In terms of style & design, the 1970s is sometimes dismissed as being a bit naff or as the decade that taste forgot.
This is very wide of the mark – its influence being both wide ranging and long-lasting.
This book, 70s Style & Design, by Dominic Lutyens & Kirsty Hislop clearly demonstrates this.
The decade was remarkable for its diversity – its range of cultures & counter cultures. It began with hippies & flower power and ended with punks & new wave!
There was a ‘loosened up spirit of fashion & design’ during this period. A strong sense of doing your own thing, experimentation, freedom and fun.
There were trends & fashions of course, but it never descended into a bland homogenisation.
It was a very eclectic decade in terms of style & design. Psychedelia & flower power spilled over from the 1960s; then there was the strong influence of Art Deco and Art Nouveau, nostalgic Victoriana, the folksy/back to nature style – and later on a harder edged industrial look.
It has been referred to as a decade of ‘the self’. Whether that be individuals looking towards & analysing their inner self – or an outward expression through personal appearance or living & work spaces. This resulted in a real blossoming of creativity.
The book highlights the influence of various music scenes, movements such as gay rights & women’s lib, the importance of an increasing awareness of the environment, the political & economic factors prevalent at the time, the increasing & diverse student population, the new DIY ethos in fashion & interiors, a craft renaissance – and the impact of shops such as Habitat, Mr Freedom, Biba and Granny Takes a Trip.
Divided into four chapters, From Pop to Postmodernism, Belle Epoque, Supernature and Avant Garde, the book tackles these subjects in great detail and does a remarkable job in drawing all these strands together.
The text is informative, articulate & well researched – the accompanying photographs capturing all the spirit of this fabulous decade.
The 70s isn’t a particularly well documented era in terms of style & design – this book helps redress the balance.
As well as having their own dedicated website, the authors write the Flashin’ on the 70s blog which features even more 70s (and 70s inspired) gorgeousness!
As usual, this book is available direct from the publisher, as well as Hive, Amazon and Abe Books.
[Many thanks to Thames & Hudson for this review copy]