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The Indicator – A 1970’s Slant


Already appearing in some of the current and autumn/winter 2004/05 designer collections, the 70’s, mixed up with a compulsory modern twist, may well be the decade to keep an eye on.

Early Indicators:

Designers: Matthew Williamson’s feminine boho look for autumn 2004 was pure Fleetwood Mac with lace detailed tops and patchwork fur coats. Marc Jacob’s, a big fan of the 70’s offered a ‘hint of’ in his autumn collection. Pussy-bow blouses, scoop-neck cashmere tank tops and culottes were combined with some very ladylike 1950’s pieces. Others inspired by the 70’s include – Michael Kors, Blumarine, Sportmax and Karen Walker.

From the menswear collections look at the latest designs from Gucci, Roberto Cavalli, Alessandro Dell’Acqua and Yves Saint Laurent.

Introducing some 70’s flavour right now is Phoebe Philo for Chloe. Her current collection was inspired by 1970’s urban Manhattan, think Lauren Hutton and Marisa Berenson for that fresh faced, cool New York look.

Shoes: While wedge-heeled sandals are making an impact now, just a few steps behind platforms are being cited as the next big thing. Platforms – Alexander McQueen’s least favourite fashion item ever – is making a stand as the shoe/boot of choice of next season. Poste Mistress has recently collaborated with Seventies shoe designer – Terry de Havilland to create a range of platforms. Unusual stacked heels were also noted on the Fendi and Louis Vuitton catwalks and with Vivienne Westwood’s retrospective underway the platform is definitely looking up.

Dr Scholl sandals are another big prediction for 2004. Featured on the feet of Sarah-Jessica Parker in Sex and the City, Dr Scholl has teamed up with several designer names, including Celine for a chic and colourful makeover.

Streetwear: Already getting noticed at trade shows like Bread & Butter and TBC is a strong 1970’s retro ski look. There’s quilted gilets and jackets from the likes of – Fire & Ice, 55DSL, Ellesse and Adidas, along with Alpine knit jumpers and cardi’s. Nordic patterns such as enlarged snowflakes and reindeer also made regular appearances, while knitted rib zip-up cardi’s look like a staple for the autumn season.

At the recent Topshop – Unique autumn preview the 70’s crept in amongst other retro styles with a range of flat-fronted flared trousers, tank tops, knitted berets and skinny rib tops.

Prints on tee’s and sweats often borrow from retro graphics, there’s already been a wave of prints featuring the Sex Pistol’s – God Save the Queen, next up expect lots of girlie erotica, guns, psychedelic patterns and simple logo’s.

Popular Culture: Featuring plenty of chunky cardigans and casual retro styling is the latest movie homage to 70’s detective duo – Starsky & Hutch. Coming soon, there’s a – Dukes of Hazzard remake on the cards, no doubt including plenty of 70’s denim, dungarees and hotpants all worn with a western twang.

Ossie Clark’s billowy chiffon dresses and tiny bias-cut mini’s have been influencing visitors at the Victoria & Albert Museum for months. While the recently opened Vivienne Westwood retrospective harks back to the very beginning of the 1970’s, working through several decades of Westwood’s illustrious career.

Musically bands like the Scissor Sisters’ and the Darkness contain a liberal dose of vintage 70’s, both musically and in the image department. Meanwhile, Peaches can’t seem to get enough of hotpants.

Fabrics: Earlier this year Moda In, Premiere Vision and Tissu Premier exhibited a broad range of textiles for Spring 2005. Recurring themes included: stripes, natural organic wovens, subtle metallics and appliquéd florals. Leaning towards the 70’s there were: bold floral cutouts, natural earthy linens, retro prints and patterns in dark tones along with lace combined with leather and suede.

Jo Iles

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