Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Bags 1970s ( history of fashion )

The 1970's decade began with the commercialization of the hippie ethos by the ready to wear fashion industry in an attempt to exploit the market for ethnic-inspired fashion.It ended with a shop in London called World's End, a post-punk rock hangout owned by Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren and previously known simply as Sex selling McLaren's appropriation of fetishwear incorporated into avant garde fashion.

London boutique, SEX

Vivienne Westwood

Vivienne Westwood

Malcolm McLaren and a member of Sex Pistols

Westwood and McLaren

Westwood and McLaren

The other designer with a tottaly opposing aesthetics from British Designer Tommy Roberts and his shop Mr Freedom.
He sold scaled-up children's clothes, multicoloured striped wool socks, oversized dungarees and hot pants with bibs, which were worn with primary coloured clogs or platform boots and shoes and schollgirl satchels in shiny patent.Handbags made in the shape of packets of Omo washing powder abd Camel cigarettes, and also popular was the magazine clutch, a rigid plastic facsimile of a folded magazine with varying covers,often made in China.

Mr Freedom shirt


Handbags reflected the change in style that occured thoughout the 1970s.
An eclectic mix of design styles at the beginning of the decade included a revival in Art Deco.
Bernard Nevill was head of print design at London's Royal College of Art and was consolidated by the opening of the biggest and final Biba store in 1973, a shopping emporium in Kensington, London that exuded 1930a Hollywood glamour.

The feminist movement sequed from the dungraree-wearing hardliners to the dress for success clothes of women at work.Feminists eschewed the eccoutrement of fashion and wore dungarees, sort cropped hair and soft coloured leather boots called Kickers.However feminism was instrumental in opening up a whole new world of women in  the workplace and fashion became an important element of thiw drive to succeed.

The feminist movement

The feminist movement


As 1960s optimism yielded to the harsher realities of 1970s life, such as the 1973 oil crisis and the Watergate scandal,fashion designers tapped into the desire for an alternative way of life.
Thea Porter introduced the kaftan to eveningwear, and the Scotish born designer Bill Gibb became the darling of the beautiful people such as Bianca Jagger, Elizabeth Taylor and later Princess Diana with his richly embellished fantasy ballgowns.

Thea Porter, the kaftan


Bored with the mini and modernity, rich and beautiful women aspired to be the heroines of their own costume dramas, and needed handbags that were in keeping with the romantic ethos of the clothes.
Small rectangular bags of excquiste craftmanship were designed by British designer John Bates and produced in collaboration with John Williams, leather conservationist and craftworker at London's Victoria & Albert Museum.Reflecting both the aesthetic of the Arts and the Crafts movement and the desire for the decorative, the leather bags were hand tooloed and coloured with images of birds, flowers and leaves.The designer sourced antique hardware for the fastenings and strap buckles, which were sold though Harrods and Liberty's, and their rarity makes them extremely collectable.

Tooling, stamping or embroissing are terms that refer to the craft of impressing three dimensional images onto leather.It is a process that has been deployed by skilled leather workers for centuries, but was a particularly popular technique during the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods was way of introducing colour and pattern to leather.The revival of the interest in medievalism expressed in the Arts and the Craft Movement resurfaced at the beginning of the 1970s and prompted an interest in this traditional skill.

Woman of Now..

When youth culture exploded in the 1960s haute couture ceased to have any real influence on modern fashion.Balenciaga retired in 1968 and Schiaparelli and Channel both died in the early 1970s.
The couturier's salon was perceived as the depositary of an ageing and ever-descreasing clientele.This was a reason that Yves Saint Laurent introduced the concept of pret a porter or ready to wear, with his show in 1968, followed by the oppening of the first of many Rive Gauche boutiques.


Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche

Fashion in England now became street led an avant garde proclamation by Vienne Westwood and Malcom McLaren to the sound of Sex Pistols.



 It was the newly emerging American designers who filled the resulting gap in the market for fashionable, accessible clothew nad handbags for the working woman.
Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren and Geoffrey Beene were these designers but it was a simple dress by Diane Von Furstenberg that defined the era, the wrap dress in 1973.The body hugging dress became a manifesto of the liberated woman simply because it wrapped in the front and tied at the waist and took seconds to put on and seconds to remove.In a busy woman 's timetableit went from day to night, all she had to do was ditch the office briefcase and pick up an evening bag.
The clutch returned in a diminutive form for evening and hung on long narrow straps,with larger, more practical bags during the day.

Diane von Furstenberg in her iconic wrap dress.

This stylisticallycomplex decade also featured nostalgia for a tural past.Unile the back to nature ethos of the hippies, this was a more romanticized version of bucolic bliss and included the wearing of tweed hacking jackets, fair isle tank tops, jodhpurs cord skirts and the flolar milkmaid fantasies of Laura Ashley.

Laura Ashley  at work

Victorian styles in natural fabrics made Laura Ashley the most popular British designer
David Bowie

Vintage Laura Ashley

Natural fibres coloured with vegetables dyes and traditional materials such as canvas and leather reinforced the look.
Handbags had a utilitarial aspect rooted in the traditional working bags used during rural sports.

Nylon, for so many years considered the poor relation of materials and a cheap substitute for natural and more expensive products, began to be reappraised during the 1970s for it's modern and industrial qualities.
The material elevated when it was used by Prada, Herve Chapelier and Longchamp.

British singer Bryan Ferry of art rock band Roxy music and his then girlfriend model Jerry Hall were the leading exponents of this sophisticated mix of fasion and music.Accessories followed the trend for gigh-maintenance groomed perfection.The snakeskin revival was confirmed when Yves Saint Laurent showed python printed dresses in his 1970 collection, as did British designer Jean Muir.
Nigel Lofthouse designed clutch bags for the label,working exotic skins intop appliqued designs with leather and suede cut outs.

Pierre Cardin was one of the first designers to exploit the financial potential of licensing his
name, alongside Diane Von Furstenberg.

This was a process whereby the designer put his or her name to a variety of products without necessarily controlling the quality of either the design or the production.This dilution of the brand image was a warning for those companies who were increasingly protective of their integrity in a decade when consumers were beginning to covet a label with recognition by designers of targeting the right market,resulted in the rise of international brands such as Missoni and Gucci.

Yves Saint Laurent was one of the first designers to be influenced by what was being worn on the street.
YSL and Pierre Cardin 1965

Pierre Cardin pagoda shoulders

from the book indicated below


The photos and the texts on this blog are sourced from books and by various sites from the internet (apart from the ones taken by me). Original source is always mentioned. If you feel your photorights have been violated or they have been presented in a negative way, please send me mail. I´ll remove them from my blog immediately.
Thank you

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