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Publié le 13 July 2022

The History of Fashion: the 70s

The 1970s were marked by an important politicisation of public life, especially among the younger generation. International problems such as the cold war and the arms race of the world powers as well as the question of ecology constantly provoke new crises, after the events of May 68. The structure of society became a central theme in the 1970s: people tried to find various alternatives to conventional lifestyles - drugs, "free love" and communities played an important role, and the feminist movement also provided decisive impulses. It is during this decade that fashion asserts itself as a democratic means of expression. The hippie movement that will mark a large part of fashion until the 1980s, with its environmentally friendly clothing. Feminism sees in fashion a patriarchal element, so that the women involved give preference to the anti-fashion, which is translated differently depending on the country.  

A 100% natural and handmade fashion

fashion year 70 womanThe return to nature - this is the magic formula that, around the time of the first oil crisis (1973), pushed young women - and even men - to grab a knitting needle and a hook: everything that can be worn, from the vest to the dress falling to the ground with coordinated scarf, through the hat and the huge shawl, is knitted or crocheted. The decorative objects are also made of crochet, such as blankets, pillows, curtains and lampshades. Patchwork is also a must: it produces a colorful, simple and improvised, casual and country feel, similar to that of crocheted items. It is inspired by the pioneer days in the United States, when settlers' wives magically made real works of art from rare fabrics and scraps of cloth in their possession. In the 1970s, patchwork was born out of necessity and became so fashionable all over the world that people no longer bothered to sew the countless small squares of fabric; instead, they bought fabrics printed with patchwork patterns.  

Ethnic nostalgia becomes fashionable

The 1970s are also the birth of a more nostalgic style: the bodice heritage of grandmothers andlong country skirts, gypsy skirts, Indian scarves, Bedouin dresses and Afghan jackets. We like everything that evokes the fashion of the nineteenth and early twentieth century, as well as allusions to rural traditions of Europe and the rest of the world. A colorful mix of styles is born, not taking any of them exactly, but borrowing elements from each of them.

Dresses and skirts of the '70s

  Mini skirt 1970 In the seventies, skirt and blouse became the standard outfit, worn at any time and very practical to suit all occasions. At first, blouses are usually simple blouses ornarrow polo shirts , but over time more romantic models appear. Skirts are shorter than ever; often they barely cover the buttocks! Then begins a reverse movement: the first mid-length skirts - length "midi" arrive on the market. At first, the midi skirt does not impose itself, the women took taste in the short skirts and find that they make more "young" than the half-long skirts, judged more stilted. Coats that fall to the ground are more acceptable, the contrast between a miniskirt and a maxi coat is very appreciated. By 1975, very short skirts were no longer in fashion, knee-length bell skirts or pleated skirts had become a fashion standard; compared to the previous skirts, they look quite suitable.   The dresses know an evolution similar to that of the skirts. Teenage girls like them to fall to the ground, women wear them knee length. Belted blouse dresses, which are part of the 1970s fashion basics, are particularly popular. In the middle of the decade, they are increasingly supplanted by jersey dresses. It is a new fabric that appears, it is soft, never shrinks, is easy to maintain and gives dresses with a supple fall, slightly gathered, considered practical and stylish.    

The appearance of T-shirts in fashion

Blouses and polo shirts are common tops, they will soon be complemented by t-shirts and romantic blouses inherited from grandmothers. The blouses are buttoned up to the top, usually with a yoke sometimes decorated with ruching and an officer's collar cut in the same fabric as the bodice or in lace. The sleeves are often gathered, sometimes, real sleeves gigot, long or half-long, ending with a wide cuff. With a suit, women wear simpler, more classic blouses.  

Fashion 1970The elephant's feet

In the 1970's, pantsuits definitely became socially acceptable. Those worn during the day are made of velvet, corduroy or not, tweed or knit. The pants sticking to the hips, strongly flared at the bottom, give women as well as men a slender silhouette, even gangly; later, they will become for many the archetype of the seventies fashion. Towards the end of the decade, these "legs of eph'" are supplanted by narrower legs, but compensated at the top by comfortable clips, it is the line of the 1980s that announces itself.   The fashion of the 1970s is a real turning point for women, who assume with mini-skirts and who dare to wear pants, until then reserved for men.  

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