The Gilded Eighties may be getting the lion’s share of attention in the big glossies right now, but the ’70s, a decade defined by the style of too-cool-for-school girls in plaid, fringe, and bell-bottoms, still has a hold on fashion’s imagination. (We need only look to the fall runway of design luminary Diane von Furstenberg for proof.)
Thankfully, the 2009 take on ’70s fashion leaves the corny, cringe-worthy aspects (see vast lapels and flammable synthetics) behind. Two contemporary labels in particular bring ’70s style into the present day while keeping its free-spirited, rebellious nature intact: Joie clothing, a perennial favorite that specializes in updated takes on boho-chic staples like peasant blouses, drawstring dresses, and faded prints, and American Retro clothes, a Parisian brand that does groovy with a Gallic accent. (Think moody floral jumpsuits, ombré maxi dresses, and tactile suede.)
And of course no discussion of ’70s fashion would be complete without denim. Merging retro style and modern fit, lines like J Brand are doing flare jeans that pay homage to their vintage predecessors in technologically advanced stretch fabrics that flatter. To finish the look? Try substantial wood or cork heels. They hold their own against dramatic bell-bottoms and have an organic glamour that complements the ethereal appeal of faded florals, gauze tops, and crochet pieces. One shoe standout comes courtesy of Stuart Weitzman: he puts a stacked wood heel on a sky-high sandal, adding an unexpected earthiness to a provocative style.