In the seventies there is no one overarching fashion trend that defines the era. This was the 'me' decade, were consumers were guided by personal choice rather than designers or journalists. Even Vogue declared that 'There are no rules in the fashion game now'. Many interpreted this lack of a clear sartorial direction as confusion in a time of worldwide economic uncertainty triggered by successive oil crises.
The general silhouette was long and lean with lots of hair, platform shoes and high waisted pants.
Women's Liberation loosened the structures of uncomfortable undergarments and women's wear in general. Women wore pants more often than even before. Pant suits became common business attire for women paired with masculine jackets. Polyester was the material of choice and bright colors were everywhere.
The gay Liberation Movement led to gender bending styles. People felt free of social dictates, no longer ruled by the elite fashion houses.
Because there were so many different trends in the seventies, it would be a very loooong post if I would notice every single one of them. So I've made a selection.
DENIM CASUAL - influencer Farrah Fawcett : checkered shirts, skinny rib vests and a high waisted pair of flares were seventies uniform (and check the hairdo!)
DARK GLAMOUR - Barbara Hulanicki’s London boutique Biba experienced a huge sales boom, selling bell cat covered power suits and smock dresses in saturated colours. This trend was a return to the 30s with a lot of glamour and art deco inspired.
PRAIRIE - romantic silhouettes with a lot of lace and floral-drenched prints of the famous designer Laura Ashley.
DISCO - Saturday Night Fever hit cinemas in 1977 and the world fell head-over-heels in love with disco (check John Travolta in a white jump suite with wider flared pants)
GYPSY - lots of interesting prints and exotic, with long skirts, a peasant blouse and headscarves.
New wave - Punk rock
NEW WAVE - Newcomer Debbie Harry caught on to the denim trend early, just as Blondie took off and the punk era really kicked in. Teamed with lashings of smokey liner and tousled hair, she was the epitome of seventies punk.
PUNK ROCK - Vivienne Westwood launched the punk rock trend. She turned fetishes into fashion under the catchy tagline ‘rubberwear for the office.’ It was innovative, expressive, and the people loved it. It was also as a political statement against the government in England ("Fuck the queen").
You see, all of those trends are very different from each other, and I even didn't mentioned Diane Von Furstenberg, Yves Saint Laurent, David Bowie, Glam Rock and many more! You can check out the credits for more information.
Choose an other time period over here.
Check out Margo's beautiful drawings, and know more about their hair and makeup !
Book: Fashion drawing 2nd Edition - Michele Wesen Bryant
Book: High Fashion, The 20th Century decade by decade - Emmanuelle Dirix