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When people judge the country's recent history, they will notice an arc in popular culture from the 1950s to the end of the 1970s. While the 1950s are considered to be the time where youth culture developed and the 1960s are viewed as the time where this nascent culture flexed its muscle, the 1970s was a much more complicated time. If the 1960s were a party, the 1970s can be considered the morning after hangover. A messy period that saw a number of different fashion styles, 70s fashion runs the gamut of being extremely stylish and influential to being very, very regrettable.
In the early part of the decade, 70s fashion was a continuation of the popular hippy look of 60s fashion. However, this early 70s fashion made a few tweaks in the popular hippie fashion. Moving away from the baggy jeans look, early 70s fashion popularized hip hugging jeans that still retained bell-bottoms. The spacier elements of 60s hippy fashion would become less popular, although the hippy look retained its early style and its fascination with exotic fashion items such as clothes made from Indian fabrics.
However, on the higher end of early 70s fashion was the development of romantic fashions that proved to be extremely popular. These new designs created by designers like Yves St Laurent, Ossie Clark, and Zandra Rhodes helped change 70s fashion. As the 1970s continued, people began to dress in more flashier styles that showed off their bodies. The mini skirt would shorten to the midi-skirt. On the other spectrum, platform shoes became particularly popular. This new emphasis on design and classy hedonism would really take root in the emergence of disco fashion in the late 70s.
Disco fashion has been popularized in movies such as the John Travolta hit, Saturday Night Fever. Associated with the pumping drive of disco music and infamous party spots like Club 54 in New York, disco fashion is one of the most enduring remains of 70s fashion. Although much of disco fashion and later 70s fashion are considered tacky, they are slowly returning to popularity as people view these styles as being more fun than embarrassing.
One of the biggest impacts of disco fashion in late 70s fashion is how it directly inspired a new fashion movement that many fashion experts feel is one of the most influential parts of 70s fashion. The punk fashion style developed as an angry response to the carefree attitude of disco fashion. Arty rather than sophisticated, punk fashion was not overly wide spread during the 1970s. However, in future decades, punk fashion would be extremely influential and its influences can be seen in emo fashion and current fashion.
A decade that is remembered for its messiness, it's easy to see how difficult it is to define 70s fashion. From its early hippy look to its later angry punk look, 70s fashion was a time of rapid development of new styles. An underrated era in terms of style, 70s fashion is being appreciated more and more with each passing year!