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Trend Review – ’70s Sizzle


Maxi Skirts

Loose and flowing maxi skirts were one of the hottest trends of the 1970s. They were worn with simple leather sandals, chunky clogs or platform shoes. Anna Sui has tapped into this look with ethnic-print maxis worn with handmade crochet sweaters. Marc Jacobs sent models down the runway in maxi cotton skirts and dresses in bright solid colors and geometric prints that recall 1970s graphic art. Jacobs paired maxi skirts with loose peasant blouses, another important item from the ’70s that has been reinvented for 2011. Elastic necklines allow the peasant blouse to be worn either on or off the shoulder, and sleeves may be long, short or three-quarter length.

Roberto Cavalli added an exotic touch to his maxi designs by using layers of snakeskin-printed chiffon, incorporating the handmade appeal of ’70s fashion with beaded appliqué and exquisite knotted macramé mesh. Alberta Ferretti also used chiffon for maxi styles, but emphasized the feminine with sheer floral prints, ribbon trim, crochet inserts and ruffles.

Bell-Bottom Pants

Skinny pants are still in fashion, but the trendiest pants for 2011 are bell-bottoms. These new bell-bottoms are not to be confused with baggy or boyfriend jeans. They are high-waisted, fitted through the hips and upper thighs, and flared below the knee. On the runway, Badgley Mischka channeled the ’70s with denim bell-bottoms worn with macramé belts that emphasized the high waist. Derek Lam’s spring and summer collection included soft denim flares worn with a simple white shirt and matching jacket. For his ADAM label, designer Adam Lippes created flares in twill and denim, emphasizing the high waist with cropped camisole tops and tucked-in tanks.

Unlike skinny jeans, flared jeans are flattering on most body types. When worn long with platform shoes, they can extend the length of the leg. Jeans manufacturers including Anthropologie, J Brand, Siwy and Citizens of Humanity have recognized the appeal of the style, and many stores are now stocked with flared and bell-bottom jeans. On the runway, Rebecca Taylor came closest to duplicating the most popular jeans of the 1970s with flared denim pants that had a well-worn, lived-in look.

Jumpsuits and Rompers

In second half of the 1970s, the bohemian style was replaced by more sophisticated urban fashions. Studio 54 became iconic, representing a disco scene that could be found in major cities around the world. The jumpsuit and its short sister, the romper, were two of the most popular and versatile looks for both the disco and the city street. Depending on the fabric used and the neckline, a jumpsuit could be sexy, playful or practical.

As part of this season’s salute to the ’70s, many of the world’s top designers featured jumpsuits and rompers in their collections. The leg silhouettes include flared, full, cropped and harem. Some of the most original jumpsuit designs for this season were shown by Marc Jacobs, who paid homage to Jodie Foster in 1976’s Taxi Driver with satin jumpsuits in bright shades of yellow, orange and salmon. Jacobs also created a soft, cropped-leg jumpsuit in a knit fabric that can be dressed up or down for warm-weather style. Some of the season’s best rompers are from Diane von Furstenberg, who used bold graphics to create short, feminine jumpsuits that can go from beach to city with ease.


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