"Is it that hard to make us look cool?"
Words by Olivia Girling
Unless you've been living in a cave for the past 20 years, you will have seen the amazing 70s themed Almost Famous (2000), but if not, let's give you a quick synopsis; this semi-biographical film follows teen writer William Miller while he tours the world with rock group Stillwater during the 1970s in an attempt to make a name for himself in the journalism industry. Sex, drugs and drama ensue!
The film became an instant hit among 70s enthusiasts, mainly thanks to its incredible wardrobe. Designer Betsy Heimann (other credits include Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction) transported viewers back to the decade with flared jeans, suede jackets, and aviators for days. She designed every single clothing item in the film except the jeans which she thrifted all the way from Seattle and San Fran!
Come with us as we go back in time to the fashion of the Almost Famous. From Penny Lane to Russell Hammond, what's your 70s style? Embrace those flares, work those prints and block those colours!
Sweet, innocent William is the teen writer and protagonist of the film who gets swept away with the band Stillwater as they begin to tour the world and grow in popularity. Thinking he is much older than his 15 years, Rolling Stone editor Ben Fong-Torres hires William and instructs him to write a piece on the band, following them from city to city.
Initially driven by his desire to write rather than the music, William's relaxed and casual way of dressing regularly consisted of ringer tees and hoodies, but as he spent more and more time around the band and their groupies (although they wouldn't let you call them that), he begins to adopt the typical 70s style of a patterned shirt with an open collar, teamed with a brown corduroy jacket. Super easy to recreate and super easy to pull off, grab some jeans and brogues and you'll be good to go.
Penny Lane is the leader of the Band-Aids, the team of groupies/promoters that have a really close relationship with the members of Stillwater and claim to "hold them together" - hence the name Band-Aids. She takes William under her suede jacketed wing whilst they're on the road, helping each other along the way, be it with William's writing or Penny's feelings for Stillwater lead guitarist, Russell.
Often clad in her signature fur-lined suede coat (and sometimes not a lot else), Penny's style mixes floral gypsy tops and tan miniskirts with oversized checked shirts which she may have acquired after one of her encounters with Russell. So, curl that hair, grab that longline coat and throw on some tinted shades. You'll be head-to-toe vintage Penny, maybe don't adopt the lifestyle as well, though!
Russell is the loud-mouthed lead guitarist of rock band Stillwater, who is constantly finding excuses to avoid being interviewed by The Enemy (William). As the film progresses, Russell's personal issues with other band members become apparent, alongside his feelings towards Penny while he still has a girlfriend back home. This makes it even more difficult for William to complete his article, the deadline for which is quickly approaching.
After making a few risky decisions, Russell turns out to be one of the good guys, finally deciding to help William and reconciling with his friends. Despite his growing rock star status, Russell's style tends to be incredibly relaxed - both denim and patterned shirts unbuttoned to his sternum, teamed with is shoulder-length hair and his guitar always on his back, replicate the Russ look with complete ease and channel that 70s music star vibe!
Kenzo jacket | blouse | mini skirt | beret
As William Miller's rebellious older sister, Anita adopted a lifestyle to ultimately agitate their strict mother who forbade her children from listening to rock music. Following an argument, Anita was driven to walking out of the family home and becoming a flight attendant, much to the despair of her mother.
Although a minor character, Anita's style is one of the most memorable, from her red-striped pinafore uniform for her job at the beginning of the film, to her vibrant and clashing red/orange/pink flight attendant uniform. To replicate Anita's look, grab all the colours you can and just go mad! Add some gold hoop earrings and a fabric headband and you're living that 70s teen dream.
Don't forget to check out our Almost Famous lookbook on our YouTube channel! What's your favourite look? Let us know in the comments!