Author(s): Daniel Milford-Cottam
The 1970s was a decade of style contrasts. More so than in any other decade, every extreme of fashion was met by an equally trendy opposite reaction. Ankle-length maxi skirts vied for attention with super-short hot-pants. Outfits in vibrant prints and obviously man-made fabrics contrasted with subtly-coloured ensembles in wool jerseys and silky crepes. Delicate floral cottons, hand-knits and hand-tooled leather came up against boldly synthetic and plastic looks perched atop platform shoes - for men and women alike. More so than at any other time, fashion looked backwards in order to dress the future, with quirkily ironic retro looks, while alternative street-style movements such as Punk used appearance to startle and challenge the establishment.