Burberry’s Autumn/Winter 15 collection saw the return of patchwork suede knee-high boots and stunning floral maxi-dresses. Miu Miu showcased cute knitted crop tops and Prada paraded a candy coloured palette of the era with eye popping A-line coats and dresses. The 70s, as many of us know by now, is back in a big way, although thankfully it hasn’t brought with it the tackiness and shag pad carpet of its first incarnation.
No, the 70s we’re seeing on the catwalks is a thoroughly modern one, given a whole new dimension by the designers. They’ve given the decade a contemporary yet elegant twist, using some of the best fabrics to showcase beautiful crisp colours whilst also creating minimalist A-line silhouettes.
I couldn’t possibly comment on all the collections so I’ve selected four designers who I feel have captured the modern vibe of the 1970’s perfectly. These designers have mixed eye-popping colours, luxurious fabrics and psychedelic patterns with breathtaking results.
1. Jonathan Saunders
The Jonathan Saunders AW15 woman is groovy, kinky and very much in charge. His high necklines, tight flares and A-line symmetry are typical of both the swinging 60s and 70s. The collection shows how femininity can be more than one dimensional: one minute the models are in gorgeous geometric dresses and swinging pleated skirts and the next they’re in masculine high-neck jumpers and flares. I love how he has used the vivid colours in such a systematic and orderly way; it lends the clothes real strength.
2. Peter Pilotto
Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos showed us how to have fun with fashion in their AW15 collection. They said they found their inspiration from rediscovering art and graphics used in board games. The colour palette of blue, green, yellow and pink were taken from the games Connect 4 and Mazes and the far right picture depicts a pinball inspired circuit print. Again the cut of the clothes is consistently simple, with tight fitting skirts and appliqued coats, reminding us again that the 2015 version of the 70s is super sophisticated.
Roksanda Illincic’s collection is possibly the most modern take on the era. She creates beautifully sculptured silhouettes, managing to perfectly juxtapose the signature 70s psychedelic patterns with these sleek, stylish shapes. Her use of fur gives this collection a welcome sense of luxury – the seventies was an era ripe with manmade fabrics like nylon and crimplene, which were cheap and a nightmare in static form. Luckily, Illincic was inspired by textures and used laser-cut leathers, hand-embroided plastic sleeves and furs. The richness and boldness of the yellows, purples and blues pop beautifully against the grainy greys and browns.
This finally brings me to Massimo Giorgetti, who veered away from patterns completely with his collection and decided to use block colours and textures. I liked his playful cropped flares with embellished detail on the sides paired with a classic seventies knitted tank. Giorgetti incorporated an array of colours and textures; from pastels to neons to browns and blacks, using furs with neoprene patches.
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So, the 70s is no longer an era reserved for fancy dress parties, but that’s not to say the AW 15 collections don’t encourage dressing up. The message to take away from these fashion weeks as they draw to a close is just that: don’t be afraid to be bold, have fun, and dress up a little bit.
It’s time to get back in the groove.
Charlotte May Bulmer
Charlotte May Bulmer is a journalism graduate defined by her senses. The smell of linen, cashmere, sandlewood (and men!) – she’ll follow these. When it comes to taste, it’s all about pad thai. She even has a sense of awareness in her sleep – at times she can lucid dream. Oh and sight-wise? She wants a glittery toilet seat.
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