Fashion, as we know, goes in cycles with the past routinely revisited for inspiration, and this spring/summer, there’s no escaping the fact that designers have descended on our favourite decade – the dizzyingly diverse 1970s.
Many of the key looks from those years – which correspond to several core themes of our book, 70s Style & Design – loomed large on the catwalks: pop cartoon colours, big buttons and huge spoon-shaped collars at Prada and Miu Miu; romantic hippie-meets-Victoriana get-ups in voiles and broderie anglaise at Chloe and Dior; denim and khaki utility kit at Ralph Lauren and Marc Jacobs; glam rock-inflected, David Bowie-esque ensembles at Saint Laurent; boho deluxe, 70s-hippie-trail dresses at Etro and Pucci – the latter surely inspired by the queen of the floaty gypsy frock Thea Porter, whose work is the subject of a timely exhibition at London’s Fashion and Textiles Museum.
Here’s a compare and contrast of some of 2015’s major trends and their 70s looky likeys…
Yes, 70s fashion rules right now, but while it’s being touted in the media as the latest thing, we’re of the opinion that this is just a spike in a trend that’s been hiding in plain sight for years. Think about all those fashion staples we take for granted – army surplus, wedge-heels, shaggy fur jackets, satchels, Le Style Anglais heritage looks, knee-length boots, platforms, flares, culottes – even the ubiquitous skinny jeans. And the decade is perennially present in the collections of designers such as APC and Isabel Marant and the rock chick wardrobe of Kate Moss.
What’s more, the decade continues to captivate beyond planet fashion: a re-edited version of the 70s-set 1998 movie 54 showed at this year’s Berlin Film Festival; the super-popular Mad Men TV series is now entering that decade (its trailer soundtracked by Diana Ross’s smooch-tastic Love Hangover); Martin Scorsese and Terence Winter are cooking up a 70s drama produced by Mick Jagger, and Baz Luhrmann is working on a series for Netflix based in 70s New York called The Get Down (which traces the evolution of disco, punk and hip-hop).
Perhaps the latter will reignite interest in the second half of the decade, which was conspicuous by its absence on the spring/summer catwalks – although Isabel Marant did produce a skintight asymmetric disco shift that wouldn’t have looked out of place in 1979. Given the groundbreaking nature of punk and new-wave style alone, it’s curious that more designers haven’t mined this part of the decade – but perhaps it will form the next chapter of fashion’s fascination with the 70s.
Meanwhile the early 70s influence is going nowhere, judging by the autumn/winter collections of Chloe, Gucci, Burberry – even Topman, which nodded to the ultra-pop style of Mr Freedom and those tartan teenyboppers the Bay City Rollers. Here’s hoping the Sex Pistols will play muse next…
Never can say goodbye: the 70s are sticking around for A/W 2015