How the 70s Shaped the Fashion World

I admit it, I am an avid fan of the world of seventies fashion and costumes. I love the ostentatiousness of this era, and its blatant disregard for subtlety or elegance. Which decade can lay claim to flared trousers, concord collars and ‘big’ curly hair? And which decade gave birth to disco music, and disco fashion? Why the 70’s of course!

It’s my argument that the 1970s gave birth to the modern fashion world! Indeed, you only have to look to the catwalks and the world of Haute Couture to realise that the trend towards theatricality in fashion has its roots in the 70s. Look at designers like Vivienne Westwood, and you’ll see an extreme aesthetic born of the 1970s punk era. And there are countless other designers that also take their inspiration from this period.

But just what is it about the fashions of this era that proves so appealing to people? First of all I would say that it’s the sense of boldness and confidence. Flared trousers are a great example of this. Are they practical or sensible? No. Do they look elegant in the traditional sense? No again. But do they make you smile and make an impact? Yes!

Look at TV programmes such as ‘Starsky and Hutch’ and you will witness a range of clothes that will make your eyes pop. The main characters sport thick jumpers with patterned designs. Strangely enough these kinds of jumpers are fashionable once more! These guys also permed their hair and wore big ‘over the top’ sunglasses. Subtle they were not, but man did they look cool!

Another totally cool character from the world of Starsky and Hutch was the totally brilliant ‘Huggy Bear’. As well as bearing one of the best names of any character in television he also helped to form the ‘pimp’ look. This included one piece ‘leopard skin’ suits, canes, wide brimmed hats and of course the obligatory ‘big’ sunglasses. Hip Hop artists in recent years have helped to bring this look back to the forefront of popular culture and fashion.

Of course one of the most extreme fashions from the 1970s was punk. This was born of the punk rocker music movement, and it embodied the sense of anger and disenfranchisement of the youth of that era, particularly in the UK. Bands like The Sex Pistols helped to rock the very foundations of the political and cultural world and also changed the face of fashion. Tight denim, Mohawks and bovver boots were the order of the day, and this stripped down but rebellious aesthetic helped symbolise the energy and anger of these young men and women. And whilst the punk movement isn’t with us now in the strictest sense, it has helped to influence countless bands of the 90s and beyond, such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and the Foo Fighters.

Of course the movement that helped define the 70s the most was Disco. Films such as ‘Saturday Night Fever’ helped to popularise disco music and its fashions. Who can forget the way that John Travolta looked in that white suit and black shirt, and of course, his big hair and gold medallion. Indeed when most people dress in 70s costumes it is this look that they try to emulate most.

I hope this brief journey through the world of the 1970s has helped to convince you just how influential this era was in terms of defining our modern attitude to fashion and style. As far as I’m concerned even now the 1970s rule!

Supermodels That Have Changed The Fashion World

What does it take to be considered a face of the fashion industry? Who are the long-limbed, leggy, glamazons that make the world’s most elite and beautiful couture come alive? They are the world’s most sought after supermodels. They are tall, thin and glamorous. They look good in every type of outfit under the sun. They work with the most renowned fashion designers. They are the faces you see on runways, in magazines and on billboards. Fashion school students study them. The whole world admires them. Here are just a few of these game-changing supermodels and the influence they have left on the world of fashion design.

Cindy Crawford is more of an enterprise than a mere supermodel. In the mid 80’s the wholesome, Midwestern Crawford made waves on the scene with her sexy body and her famous mole. She went on to grace the covers of hundreds of magazines, and she sauntered down many a catwalk. From there, she got endorsements for makeup lines and soft drinks, and appearances in Hollywood films. In 1995, Forbes magazine named Crawford the world’s highest-paid model. Her career has slowed down a bit since getting older, married, and having children, but the nineteen-nineties will always belong to Miss Crawford.

According to most fashion college students, the Brazilian-born Gisele Bundchen might as well be the first lady of modeling. Her body and face are virtually perfect, and not to mention a breath of fresh air for anyone who’s grown tired of the pouting, emaciated model. Gisele’s figure is shapely and proportional and super feminine with wide hips and breasts. Since 1999 she has been a top model, and top choice for photographers and fashion houses. She earns millions of dollars per year between endorsements and photo shoots, and she is one of the world’s highest-paid models in history.

Naomi Campbell is more than just a pretty face. In fact, it’s safe to say that no discussion of supermodels would be complete without the mention of Naomi Campbell. This sultry British import practically breathed life into the term. Campbell broke ground as the first black woman to ever appear on the cover of Time magazine and British and French Vogue. She is also renowned for her fierce runway stomp. Aside from modeling, she had a number one single in Japan with “La, La, La Love Song,” and steamed up the small screen in Michael Jackson’s “In The Closet” video. Additionally, she turned in a strong performance in Spike Lee’s Girl 6. Aside from legal troubles now and then, Miss Campbell is virtually unstoppable.

Campbell, Crawford and Bundchen are certainly legendary supermodels, idolized by aspiring models, fashion school students and fashion lovers everywhere. Who knows when the next fresh face will stun everyone by arriving on the scene? Fashion is a fast-paced industry, and each day is a new day.

Sneakers Rule the Fashion World

From the fifties black high tops to Air Jordan’s to today’s bold and ambitious designs, sneakers have been a part of the fashion world for longer than you might think. Today’s fashion sneakers bear little resemblance to their early predecessors but their popularity remains undiminished.

The first rubber soled shoes, not yet known as sneakers, made their appearance in the 1800’s. By the 1890’s Goodyear, just a rubber shoe company at the time, began making rubber and canvas shoes. The shoes went by a variety of names until they settled on Keds. It was actually Keds, once they became mass produced in 1917 that became known as sneakers. The moniker was bestowed by Henry Nelson McKinney, an advertising agent for N.W. Ayer & Son who noted that the shoes were quiet, making not a sound no matter what surface they came in contact with.

Keds that were among the first sneakers to actually be chosen for fashion reasons. Back in the 1980s and 1990s, Keds were often worn with socks and leg warmers and became part of many cheerleading ensembles. As the popularity of Keds increased, other shoe manufacturers jumped on the band wagon. As far back as the 1960s, Pro Keds used for professional sports were popular with athletes. Today, the vintage fashion movement has made them popular again.

Today, Keds and many other manufacturers focus on individual style. Pairing clothing with fashion sneakers creates a total package for the person who wants to be appreciated for his or her style. Canvas tops, wedges and even personalized shoes can make so much more a fashion statement than the sneakers of years gone by.

Converse, Adidas and Nike all have had their moment in sun as fashion icons in the world of sneakers. As shoe manufacturers began to see the power their products had, they strove to create ever-changing designs, styles and looks that would appeal to broader consumer base. Now there is something available for every individual regardless of their age, tastes and budget constraints.

And sneakers aren’t just for wearing with your jeans anymore. If you think I’m kidding, perhaps you haven’t tuned in to music over the last few years. More than a few songs have been written about sneakers or at least feature them prominently. The popularity of wearing sneakers with everything has such appeal; the idea has even been immortalized in the popular song “La La Land Machine” by Demi Lovato. While she croons about wearing her Converse with her dresses, any sneakers in any color will do just as well.

The point, as sneakerheads know is that fashion doesn’t make the sneaker. Sneakers make the fashion.