In this decade, fashion profiled itself as a democratic medium where everybody could express their own opinion. The political change in the 70’s and the global problems, resulted in allot of attempts to find a new way of living.
In the beginning of the 70’s the skirts were shorter than ever (mini). Around 1975 they lost popularity and more women chose for longer knee-high clock or pleated skirts (midi). Even skirts and dress to the floor (maxi) became popular in the seventies fashion scene.
Together with Disco, the miniskirt was replaced by hot pants, which revealed as much leg as its skirt counterpart while providing the comfort to dance and roller-skate. Found in velvet, denim and metallic were often paired with square-heeled boots or platform clogs to further elongate the legs. Bell-bottoms and flares defined urban funk and disco wear. From denim to jumpsuits, the fit was as tight as possible at the hips down to a full swing around the ankles.
The hippie movement was a big part of fashion with its ecological consciousness and unconventional clothing. This, together with the oil-crisis, resulted in a lot of handmade clothing. Dresses, hats, sweaters and even pillows and curtains were knitted and hooked by women themselves. Also patchwork, once born out of necessity in the early times of the pioneers, found it’s way back into fashion. Nostalgy in the 70’s fashion resulted in a big eclectic mix: blouses from ‘grandmothers time, long skirts, gipsy dresses, indian shawls, and afghan lammycoats.
Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein probably made the greatest impact with their contribution to denim, introducing one of the fashion world’s most profitable and lasting endeavors: designer jeans. Denim covered everything from purses to pillows and was worn by everyone from cowboys to college girls. Casual comfort reached new height with the popularity of corduroy, which transformed men’s fashion.
People like David Bowie introduced a more androgynous style with his gender-neutral alter ego Ziggy Stardust, complete with exaggerated makeup and glittering bodysuits. This created a stage spectacle that prepped the mainstream for an increasingly open gay movement.
At the same time, punk fashion evolved in Great-Britain, with the Sex Pistols destroying any established idea of fashion and conformity by purposefully ripping their clothing and reattaching it with safety pins, spiking their hair, wearing dark denim and leather clothes with symbols of anarchy. Millions of young people followed.