Thursday, December 2, 2010

Fashion Decade: 1970s

Okay, I'm going to do it. I'm going to find some good things to say about vintage 1970s fashions. Because in my opinion, there is something salvageable from every fashion decade.

Not everything was horrible in the 1970's. Take away the gold, rust and avocado colors; the huge bell bottoms, polyester jumpsuits, Afros, sideburns, mega platform shoes, hideous prints, thigh - high go-go boots, and frumpy hippie styles and you have a few decent things to consider.

For one thing, there was Gunne Sax. Gunne Sax was founded in the late 60's, but really took off in the 70's. The older frocks have a "black label" and the Black Labels are hard to find. Most of the Black Labels have very elegant Renaissance styling - with high collars; laced bodices to resemble corsets; and materials like velvet and brocade.


Later in the 70s, the dresses took on a more "prairie revival", and turn of the century Victorian look; with gauzy fabrics, calico, pinafores and ruffles on the "prairie" frocks, and Leg 'O Mutton sleeves and high collars on the more Victorian styles.



In all my years of collecting, I have only ever found one essentially "true" Gunne Sax. I have two for sale in my etsy shop right now, but they're not the 70s versions; they're early 1980s styles that I will cover in another post at another time.

Suffice it to say, "Gunnes" are hard to come by in thrift shops and yard sales; but abundant on line. Most of them are in teeny tiny sizes.

Other nice things in the 1970s dresses department were sundresses, certain maxi-dress styles, some adorable mini dresses, and other romantically - inspired feminine things. (I can't show a zillion photos here, unfortunately.)Here is an example of a not-overly tacky 1970s cocktail dress in my Etsy Shop.

Some other neat things that are from the 70s, or 70s inspired include flare jeans (not as popular as skinny jeans are, but still)graphic tee shirts; headbands like the ones Taylor Swift frequently wears -


And Star Wars.

Okay, so Star Wars has nothing to do with vintage fashion - unless you count Princess Liea's groovy white dresses and outfits; especially my personal fave - the one she wore at the end of the first movie -



The movie came out in 1977; I was born in 1981; and my brothers indoctrinated me with Star Wars from a very young age. Princess Liea was always my hero; and still is.
When I got older people started telling me how much I looked like Princess Liea - I've even heard this from strangers.

How did I get off into Star Wars geekery?! (YES. I am a proud Star Wars geek.)

So.... I guess my point is; don't be tempted to throw an entire decade of fashion into the garbage just because a lot of horrible, unflattering, downright tacky stuff was created and worn at that time. There is always something good to be plucked from the tackiest of decades.

So now I have to go digging and see what I can find from the 80's to support this notion. Hee, hee........

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