Friday, 13 May 2011

10 Things I Like about the 1970s

Original Ossie Clark Maxi, Image from c20th Vintage Fashion

Alex Drake Vintage Collection, 1970s Maxi with Bolero jacket

1. Maxi Dress
Floaty maxis are back. You're probably rolling your eyes by now and saying "yes, we know!" but I just had to post this.
I still maintain that the style's premier exponent, Ossie Clark contributed so much to the fashion world in the '70s. Although the end of his life saw him in poverty and abandonment, his creations will always stay with and inspire us.
Only three years ago, Avsh Alom Gur tried to re-launch the brand, but failed. How satisfying it is to see that maxis are in season this year!
Pity the fashion buyers who failed to spot the timelessness of Ossie's trademark free-flowing, carefree chiffon and crepe dresses. Hopefully they're now kicking themselves for not buying.

Alex Drake Vintage Collection, ASOS with Sergio Rossi Heel

2. Wedges
Thanks to the efforts of Salvatore Ferragamo during the 1930s, the humble clog evolved into the wedge. I personally like wedges because they are more practical than high-heeled shoes (pair them with anything, darling), yet oh-so glamorous.
It has since enjoyed a revival in the '70s and again in the '90s. But because I remember my big sister's '70s wooden wedges when I was in pre-school, I've always associated them as being an all-time hit in the '70s. Everybody had a pair.

Image from Vintage Shoes by Caroline Cox

3. Hot pants
They're short and versatile, come in cotton, denim, leather and PVC. You can pair them with wedges, heels, pumps, etc. You can run, walk, jump and climb as fast as you can without snagging your clothes on anything. They look incredibly sexy, too.

Image from Skateboarding Magazine

4. Skateboards and Skateboarding
OK, so Farrah Fawcett had a stunt double on Charlie's Angels. But she really did inspire me to get on a skateboard. The invention of polyurethane wheels around 1973, produced a smooth ride and decent turning ability.  There's something about the free-flowing, dance-like, trance-like fluid movement as you direct your skateboard forwards, side-to-side, feeling air across your face. You're at peace, but aware of speed, seeing the distorted images of people and things that you pass...
For me skateboarding is as close as I can get to the high of surfing, out of water.

Image from Trekbbs

5. Pan-Am
There was a time when air travel equated to a glamorous lifestyle. If you were a stewardess, then you were truly beautiful, well-dressed, and all women would want to be in your shoes.
In 1970, the first Pan-Am Boeing 747 landed in Heathrow. The era of mass global travel had begun.

Image from
6. Datsun 240Z
Sleek, fast for a classic car, and oh-so gorgeous. It is the 1970s, rendered in metal.
If I ever make money from blogging, shall have one for myself!

Image from Modern Design Interior
7. Boby Trolley
Just 226 miles north from where we live, in Padua, a highly talented Italian designer called Joe Colombo created a versatile, portable, vertical storage unit. Nowadays it is a stylish presence in art and design studios, hairdressers and even homes.

Image from Coolpicking

8. Punk
The then anti-fashion, anti-establishment movement whose name lend itself to Punk music was in every way revolutionary. Fashion and music became the look and sound of a significant social shift. Britain in the Seventies has been considered the crucible of societal change.

Image from Digicam History

9. Walkman
This made possible the revolutionary idea of being able to listen to music anywhere and everywhere, without disturbing other people.
It seems obvious now, but without the Walkman, there would be no iPod.

Image Alex Drake Vintage

10. Reggae
As the '70s was a period of revolution, people found themselves wanting to reach out more, happy to declare their views. Art, music and fashion evolved into something new.
From the '60s Jamaican beginnings of Reggae, it became popular in Britain, and the world, largely through the output of Bob Marley and The Wailers.
The off-beat rhythm was a platform for declaring spiritual, ecological and political views, and a soundtrack to the growing voice of multicultural Britain. It's been said that Reggae has influenced Punk music.




  1. I still have my walkman hehe! I'm obsessed with maxi dresses this spring, I love the 70's florals!

    Another great post, love it!


  2. Interesting post! I remember listening to my walkman lying in bed falling asleep at night.. listening to Hanson. lol

  3. Hi Carice & Katie! Thanks for reading! I still have the yellow sports version from the '80s! Hours of Milli Vanilli, Madonna and Menudo:)
    J x

  4. Hey Joy,
    I love this list and these pictures. The 70's are so great. I love thrifting and I just found the most amazing Plaid Maxi dress. I can't wait to rock it! Your posts are awesome I am so glad I follow!

  5. Hi Jessica, Thanks very much for your kind words! Post a photo of your maxi soon! :)
    Joy xx

  6. I absolutely loooove Ossie Clark dresses, he is my fave designer from that era! thanks for this amazing post!

  7. Hi Viviane, He's my fave too! Thanks for reading! Hope you're having a good weekend :)
    Joy xx

  8. This is SUCH a genius post.
    Ohhh, the Walkman.
    My little cousins have never even heard that word before.
    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

  9. Thanks Bonnie. Good old Sony, eh? Thanks for dropping by. Have a good weekend! :)
    Joy xx

  10. beautiful post :)

    your newest follower here!

  11. Hi Michelle,
    Thanks so much! Hope you're having fun!
    Joy xx

  12. Oh Michelle. I remember the oldie Walkman.. such a great place.
    Lee x

  13. I'm sensing we all seemed to be hooked with our walkmans! :)
    J x


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