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By Arwa Lodhi
The 70s were a rocking time, both literally and figuratively. Music during this decade ran through a range of dramatically different styles, from the glam rock of Bowie and the New York Dolls and poppy ABBA to the hippy tunes of Joan Baez and Carly Simon, all the way up to coked-up disco and the anti-establishment fury of early British punks and bands like the Stooges.
And where music went, fashion, of course, followed. Very generally speaking, this translated into platforms and lame for the glam rockers; frills and gypsy chic for the pop stars; satin and tuxedos for the disco set and anything cheap and ruined for the punks.
Given the diversity and energy of the 70s, it’s no wonder that decade has stayed in the minds of fashion designers (and musicians) even almost 50 years later. Indeed, Gucci’s Fall 2016 collection (below) was all about that decade, reviving midi and maxi length coats and dresses, the tuxedo jacket for women, platform shoes and more. But unfortunately, with it wasn’t at all sustainable, and featured quite a bit of fur, too.
Here, we’ve found 5 sustainable fashion brands that have clearly been influenced in various ways by the 1970s – yet look super fresh today.
From Halston’s jumpsuits and Saturday Night Fever off the shoulder frill dresses to Yves Saint Laurent’s tuxedo jackets for women and platform shoes, 70s style has influenced young designer IrynVigre’s collections. Her conscious designs champion craftsmanship, organic materials and and the slow fashion movement. Whilst the 70s may have played an underlying role in each concept, her designs are also given a northern European edge with a touch of stark minimalism too – which could manifest itself as a monochrome palette or a stark geometric cut, for example.
Did you know that before he was hired by Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld designed for Chloe? It’s exactly that French fashion house in the 70s that comes to mind when we see these chic, curved cross body bags by Swedish brand MYR. Former architect Johanna Landin now creates vegetable tanned leather bags. Some are even given an artisanal touch by being hand painted with a motif that pays tribute to nature’s means of cleansing and refreshing: rain.
Patchwork, midi length A line skirts and high waisted jeans are but a few 70s styles that seem to have influenced Tony Tonnaer, the founder of sustainable jeans label Kings of Indigo. The brand produces retro styles with a twist from premium selvage Italian and Japanese denim. Fabrics are made as sustainably as possible, and the brand follows a triple-R philosophy: Recycle, Repair, Re-Use. If it is true that the devil is in the details, sharpen your eyes to discover how each item is a one-of-a-kind, thanks to the unique selvage that’s woven on shuttle loom machines.
If ever there was a vegan footwear brand that would appeal to non-vegans, it’s SUSI. This LA based design studio makes sustainably sexy shoes for sultry sirens. From the Brigitte Red, a gingham chunky heeled platform that Bardot would have rocked in her heyday, to hemp-based wedges to die for, it’s clear that SUSI’s founder Bianca Moran is as big on reinterpreting vintage 70s style as she is on making cruelty-free footwear. A strong advocate of social responsibility, Bianca exercises mindful design and production by using sustainable materials like canvas, denim, hemp, and faux leather produced from recycled plastic bottles.
From her liberal use of frills and pussy bows to the use of velvet and denim, Kristina Lenss channels the 70s through her label Kristinàt. Inspired not only by fashion’s most distinctive decade by also by nature, art and history, Kristina’s professional experience in the fields of performing arts, advertising and illustration transpire in the sophisticated charisma of her brand. Her collections always use innovative organic fabrics and fair trade practices to create beautiful outfits for a worldly and cultivated woman. No wonder Kristinit is already so popular with celebs like Blake Lively!