How To Get Into Fashion's Big Seventies Revival

From Marc Jacobs to Prada, everyone's favourite flared era is making a comeback

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If you were to scroll through the last ten years of runway photo galleries on the Internet you'd see every season, without fail: a baby doll dress. Always a flare. Often a flamboyant shearling-trimmed coat. And on occasion, some fringing.

The Seventies ranks right up there with the Forties and Eighties as one of fashion's most referenced decades.

And there's a reason for its persistent popularity. The fashion during the Seventies was everything. This was the era of David Bowie, Diana Ross, and Elton John. And the style of the day was unapologetically effeminate. Decadently glamorous. Deliciously flamboyant. Brazenly political. And boldly sexed up. It was, to borrow a phrase from the era: out of sight.

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This year, the decade defined by strange new dance crazes, political unrest, an economic crisis and excellent television watching (sound familiar?), got more air time than usual on the runways.

But this time around, it was the tell-tale daywear elements that took centre stage. The butterfly collars (Chloé), the wallpaper prints (Miu Miu), the A-line shapes (Mulberry) and the loud and proud outerwear (Marc Jacobs, Prada, Coach, Diane von Furstenberg, the list goes on and on) that designers explored the most.

Mulberry AW17
Chioma Nnadi

All throughout the entire aw17 season models walked the catwalks dressed like crochet knit and corduroy-clad extras from the very popular, very Seventies Netflix series, The Get Down.

And like the show, Marc explored the decade's latter years through the origins of hip hop as disco music underwent an identity crisis. Meanwhile at Prada, Miuccia channelled the period's spirit of political resistance through a mash-up of vintage textures, colours and global references — over at Miu Miu they used the era's fun sense of flamboyance to redefine the idea of glamour.

At Mulberry, Johnny Coca had a distinctly, British Thatcher-era take on the trend, with clothes that mixed desirability with prim, countryside charm by way of feminine blouses and outsized, tent dresses.

Miu Miu AW17
Susie Bubble
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All of this flamboyance might feel like a shock to the senses after seasons of streetwear-influenced hyper-realism. A practical puffer coat one minute, a shaggy, pimptastic coat the next. The upside of all of this is that these clothes are incredibly fun to wear. The downside: they can also make you feel like you're in fancy dress.

The most painless way to experiment with the trend right now is to explore the decade's unmistakable colour palette — its amazing assortments of brown, tan, mustard, orange and rust — rather than the larger than life shapes.

Start with the pre-fall collections that are in stores now (Ellery and Joseph have great offerings) and take your styling inspiration from the aw17 collections.

Marc Jacobs AW17

Try a tonal approach by layering varying shades of caramel or claret as at Marc Jacobs, for example. Or you could mix in unexpected jewel tones for a bit of contrast as with the burnt toffee-and-amethyst and tobacco-and-peridot pairings at Mulberry.

It's about summoning the feeling of the trend without going too literal. This will be the difference between looking chic, and like you've dressed up for a retro themed hen do.

Best of all, the Seventies will inevitably always come back in style again. Wear it now, and wear it again much later.

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