Colgate Couture – Shaggy Chic: The Seventies Are Back

My mother’s closet has always served as a sort of flea market-not the kind full of junk and baubles-but the kind where hidden gems lie on every surface and with the right eye and a little polishing, these seemingly useless artifacts become staples of my wardrobe. Around age ten, I sifted through the downstairs closet only to uncover a backless yellow crop top with flower embroidery and high-waisted flared jeans known as “seafarers,” that my mother said, “went with the outfit.”

There’s something about the 1970s. Maybe it’s the rock and roll influences of Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones or the post-beat generation who favored the likes of Mick Jagger and Lou Reed. Or maybe it’s that fashion during the 1970s was greatly influenced by the political and cultural constructs of the time: the hippie culture; increasing awareness of women’s rights; opposition to the Vietnam War. And although it’s farfetched to associate the current decade to that of the 1970s, there’s one thing that’s certain: now is a time for freethinking to be honored rather than quieted.

And how ironic that designer Diane Von Furstenberg (DVF) reinvented the flower child of the seventies for her spring 2009 collection. A mix of haute-hippie and rock and roll glam, DVF defined the ultimate “Rock Goddess.” With a few key items and the attitude of punk-rock revolutionary Patti Smith mixed with the natural free-flowing locks of Peggy Lipton, the look of the seventies could be exactly the type of spring revitalization necessary.

“Rock Goddess,” the title of the DVF Spring 2009 runway show, called to mind Anita Pallanberg, Stevie Nicks and Marianne Faithful, but with a little more polish. Models channeled rock and roll and flower child all in one with the accessories making all the statement. The models, looking perfectly wind swept, sported multi-colored silk flowers and feathers arranged eclectically on leather strings around their tousled hair.

Furstenberg showed versatility in everything from sixties mini shifts to floor-grazing tiered dresses in solid black and flirty florals. The floor-length dresses looked effortless with flat Grecian sandals in muted browns and metallic gold while the shorter hemlines revealed ankle-tied platform heels in red, gold and nude. The gold lamee knee length skirt looked like a tame version of Studio 54 with a heather grey sweater and platform shoes. And lime and hot pink floor dresses fit perfectly for an afternoon of poolside cocktails. But DVF modernizes the seventies by adding mid-section belts and a menswear touch. She paired loose fitting chiffon blouses with silk trousers and a pink, lavender and blue floral mini with an oversized silk blazer. Who knew the dynamic of menswear and flower power would combine so flawlessly?

Look for Yves Saint Laurent’s 1976 invention of the peasant blouse. Joie’s “Luz Tiered Top” looks both goddess and hippie in a double-layered, wrinkled silk-chiffon with a crocheted top. Or Karta’s “Calypso Top” in soft yellow, a double-layered cotton-voile top with scoop neck and tonal lace trim. The best high-waisted jeans of the season come from Sienna Miller’s Twenty8Twelve in a darker wash with a wide leg bottom perfect with wooden platforms; for a slight 70s influence look to jewelry. Elizabeth and James’ wooden beaded bracelet with brass bead detail works as both a bracelet and a necklace. Or Kerri Wilder’s Turquoise Wrap Necklace, made with a linen cord wrapped over a turquoise stone pendant. Seventies influences are also seen in handbags with fringe detailing. Kettle Black’s Fringe Clutch in tan suede adds the perfect amount of haute-hippie. For a more feminine feel, AKA New York’s floral-print silk romper and Free People’s “Seamed & Strappy Dress” with a sweetheart neckline look perfect for an afternoon garden party. Cheers! So take a ride on the retro side, clog your way down to the Jug for a night of chic disco delight.