­en­tial as one of its di­rec­tor’s pre­vi­ous movies, I Am Love, famed for its set­ting in a stun­ning Mi­lanese man­sion. I pre­dict an ’80s dé­cor re­vival to match, say, the ter­ra­cotta tidal wave in­spired by Un­der The Tus­can Sun or the Hamp­ton­slook over­drive of Some­thing’s Gotta Give.

Time was when any com­par­i­son with the Dirty Dancing decade was the ul­ti­mate put-down. I re­mem­ber shriv­el­ling like a salted slug when a col­league dis­missed my taste as “so ’80s” – dur­ing the ’90s. And while there are some harry high pants fash­ion mo­ments in Call Me (the look is back on trend, any­way), it might sur­prise to learn that ’80s style wasn’t all shoul­der pads and crimped hair, smoked glass or any of those decade-defin­ing paint ef­fects, like rag rolling and spong­ing.

Guadagnino’s aes­thetic is far re­moved from swiz­zle sticks, polka dots or the Mem­phis Group’s pop art colours. The movie’s in­te­ri­ors are filled with groan­ing book­shelves, mis­matched an­tiques, dusty chan­de­liers, par­quetry and ter­razzo-tiled floors. The coun­trystyle kitchen, re­plete with cop­per pans and a sink deep and wide enough to berth a ship, couldn’t be fur­ther from our cur­rent ob­ses­sion with sleek and in­te­grated, but in the ’80s it was a look we craved. Rus­tic. That’s a word I haven’t used in a long while.

It’s an aes­thetic tinged with nos­tal­gia for Vogue Liv­ing style edi­tor Joseph Gard­ner. “As a child of the ’80s, I grew up in a home filled with an­tiques, laced with a bit of Laura Ash­ley,” he re­calls. Gard­ner says an ’80s vibe has been ev­i­dent for a while but he’s see­ing a shift to a less kitschy, more so­phis­ti­cated mood: “Think pas­tel shades, traver­tine, maybe even a glass brick or two. And dare I say that chrome might even be re­plac­ing brass.”

In­te­rior de­sign’s cur­rent pal­ette al­ready owes a debt to the ’80s. Our favourite beiges, greys and greens – and the ubiq­ui­tous ter­ra­cotta – were all pop­u­lar then. But in the con­text of Call Me By Your Name, “peach” takes on a dif­fer­ent mean­ing. Watch the movie and trust me, you’ll un­der­stand why. Neale Whi­taker is edi­tor-at-large of Vogue Liv­ing.

“Time was when any com­par­i­son with the Dirty Dancing decade was a put-down”

BACK TO THE FU­TURE (clock­wise from top left) This in­te­rior from the ‘80s shows how glass bricks can lighten a room; bold colours are soft­ened with touches of ter­ra­cotta; black gives a so­phis­ti­cated edge to pas­tel in this bath­room by 2LG Stu­dio.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.