Tuesday, May 24, 2011

1970's - a mini-fashion history

Just like the 1960's - the decade to follow was an amalgamation of contrasting styles and aesthetics. The androgynous hippie born in the late 60's, with their bell-bottoms and long hair, continued throughout the 70's.

Nature themes and ethnic influences were at the forefront, with fashion and jewellery heavily influenced by Indian, Egyptian, Asian, and Native American styles. Wood, leather, pukka shells, turquoise, and opals were popular for their rough, raw, and organic forms.

The 70's also gave rise to the glam rock and punk movements that would only gain strength throughout the 80's - including ripped jeans, torn shirts, and safety-pin jewellery. But my favorite movement from the 70's would have to be the art nouveau revival that seemed to sweep across the decade almost unconsciously. It was not so much a movement that cherished the past as being a better time (as we so eagerly do today) but a revolt against the often grim and soul-less modular expressions of 60's art and architecture. Flat geometric shapes gave rise to a wave of the 'psychadellic' that was popular with graphic artists and designers - particularly when it came to album covers, band posters, advertisements and film.

(poster by Bonnie MacLean for The Yardbirds)

I love the contrast between the rigid and controlled aesthetic of the 1960's and the "oddly disturbing, writhing forms, and almost erotic character" of art nouveau, (check out this great article from Time Magazine about the revival, when it was just beginning).

(Art Nouveau ring by Dino Giannetti - available in sterling silver at 18Karat)

This ring was hand-carved out of wax by Dino in the 1970's - it's remarkable the amount of detail that remains from the casting. The band consists of a woman and a small child lost in a wave of billowing silk - to form of the woman's body creates the band itself.
(Woodgrain Ring by Dino Giannetti - available in sterling silver at 18Karat)

After finding this wax, I couldn't help but to have it cast. Being a child of the 80's, wood-paneling was a ghost from the past that only reared its head when visiting your grandparents basement. But somehow, as a piece of jewellery, I find it to be very compelling - especially the contrast between the rings grain and smooth skin.

No comments: