70s style icons
By Sarah Kershaw, 28 May 2015
Fashion has always been in love with the past and, each season, one decade or another rises to the top of every menswear designer’s hit list. Right now, it’s the 70s. From Hedi Slimane at Saint Laurent – whose boho collection was the stuff of psych rock dreams – to the flares seen everywhere from Gucci to Raf Simons, the ‘decade that taste forgot’ is well and truly back. Their muses? The 70s giants of style who inspired nations every time they got dressed in the morning – our top five of which are below.
Even if you’re not partial to a navel-baring shirt or ankle-drowning bellbottom, there are key takeaways from these dudes’ looks that you can incorporate seamlessly into your everyday wardrobe – a little flair here, a touch of flamboyance there. See why their style was so inspiring below, and get on board with the 70s soul train revival. Groovy.
David Bowie – Bodaciously bold
One of the major players in the 70s glam rock scene via his Ziggy Stardust alter ego, the Londoner turned the monochrome geek-chic of the 60s on its head. Eyepatches, flares, psychedelic prints, a deep V neckline to rival any bodybuilder's and a penchant for make-up – anything went when it came to his stage outfits. Off stage, too, he favoured wide-lapelled suits and super-skinny leather, all set off by an androgynous, flamboyant attitude.
Granted, this Ziggy-era look is probably a little too much for the office, but add a little pop-art colour and a scarf or two into your look and you've got a hint of 70s flamboyance without the likelihood of getting catcalled. If you're really feeling brave, you could even try Raf Simons-alike flares...
Marvin Gaye – Suave soul man
From baby-making music to baby-making dressing, Gaye always knew how to Get It On. Out of the limelight, he would go casj with vintage American classics like beanies, tight tees and denim on denim, but in his public appearances he perfected a louche, cocktail lounge-ready form of dressing that marks him out as one of the era’s major style stars.
If you’re tempted by a light suit for wedding season, à la the SS15 collections of Hentsch Man, YMC and the stretched lapels of Costume National, you could do worse than take inspiration from Gaye’s beige number. The stacked heels are a matter of personal preference but, you should know, Jimmy Choo are championing men’s platforms this season…
Sid Vicious – Original punk pioneer
Vivienne Westwood's ex-consort Malcolm McLaren once said, 'If Johnny Rotten is the voice of punk, then Vicious is the attitude'. All spiky hair, painted nails and unpredictable snarl, the Sex Pistols' bassist is synonymous with the music and fashion movement that took over London in the latter part of the 70s and his influence can still be seen in Westwood's anti-establishment tartan pieces, Sibling's SS15 Pepto-Bismol-pink menswear collection and Alexander McQueen's skinny black suiting and platform creepers.
It's an easy look to take on – ripped jeans, a splash of tartan, Dr Martens and a serious attitude are all you need. For a work-appropriate version, sub in a black shirt, patterned skinny tie and oversized blazer.
Dennis Hopper – Cowboy cool
1969's Easy Rider ushered in a decade of windswept, freewheeling American countercultural style and the on-screen king if it all? Writer, director and star Dennis Hopper, who swaggered around in some serious Western gear. Here, he's smartened it up a little with a fetching ruffled shirt and floral jacket, but the cowbell necklace, moustache and beaten-up boots belie the rebel underneath.
His was a super macho look and it's on point for summer – suede fringing, double denim and Western prints were seen on the SS15 catwalks of Tom Ford, Katie Eary and Prada. Throw on a suede jacket over jeans and a checked shirt to channel Hopper's badassery – cowboy hat and chopper optional.
Mick Jagger – Rock 'n' roll icon
Perhaps the ultimate muse for rockers everywhere, Jagger's influence is still felt season after season and has inspired everyone from Jack White to Iggy Pop. He epitomises the outrageous antics of celebrities in the 70s, with the legends of wild parties, stories of inter-Stones rucks and some of the best songs ever written imbuing him with a kind of godlike cultural importance.
But what we're really interested in is his clothes. With Hedi Slimane showing a velvet-and-fringing-heavy Saint Laurent collection that could have been taken straight from Jagger's 70s wardrobe this season, his go-to skinny jeans, flamboyant shirts and Chelsea boots are still as key over 40 years later – just look at Harry Styles if you need proof. Keep at least half your shirt buttons undone and perfect a rock 'n' roll swagger to replicate the look. For a more formal occasion, try riffing on his famous Rivera-chic outfits instead – all pale, well-pressed suiting, ironic spats and Panama hats.