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Flares, platforms and hippie-chic prints may be the height of fashion now but these styles were also key trends back in the 1970s. From the flamboyance of the hippie look to the anarchic punk styling, current fashion still pays homage to the 70s. Let’s take a look at the decade and see where influences for today’s fashion come from. 

Fashion trends through the decade

Follow the Hippie Trail

The Hippie Look was popular at the start of the decade, a continuation of the look of the late 1960s. The fashion had a distinct ethnic flavour taking in influences from peasant and folk costumes from South America and Europe. The colours were bright and often included patterns, embroidery and florals. Jewellery of the time included chokers, handmade beads and pieces made from natural elements such as wood, shells, stones and feathers. Headscarves, floppy hats and flowing scarves were worn by both men and women.

Key Looks: Embroidered blouse, bell-bottoms, ponchos, frayed jeans, maxi dresses, Birkenstock sandals.

From Glam Rock to Disco Fever

Although the ‘Hippie Look’ was very popular, many women still continued to dress in a more glamorous style of clothing, inspired by 1940s movie star glamour. Fitted blazers with wide lapels, butterfly collar shirts, matching ‘his and hers’ outfits, hot pants and skin tight t-shirts were the order of the day. The arrival of a brand new music genre made a big mark on the decade – Glam Rock with its androgynous glitter, makeup and platform boots, influences the fashion of the early to mid-70s, giving way to disco and the sheer glamour of Studio 54 by 1977.

Key Looks: Hot pants, platforms, halternecks, palazzo pants, sequins, turbans, feather boas.

Anarchy on the High Street

Anarchy arrived in the late 1970s as a group of young people defined themselves as anti-fashion. The Punk style was closely aligned with the Punk music movement. Malcolm and his partner, Vivienne Westwood, owned a shop on the Kings Road London called ‘Sex’. Vivienne’s designs were sold in the shop and The Sex Pistols became the style icons for the movement, dressed in clothing from the store. Tartan and leather with studs, spiked hair, mohicans in bright colours and outrageous makeup were the order of the day..

Key Looks: Doc Martens, piercings, chains, torn t-shirts, bondage trousers, safety pins and padlocks.

Style Icons

Bianca Jagger, Ali MacGraw, Diane, Keaton, Faye Dunaway, Diana Ross, Cher, David Bowie, Jane Birkin, Marsha Hunt, Marc Bolan, The Osmonds, The Bay City Rolllers, Stevie Nicks, ABBA, Suzi Quatro, Elton John, Farrah Fawcett, Grace Jones, Jerry Hall, John Travolta, Debbie Harry, The Ramones, The New York Dolls, Sid Vicious, Johnny Rotten, Siouxsie Sioux.

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