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The Rebellious Revolution of 1970s Trends

by Paige McKirahan 23 Sep 2018 0 Comments

The Rebellious Revolution of 1970s Trends by Paige McKirahan

Building off of the revolution that began in the late’ 60s, the 1970s transformed the fashion industry in a way that had never been seen before. The diversity in style and allowance for self-expression opened the door for a decade that was not to be confined by one single trend, rather a mix of them ranging from hippie to punk. Pop Art and psychedelic themes continued to prevail, with touches of Art Nouveau and Edwardian flair that created a sense of stylish nostalgia. People felt a new sense of freedom after the Civil Rights, women’s liberation, and gay liberation movements as they lead to social dictates being broken and elite fashion house’s influence to falter.

The antiwar movement and arrival of two totally new music genres pushed boundaries, creating a division in style and entirely new aesthetics. Some may credit this decade for birthing androgyny as men and women truly began sporting similar styles in everything from pants to makeup. Cross dressing truly saw a new appeal with the now accepted sexual awakening, finding inspiration within the Rocky Horror Picture Show’s charming look at androgynous glamour. The seventies also birthed the disco era where pop groups like Abba captured the attention and affection of youthful audiences. Saturday Night Fever was an iconic display of this period’s trends and when paired with David Bowie’s outrageous style, glam rock became its own fashion genre.

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Rocky Horror Picture Show screengrab

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The Disco movement was met with anarchy when the punk movement arrived; a group of young people who defined themselves as anti-fashion were committed to cutting up and destroyed old clothing to be repurposed. Doc Martens, an influx of piercings, chains, and colorful hair typically accessorized this look that was completely polarized from the disco aesthetic. Tarten, checkers, leather, studs, and deep hues defined this style and though they wanted to be anti-fashion, they created a mainstream trend of their own. This punk approach was directly correlated with rocker music styles becoming grungier and taboo. The Sex Pistols shot to fame and their manager, Malcolm Maclaren, married iconic designer Vivienne Westwood and created a shop that clothed the band as well as the public in popular punk inspired fashions.


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Designer Vivienne Westwood punk style

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The coveted miniskirt was still in style, but it wasn’t as essential to this decade in the same way it was in the ‘60s. As women began dressing more freely, they had more power to choose and mix silhouettes on a daily basis without backlash. Mini, maxi, and midi skirts, hot pants, and high-waisted bell bottomed jeans were all worn without restriction. A huge source of inspiration for this decade’s styles is New York City’s Studio 54 with long floating fabrics and batwing sleeves, starkly contrasting the tight fitting hotpants. New synthetic materials like rayon, polyester, jersey, and blends allowed for knock offs of high end designs to appear in departments stores, giving the everyday woman a chance to inexpensively up her style. Denim truly developed during the ‘70s and Levis jeans with extremely tight waists became a hit with both men and women.  Body suits were en vogue as layered styles prevailed; the pieces could be leotard style or full lengths cat suits and were staples in the disco scene where ease of movement was key. Dian von Furstenberg’s 1971 wrap dress was a cult favorite as a versatile piece that was appropriate for all body types and occasions. Yves Saint Laurent pioneered popular peasant motifs with skirts gathered into tiers and dropped should lines that pair perfectly with leotards.


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Designer Yves Saint Laurent in 1974

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Jewelry and accessories in this period we all about making a statement. Layering thin necklaces was all the rage and pendants were large and attention grabbing. More natural materials came into circulation, particularly wood, stone, shell, and bone that complimented ethnic and bohemian style. Pieces adorned with fur and pearls with popular and worked well with the abundance of styles and interest in texture. Cocktail rings and dangling earrings were still popular from the previous decade, thriving with the rise of disco glam. Elsa Peretti dominated the jewelry industry, creating iconic designs like the Bone Cuff and Open Heart Necklace for Tiffany & Co. in the mid-seventies. These two styles remain popular, along with the Cartier Love Bracelet that can be seen on every starlet’s wrist from 1970 to 2018. The Bulgari Monete necklace was loved by Susan Sarandon and Jane Fonda; the collection featured Grecian and Roman motifs that were reminiscent of the designers home country and held real coins from those locations.


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Bulgari Monete Necklace

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Icons of this decade are not hard to identify as flamboyant personalities shone through brightly in their personal style and appearance. Debbie Harry was a true punk icon; the lead singer of the band Blondie had two-toned bleached hair and a rebellious aesthetic that screamed antiestablishment. Bianca Jagger, the first wife of musician Mick Jagger, was a socialite and lover of all things seventies glam. She was commonly seen in long hooded dresses and jumpsuits with her close friends Andy Warhol and supermodel Lauren Hutton, both of which are ‘70s icons that roamed the grounds of Studio 54.

Though it seems that the ‘80s and ‘90s are going through a major modern revival, don’t think that the 1970s are far behind. In fact, many of the trends birthed in this decade have remained in style since their conception; punk chic has never gone out of circulation and denim still is a closet staple. Bell bottoms and high-waisted styles paired with flatforms are favorites of influencers and look great paired with the timeless Cartier Love Bracelet. Whether you’re feeling punky or funky, we have something in our eclectic collection that will revolutionize your style!

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