Defining Moments Of The Seventies
The '70s is often referred to as the decade that taste forgot, but here at Rokit we couldn't disagree more. In fact, it's one of our favourite eras for retro alternative clothing. From folk and hippie, to punk and disco - it was true cultural mash-up!
After a decade of rebellions, social upheavals and flower power, the spirit of the '60s set the tone for an era of liberation and expression in the '70s. Here we take a look back at some of the defining moments of the decade that bought us bell bottoms, platforms and Ziggy Stardust...
1970: ROCK ON
While the '60s laid the foundations for rock music, the '70s saw it explode. But first, the world said farewell to three of its most popular musicians - Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison - who all bit the dust at the age of 27. Often hailed as rock's golden age, the '70s saw countless sub-genres emerge; from glam and prog, to southern, heavy metal and punk, turning rock music into a multi-billion dollar industry.
The fashions of the decade were strongly linked with these new sounds, and it was easy to identify members of musical tribes by the clothes they were wearing. Folk and psychedelic fans loved a paisley shirt, while punks sported safety pins and Mohawks.
1972: ZIGGY PLAYED GUITAR
The decade had barely kicked off when David Bowie unleashed Ziggy Stardust on the world. Along with Marc Bolan, Iggy Pop and Elton John, Bowie's new alter ego was instrumental in ushering in an era of Glam Rock. Before long, its flamboyant fashions had carved themselves into the fabric of popular culture, with girls and boys adopting a glitter uniform of tight pants, feather boas, star-shaped spectacles!
1974: BURN THE BRAS
The '70s was a pivotal decade for women's rights. Although the contraceptive pill had been around since the early '60s, women didn't have permission to use it unless they were in a relationship. That all changed in 1974 when family planning clinics were allowed to prescribe single women with the pill - a controversial decision at the time. Thanks to The Equal Pay Act and The Sex Discrimination Act, which also came into force in the '70s, working conditions vastly improved for women, to such an extent that by the end of the decade Britain had its first female Prime Minister - Margaret Thatcher.
With increased income, social equality and a place in the work force, women became more liberated, and fashions reflected that - this was the era of trousers, of course!
1975: PUNK TAKEOVER
Perhaps the most defining moment of the decade was the birth of punk. Its seeds were sown in New York in the late '60s by bands such as MC5 and The Stooges, but by the mid '70s punk had exploded on both sides of the Atlantic. With its anti-establishment ideology, this energetic new sound was a reaction against popular music. In 1975, Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood opened their punk clothing boutique SEX in London, which played a defining role in the movement. Many famous musicians worked there at some point, including Chrissie Hynde and Sid Vicious, and punks flocked in to buy Vivienne's radical ripped alternative clothing.
While punk went mainstream in 1977, a completely different sound and atmosphere was emerging in New York: disco. Although underground for most of the decade, by 1977 disco was being popularised by Donna Summer, the Bee Gees and films such as Saturday Night Fever. Like the sound, the look was extravagant and fun - think glitter mini dresses, tight polyester trousers and platforms - and had a lasting influence on fashion!