untitled3With BBC drama Ashes to Ashes back on the small-screen and the catwalks full of shoulder pads, acid-wash jeans and big hair, the Eighties influence is everywhere. But if you fancy channelling the style of this era in a more creative way, why not take some vintage fashion and beauty tips from the title character of Philippe Djian’s 1985 cult novel ‘Betty Blue’. Caroline Tosh gets some literary style inspiration.

Dijan’s steamy tale of amour fou follows the doomed affair of force-of-nature Betty and Zorg, a bored handyman and would-be writer. The pair fall in love and embark on a picaresque journey before the increasingly erratic heroine meets a tragic end. While you might not want to copy her antics – which include burning down her boyfriend’s bungalow and trashing his boss’s car, you could take a few ideas from her wardrobe.

Wild and unpredictable Betty’s look is sexy and daring. She wears vibrant violets and reds, and epitomises Eighties chic with jeans, tank tops, and, fashion staples of the decade, stiletto heels. In style true to the era, she accessorises with “killer earrings, five inches long”, armfuls of clinking bracelets and crimson nail polish. In 1986, Betty was immortalised by voluptuous Gallic beauty Beatrice Dalle, in Jean-Jacques Beineix’s film version of the book , the poster of which adorned the walls  of thousands of student flats.


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