Turn the clock back to any given decade, and you’ll see fashion has always acted as a mirror of the times: The Prohibition-inspired roaring ‘20s, the post-war conformity of the ‘50s, the revolting, youth-driven fashion of the ‘60s, which carried on into the music and rebellion-infused fashion trends of the ‘70s. As the world craves a sense of a return to freedom after lockdown and peace after a tumultuous year, the carefree, mood-boosting elements of ‘70s fashion are taking over Instagram, with both young and veteran brands at the forefront.
“Right before the pandemic hit, bright colors and loud dressing became a big theme during Copenhagen fashion week,” Ceylin Turkkan Bilge, founder of trend-bearing brand SIEDRES tells TZR. “As soon as we entered lockdown, everyone was affected in a negative way which encouraged people to want to play with bright colors and fun patterns … Fashion has and always will be a tool to make people happy. The ‘70s era is casual, yet colorful, and is exactly the type of fashion we need right now.” As it is, many of the brands that propelled the pastel color trend forward in 2020, such as Paloma Wool and House of Sunny, have honed in on the color-driven aesthetic and revved up the retro references this year. Think dramatically flared bottoms, psychedelic prints, and chunky takes on more time-transcending patterns such as checkers, argyle, and stripes. At the same time, brands have used some of these very same design elements to channel another much-referenced era, the ‘90s, with bucket hats and baggy jeans, and fashion seems to be successfully teetering the line between both iconic periods.
It’s worth noting though that the ‘70s trend, which emerged on a wide scale last year, doesn’t live solely among social media-first brands. On the Spring/Summer 2021 runways of Raf Simons’ Ready-to-Wear collection was among the few that called on the moment, featuring a series of psychedelic printed capes and tops, white boots (a staple that carried over from the ‘60s), and ever-so-subtly flared trousers. Bilge says it's this mass display of color in upcoming collections that will ease consumers into hopping on board. “I think that we will continue to see prints and color takeover the industry both in a casual and even glamorous way,” she says.
You may have already decided to hang up the sweats, but if you’re still debating on whether or not to zhuzh up your wardrobe with a new print or two, here’s your sign, and 10 brands ahead you can shop the trend for. As the movement is showing no signs of slowing down, there’s sure to be more where these come from in the near future.
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‘70s Fashion Brands On Instagram: The Ragged Priest
Complete with an effortless, inherently cool attitude, The Ragged Priest merges inspirations for a result that is part Jackie Burkhart, part Dionne Davenport, and surely 100 percent TikTok approved. Statement pieces worth pouncing on ASAP include the brand’s checkered denim, translated into a miniskirt and a matching jacket, and color-block striped crewnecks for (multiple) pops of color.
‘70s Fashion Brands On Instagram: Stieglitz
Created in Amsterdam, designer Pien Stieglitz’ namesake brand is marked by nostalgic stripes, and flared bottoms that Stieglitz explains to TZR are “feminine, yet not delicate.” The brand’s tight, long-sleeved tops provide the option of styling alone or in thoughtful layers.
‘70s-Style Brands: Balou
Balou’s silhouettes are as classic as it comes — oversized button-downs and straight-leg denim, spruced up with mood-boosting prints designer Louise Boulet-Alips tells TZR are inspired by ‘60s and ‘70s influences. “[I look at] the flowers made by Andy Warhol in the ‘70s, his art is still modern and unique. Another big inspiration is Ken Scott ... his floral prints [were] admired by Twiggy and Andrey Hepburn in the ‘70s.” Sustainability became a point of interest for Boulet-Alips during her time at Parsons School of design, thus, the newly-launched brand operates on a made-to-order basis to achieve zero waste.
‘70s-Style Brands: SIEDRES
Istanbul-based brand SIEDRES carries an elevated and contemporary feel, but that doesn’t mean it sacrifices funk or vibrancy. Turkkan Bilge tells TZR the brands pulls from the free-spirited era by referencing “floral, natural phenomena and bold or contrasting color combinations.” Plus, the brand has mastered the printed matching set, and there’s really no easier way to nail the ‘70s aesthetic.
‘70s-Style Brands: House of Sunny
You can’t scroll Instagram without landing on a photo of an influencer wearing the cult-favorite House of Sunny brand. And with its experimental motifs, often in cozy fabrics, it’s easy to see why. The brand produces just two collections a year in small batches, a move that allows for more flexibility in production. Between the brand’s signature swirly prints and its detachable faux-fur trimmed numbers, each piece boasts It-girl material.
‘70s-Style Brands: Declara
Lovers of pastel prints and mesmerizing lines are bound to flock to Declara’s Psychedelic Feelings collection. With standouts like groovy printed bomber jackets and classic ‘70s flared denim, designer Derev Clara Koseda’s infuses attributes of the past era with modern trends, and the result leaves you with the perfect statement piece to reach for on your casual days.
‘70s-Style Brands: Rixo
Rixo’s selection of carefree prints has much to offer, whether you’re seeking a spunky sundress or a peter pan collar shirt. Henrietta Rix tells TZR she and fellow co-founder Orlagh McCloskey begin the design process with trips to vintage stores, and the result is a thoughtful mash-up of retro inspirations, including bright prints and groovy ruffles.
‘70s-Style Brands: Paloma Wool
Paloma Wool’s mind-bending checkered print may be the detail to lure you in, or perhaps its swirling Ondas Locas print (which instantly triggers memories of lava lamps), but it's the entirety of the brand’s quirky, kitschy goodness that’ll convince you to stay. As for its shoe selection, you’ll find comfy mules perfect for your favorite flared pants and go-go boots fit to top off a mini dress.
‘70s-Style Brands: Hope Macaulay
Hope Macaulay’s energetic aesthetic comes courtesy of prints straight from her own paintings. If you’re looking to merge pastel colors with the eclectic trend of the moment (think flared bottoms along with sweater vests, which were particularly popular in the UK during the ‘70s), the brand offers the former with a side of its signature chunky knits.
‘70s-Style Brands: Marimekko
Founded in 1951, the Finnish brand knows first-hand how to channel the nostalgic essence of fashion’s past, even referencing its own work. Poppy prints are essentially what the brand is all about, but as Marimekko coincidentally celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2021, designer Satu Maaranen tells TZR the Tori print, a ‘70s era staple of the brand featuring abstract fruit designs, returns by way of matching sets and free-flowing dresses.