The era now represents classic chic, as evidenced at Paris fashion week and just a few additions can unlock the potential of your existing wardrobe
There is a logical, mathematical explanation for why the 70s have been pronounced chic by Paris fashion week. The 90s are the new 70s, you see, and the 70s are the new 50s. It goes like this. When the 70s were the recent past, they were cringe-makingly close to home, and therefore easy to poke fun at. Now, the 90s are the relatively recent past and so 90s revivalism has become fashions go-to gag. Chunky trainers, bucket hats, slip dresses, crop tops, hoodies: these are all played for laughs. The 70s, meanwhile, have slipped into rose-tinted memory, the embarrassing parts forgotten along the way. The decade is coming to stand for classic chic, in the way that the 50s previously did before being consigned to ancient history.
This 70s rehabilitation has been quietly happening for a little while. There is a look that radiates outward from the catwalks of Chlo and Isabel Marant into the audience, loyally repped at Paris fashion week by many French Vogue staffers. It centres on wide-legged white jeans or long pleated skirts, loose trench coats and chunky-heel burgundy boots, snake-effect saddle bags and long, shaggy hair. Forget purple loon pants. Forget hippy chic, forget John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. This take on the 70s is part Charlie perfume ad, part Bianca Jagger in an Yves Saint Laurent trouser suit and part Boogie Nights. It is a tight slogan T-shirt, a good pair of aviator shades, a silk scarf, knotted at the throat. There is not a bell bottom or a hand-painted daisy in sight.
The 70s became headline news in Paris this week because of Hedi Slimane at Celine. To recap, everyone was really upset with Slimane last season for swapping out Old Cline (the ceramicist with a private income look) for New Celine (unreconstructed groupie chic). This week, instead of going back to Old Cline, he went to Old Old Celine an ultra-bourgeois late-70s version of what ladylike looks like, with attitude and great wedge boots. And again, to precis the fashion industry looked at the collection and thought: Thats exactly what I want to wear.
The 70s references that matter now cluster at the later end of the decade, edging into the 80s. To get a sense of the wide spread of coordinates of this look, consider that Studio 54 closed only one year before the engagement of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. So the look is one part Manhattan debauchery to one part Sloane Ranger.
We have heard a lot of David Bowie, Chic and Chaka Khan on show soundtracks this week, but Grace Jones stole the whole Paris show when she performed at Tommy Hilfiger on Saturday night. Her Nightclubbing album-cover silhouette is everywhere in the exaggerated shoulders at Saint Laurent and Stella McCartney, Balenciaga and Givenchy. There are jumpsuits at Balenciaga, and safari suit styling at Isabel Marant. There have been paisley and silk scarf prints and Halston-esque one-shoulder looks were supremely elegant at Altuzarra. Mustard and brown ruled at Herms; high-waisted jeans killed it at Tommy. So far, so foxy. If you still think the 70s are naff well, babycakes, you are so last season. JCM
70s on the street
Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us