I may just be learning to appreciate fashions of the 1970s

(Originally blogged October 29, 2008)

Dress by Halston, c. mid-late 1970s

I admit it, I was a child of the 1970s, or rather a teenaged boy of the 1970s, which means I was old enough to buy my own clothes but not smart enough to always choose wisely (I still have a fear of corduroy and velour). If it were not for my high school annuals I would have been successful in destroying all evidence of my ever wearing beige double knit trousers with a beige turtleneck rib-knit sweater. Yes, I owned puka shells in 1975 and a gold chain in 1978, but at least I had enough sense to never streak, wear platform shoes or perm my hair.

Despite my teenaged experience of the decade, in retrospect I am beginning to appreciate the era and its fashions. We all make fun of that decade but back then rush hour was really only an hour long, television was not any better than today but it was free, and eating out or making a long distance phone call was a special occasion, not something you did in the car, while driving.

Fashion in the 1970s almost seemed to disappear; French couture no longer had any power and most of us lived in jeans and T-shirts. However, this era also produced some of the most wearable clothes of the modern era, from a simple Halston bias cut dress to an Yves St. Laurent ethnographic-inspired evening gown.

About Jonathan

Jonathan Walford is a fashion historian and co-founder of the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge, Ontario. The FHM maintains a collection of nearly 12,000 artifacts dating from the mid 17th century to the present. Jonathan has authored various books and museum catalogues, including The Seductive Shoe, Shoes A-Z, Forties Fashion, 1950s American Fashion, and Sixties Fashion.
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