Catwalk to Class: That 70’s Show

Emma Goebbert and Shay Kiker

Catwalk: The 70s are a time period reminiscent of a certain liberality in fashion, with the emergence of boho, punk, and hippie styles coming together for an original mix never before seen in previous decades. Modern-day designers for this year’s fall 2015 ready-to-wear collections are pulling from this eclectic time period in an effort to create an aesthetically pleasing mash-up of bold patterns and bright colors. We see time and time again the rebirth of certain quintessential trends that were popularized before our time, and the 70s was such a cultural and artistic shock to the fashion world, making it an ideal platform for the molding of the modern 70s style.

With items like high-waisted flared jeans, mini skirts with over-sized knits, maxi coats, midi skirts, fringe and patchwork detailing, as well as a burst of colors not usually seen in fall collections, the 70s are making their debut back on the runways in a big way, each look carrying a certain nonchalance that was the epitome of this time period. Despite being raised as a 90s kid, Olivier Rousteingput forth a collection for Balmain that was straight from the streets of Paris circa the 70s. Designer label Les Copains, known for their fantastic knitwear, also created a 70s vibe that featured oversized knits with flowing skirts.

Additionally, Alice + Olivia, a brand that has come to master the quirky, colorful style that already seems reminiscent of this era, had a bohemian feeling with oversized, floor-grazing coats and mini skirts whose proportional juxtaposition embodied a throwback feel. Miuccia Prada followed suit by presenting a collection for Miu Miu that combined the carefree 70s with a sort of New Wave 80s feel that put together an almost overwhelming mix of patterns and textures. The final fashion powerhouse highlighting the modern-day 70s style was See by Chloe’s fall collection that took a much more neutral route. The turtle-neck knits with short skirts and over-sized jackets were as cozy as they were trendy with a typical Parisian influence shining through. All these designers pulled elements from the 70s into their collections in pursuit of that freedom and haphazard elegance that the time period has embodied.

Class: The trends in street style this fall have also been touched by seventies nuances. Patagonia recently posted a photo of a young adults standing in front of the “Welcome to California” sign. The caption posed the question: “#tbt to last year or the 70s”. While there are obvious differences in the quality and construction of today’s clothing, there are striking similarities between the style of the 70s and the millennials. A very thrifty vibe dominates West coast style and the “hipster” style has taken young people from coast to coast.

Free People recently came out with a line of notable flare jeans, Madewell has played up the oversized knit sweater, and Steve Madden has wedges that rival the original clogs worn in the 70s. Aside from these designers, thrift stores and flea markets are popular places to snag retro denim and floral frocks. The high-waisted cuts and flowy tunics are definitely repeated fashion statements, but there are defining characteristics to the millennials’ take on flower child. Crochet is the new polyester and delicate cream blouses have replaced the multi-colored synthetic staple.

The return to 70s style may be sparked by many things, but the takeover of music festivals is one reason to note. Lollapalooza and Coachella definitely resemble Woodstock and road tripping along California’s historic coast is as popular now as it was then. Hipsters and hippies will always be distantly linked by a long line of trendy clothes. As students return this fall, they should not forget their flare jeans. Raiding mom’s closet is encouraged and suggested!