Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton and Gucci boogie back to the 70s!

Louis Vuitton s/s 2011 ad campaign

Louis Vuitton's s/s 2011 campaign gets high on YSL's Opium era glamour

We can’t help but notice that the 70s are back big time on planet fashion, with Marc Jacobs, Jacobs for Louis Vuitton and Gucci all paying homage in their spring/summer 2011 collections. The intoxicating, high-octane glamour of Yves Saint Laurent’s opulent Opium collection of 1977 appears to be a key inspiration – luscious mandarin-chic jade green and amethyst satins, cheongsams, gold cummerbunds, all sported by models with Chinese lacquer red lips and nails – not to mention the high-gloss disco era aesthetic of Guy Bourdin.

YSL Opium perfume launch party 1978

Yves Saint Laurent's divinely decadent launch party for his Opium fragrance in New York, 1978

But the looks of the decade we love to love – as 70s Style & Design celebrates – were fabulously eclectic. And accordingly this summer’s 70s revival also treats us to folky Kenzo-esque attire (D&G), the pared-down, hard-gloss glamour of Helmut Newton (Lanvin), while last year’s army/utility look is in full force (Jil Sander for Uniqlo). And, we needn’t mention, the high street is utterly in thrall to ankle-skimming skirts, lace-up-the-leg wedge espadrilles, eye-shading wide-brimmed hats…
Here’s our geek peek at the 70s references these collections make…

Marc Jacobs s/s 2011 show

Sashaying through the 70s at Marc Jacobs

Marc Jacobs – from Yves Saint Laurent to Mr Freedom
Jacobs definitely spearheaded the current wave of 70s nostalgia, with a super- sophisticated synthesis of countless 70s looks: vintage YSL (military/safari jackets in tobacco and terracotta; off-the-shoulder dresses in YSL’s fave gauzy voiles); Mr Freedom (crushed-strawberry satin trouser suits); Jodie Foster in Taxi Driver (hotpants, floppy hats, bubble curls); Missoni (ochre/rust/burgundy zigzags on skinny-rib knits); Biba (vampish, sooty eye make-up, plum shades, 20s dropped waists, feather-boa chokers); 70s supermodel Marie Helvin (tropical flowers in hair – reminiscent of David Bailey’s Vogue shoots of her in exotic locations circa 1976). And let’s not forget the crimped hair! The plucked eyebrows! The platform shoes! The shoulder-slung handbags!


Classic YSL from 1972

Mr Freedom designs, 1970

Satin and flash, Mr Freedom style, from Nova magazine, 1970

Mr Freedom satin blazer, 19 magazine, 1971

19 magazine showcases 71's must-have satin blazers, including this one by Tommy Roberts's Mr Freedom label, which came in jade green


Vamping it up, Biba style

Marie Helvin

Marie Helvin shot by David Bailey for Vogue, 1974

Lanvin – Helmut Newton hard gloss
Lanvin’s ad campaigns are a dead-ringer for Helmut Newton’s iconic 70s fashion shoots featuring women enacting stylised catfights, one of which appeared in Nova in 1975. And as a design aside, the Deco-tastic apartment they’re shot in evokes the Deco-filled Paris flats of Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld in the 70s.

Lanvin campaign s/s 2011

Lanvin re-enacts Helmut Newton in YSL's apartment. Well, almost...

At home with Yves Saint Laurent

Chez St Laurent in 1978, with muses Loulou de la Falaise and Betty Catroux

Nova Newton

Toughing it out for Herr Newton in Nova magazine, 1975

As the above pic shows, utility was huge circa 1975, with designers taking inspiration from the cheap but chic clothing of army and navy surplus stores. And it’s still marching on…

Marie-Claire Italia

Marie-Claire Italia works the M*A*S*H look

But you saw it here first…

Nova's MASH look, 1971

Nova's fashion editor Caroline Baker kick-started the khaki craze in 1971

However it’s not all hard edges and glossy surfaces in this revival: D&G’s women’s collection was softer, more girlish: redolent of Kenzo (the outsized florals), Laura Ashley (the flouncy, ankle-skimming dresses) and even Mr Freedom (denim, checks and big fat flares and platforms). And, in contrast to the fierce expressions of Newton’s pugilistic models, the girls in this D&G ad campaign recall the breezy joie de vivre captured in the fashion pics of a very different 70s snapper – Oliviero Toscani.

D&G ad campaign s/s 2001

D&G's smiley happy hippie chicks

Kenzo's prairie look, 1973

Kenzo's take on the prairie look, snapped by Peter Knapp in 1973

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