Sid Viscious and Nancy Spungen, 70s punk icons

The 1970s was a diverse decade in terms of fashion and is very on trend for Spring/Summer 2011. Designers and high street stores are producing floaty fabrics and disco inspired glamour, which fashion magazines have championed.

The 70s was when vintage clothing became popular, and young people looked to earlier decades for inspiration and second hand clothes. There was an urge for originality and standing apart from the crowd. New York’s Studio 54 became the most famous discotheque in the world, and people across the world looked to its stylish clientele for inspiration.

This season we can see the 70s influence in maxi skirts and dresses, platforms and jumpsuits. Women were covered up for the first time in decades, but in a smooth feminine way that retained their sex appeal.

The early 70s saw the continuation of the 60s hippie as it transformed into more of a folk feel. Traditional crafts such as knitting, tapestry, weaving and dyeing found their way to the height of fashion. Clothes became more feminine and soft, working with the fluidity of movement.

With the rise of feminism, it became possible for a woman to be sexy, attractive and successful at the same time. Diane Von Furstenburg’s wrap dress became a staple item for these women, because it looked professional and feminine at the same time.

Disco and glam rock inspiration is clear in this summer’s collections. It invaded the music scene back in the 70s and influenced fashion hugely. Saturday Night Fever took disco out of the underground and into the mainstream and Travolta’s white flared tuxedo became iconic.

Bold patterns, sequins and glitter were worn by men and women influenced by the likes of David Bowie, Alice Cooper and T-Rex, with their flamboyant on stage outfits, huge hair and artistic make-up.

Then in 1977, the age of punk was born, invented by Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood. Its mission was to shock. Their shop SEX, began selling extreme bondage gear before becoming synomonous with the punk movement and its association with The Sex Pistols.  The look combined the traditional components of bondage gear, including rubber, leather, studs, straps and buckles with muslin and cotton t-shirts, narrow trousers and ripped vests pinned back together with safety pins.

It was this desire for individuality and shock that inspired the fashions of the 80s…

Suits: Most shapes, boyish, hourglass, pear

Good for: Jumpsuits, maxi dresses, thick knits, original punk gear

Invest in: Jumpsuits and maxi dresses

Who wears it well: Sienna Miller, Nicole Ritchie, Rachel Zoe, Jennifer Lopez

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