Margo’s Chic Corner: The 70s make a comeback

Margo Silliman, Staff Writer

The seventies were a time of uproar in society. The “Take Back the Night” marches of female empowerment resemble what we see now in the Women’s March on Washington. Many people feel they need to speak out for themselves, still answering the call to action for civil rights from the past.

And it’s not just these protests that are coming back–it’s the fashion with it.

“People were looking for anything against the rigid conformity of the sixties,” said history teacher Hilary Mueller, describing why people picked up the style 40 years ago.

Mueller said she was swept up in the wave of hippie culture and peaceful protests by her mom, attending picket lines and peace concerts often. What became clear at these events was how people expressed themselves in what they wore.

With a call for freedom, there were pants and sleeves that flared and flowed, and puffy peasant shirts holding a neckline together by only a bow. These seem to be the most common trends again trending; in shirts, and rompers, and flowing shift dresses. Long sleeves follow a bell shape, once again.

Mueller described how a lot of color was a factor in clothes in the seventies, not just in an effort to stand out but in a new acceptance of other cultures. Now, it’s not possible to find a peasant top without intricate embroidery, and bright colors and floral prints are taking precedence over the grunge trend on its way out.

“Americans forgot the solidarity of peaceful protests,” Mueller said, describing a time after the seventies. But she also believes we’re bringing that solidarity back now, coming to the conclusion that the technology she’d originally thought of as isolating is helping to bring people together.

Freshman Alicia Manganiello, a Fashion I student, is a good example of someone embracing the 70s vibe. Dressed in oversized round glasses and pale blue “mom jeans,” she easily could be found in another decade. Her attitude proves it as well, stating how strongly she feels against close-minded people, and for equal rights, whether it’s about women, race, or religion.

Manganiello said she  has wanted to be a hippie since she was little, always relating to the positive vibes, and dreaming of owning a VW bus, like the one in the movie “Cars.” She owns plenty of clothing that throws her back a few decades, but won’t wear all of it to school. With all the movement towards acceptance, she’s still “afraid to be made fun of.”

But it is what she wants to design, and the same desire is shown in many of the fashion students’ artwork: bright colors, flare sleeves.

Birkenstocks are back, too, the trend clear since last year. The current sandal was designed for the first time in the sixties, but it spread with free-spirited hippies throughout the seventies, a common way to be as close to barefoot as possible.

The one major craze that hasn’t returned in full yet, save a few runway appearances and outfits from daring trendsetters, is bellbottom jeans. However, with all the other style-revivals, it’s only a matter of time before the most identifiable trend of the seventies begins to take hold in 2017’s fashion.