Tacky, But Fun, the '70s Were Still Great
Workin' That '70s Look!
The 1970s Weren't That Bad, They Were Actually Pretty Good
Last month I was flipping through the latest issue of "Teen Vogue" and I ran across a layout, "That '70s Show." Boy did it take me back...I could've been looking at my high school yearbook. "Well if I dressed like that, in bellbottoms, fitted blazers and platforms, I didn't look half bad," I thought. You couldn't have told me that then, though, because all I saw when I looked in the mirror was a skinny, shy, bespectacled bookworm with bad skin and hair. I also wasn't a very good student and I didn't have a speck of style.
Getting My Stuff Together:
Desperate to change my disastrous self-image in 1979 when my parents and grandparents asked me what I wanted for a high school graduation present I showed them an ad I'd cut out of the "T.V. Guide" for "John Robert Powers Modeling School." In just three months they promised they could transform anyone. I didn't believe it until one day, after I'd been in the program for about a month, my mother told me that, "I carried myself like a model."
For me, the '70s don't just live on in my life as nostalgia, it's also a time when I learned a lot about fashion and really started developing my own signature style. While "hippie chic" still dominated the early part of the era with "frayed jeans, tie-dyed tees and peasant tops," I didn't really feel that trend. Then in 1973, in the midst of glam rock, I got into David Bowie and Elton John, and dreamed of filling my closet with satin hot pants, velvet blazers, feather boas and glittery platforms. I finally got the chance when my mother bought me a patchwork denim bellbottom suit in a little shop on Market St. in Inglewood, California. It was the coolest thing I owned so far until she bought me the long green print dress I graduated from "Orville Wright Junior High" in at "Fox HIlls Mall."
Fabulous '70s Fashion:
A-line skirts, polyester shirts, fitted blazers and frilly, feminine blouses are just a few of my favorite looks from that era and ones I still wear. To keep them from looking dated I mix them with contemporary pieces (i.e., kitschy t-shirts, blouses and cardies with the skirts, jeans with the polyester shirts and men's pants with the blazers). Collecting '70s clothing is great for collectors who like other types of vintage clothing too because it's very versatile and it's still affordable. The last time I seached seriously for '70s I found a fitted yellow paisley blazer at "NCL Timeless Treasures Ticktocker thrift store (9441 Culver Blvd., Culver City, CA.) and a leather jacket at "Out of the Closet" thrift store (10749 Pico Blvd., L.A., CA.).
During the '70s, music was a big influence on fashion and in the past 20 years two movies-"Velvet Goldmine" and "The Runaways"-have brought back that magic. Deliciously raunchy, Cherie Curie's autobiography "Neon Angel:A Memoir of a Runaway" personified this ideal. The film, based on her book, featured some iconic '70s looks that showed on catwalks and in mall store windows in 2011. When I saw "The Runaways" last March I fell in love with Joan Jett's skin-tight black leather pants and Curie's jumpsuit! Now they're on my wish list.
Who knows what era the fashion industry will choose to focus on next but as far as I'm concerned the '70s will always be one to learn from.
Top Designers from the '70s:
2) Zandra Rhodes
3) Yves Saint Laurent
Stores That Carry '70s Stuff Today:
1) Meow Vintage ( www.meowvintage.com)
2) Wasteland (www.wasteland.com)