Wednesday, November 17, 2010


"Glamour is dead," said Diana Vreeland of the 1970's. A gritty realism characterizes this historic moment, evident in the increased use of everyday clothing on film and increased appearance of everyday, anti-hero characters. Vreeland created an homage to the old glamour by organizing the Hollywood Costume exhibition for the Met in 1976.

Launched in 1974, the first People featured Mia Farrow from the Great Gatsby on the cover. Until this moment, film industry magazines like Variety were contrasted by fashion magazines like Vogue, with a few minor tabloids. People magazine attracted new mass interest in the celebrity style scene.

More than Life or Look before it, People began to target celebrity fashion as in the feature below from July 1977. "A designer is only as good as his clientele," explained Halston.

Below celebrities at the Oscars in the 1970's. Except for the men who are consistently in tux, the celebrities wear a much more relaxed California casual look than is common at the Oscars today.

The context of the 1970's saw the realization of gender and racial equality and the emergence of new technology like the first personal computers. In reaction to feminism, some women chose to retain the conservative look of the 60's while there was a new emergence of tighter, sexier fits. The contrast can be seen below in 2 ads both from the year 1974.

In the fashion industry there were major changes to European design houses like Gucci below left which began to offer clothing. America finally came on the design scene with Halston and for the first time licensing extended previously exclusive fashion labels to accessible products like sunglasses and perfume.

American audiences had become aware of 60's European films and began to seek alternative films such as Robert Altman's 3 Women, 1977. At the same time, studios wanted more audiences so they shocked and scared them with thriller and horror blockbusters such as Jaws, 1975. Both indie and mass films spotlighted the anti-hero with more stories of everyday people, working class and the unadorned.

Above the American film 3 Women, 1977, was set in rural California and inspired by Igmar Bergman. Below Woody Allen's Annie Hall, 1977 set in Manhattan references Bergman in the poster.

Above Allen's army green coat and button up shirt look like a director on set, next to a bohemian styled Diane Keaton.

Keaton's look with vest and tie was the film's signature.

Allen made sure to incorporate identity characteristics into the film, openly contrasting his Jewish heritage to what he calls the "Norman Rockwell" American WASP. Conservative style factors are seen on both characters.

Klute, 1971 was a new look for Jane Fonda who was trying to distance herself from her recent years in France. The short cut combined with braless looks and long skirts as she made a conscious break with the over done mini skirt.

Fonda said that Italian actress Anita Pallenberg was her style muse.

Throughout Klute, Fonda is contrasted by the men in suits who surround her. She is also consistently seen in flamboyant looks that make her appear as a conspicuous call girl.

Klute inspired an editorial in Vogue Nippon in July 2007 by Terry Richardson.

One Flew Over the Cookoo's Nest of 1975 gave a first glimpse into the world of institutions. Most of the patients were dressed in the basic white uniforms seen above with blues and pastels underneath. The color palette matches the color of pharmaceuticals. Below the same color palette is repeated in "Supermodels Enter Re-Hab," by Steven Meisel, Vogue Italia, July 2007.

Shampoo from 1975 was a look back at Beverly Hills in 1968 but was in many ways the costumes were influenced by 1970's trends. This is most noticeable in Warren Beatty's look.

Taxi Driver, 1976 was a specific character transformation film in which costume develops with the characters and their relationship.

The 70's saw a resurgence of dance and music films such as Rocky Horror Picture Show, 1975, Saturday Night Fever, 1977, and Grease 1978. Fever's white 3 piece suit with open large collar shirt became iconic.

Closing out the 1970's came more sedate films with a return to fashion conservatism. Kramer Vs. Kramer from 1979 focused on a Manhattan couple with status quo style.

No comments:

Post a Comment