As a young child in the 1970s, when I thought about the arrival of the 21st century, I excitedly imagined spaceships flying through the air and the fashions seeing us dressed in spacesuit style silver onesies.
Never did I envisage that come the year 2015 the hot trend would be the very garment I was dressed in as I dreamed of the future; flares! Yes, they’re back!
The 1970s are hip and happening again as fringed bags, flares, clogs and crocheted lace hits the fashion runways. any think of the 70s as the decade style forgot. If you take a look at reruns of Top of the Pops episodes from the 1970s you can see evidence of the hideous crimes of fashion that were committed back then.
I have never been able to erase the sight of the lead singer of a band called, Sweet, moodily staring into the camera dressed in a canary yellow jumpsuit and matching platform retina-scorching boots. I vividly remember his outfit panicking my goldfish.
How Mr Sweet ever pulled off the sultry smoulder dressed in that comical outfit I’ll never know, but back then his outfit was the height of glam rock fashion! Another frightening fashion image from the Seventies is the memory of the tartan calf-length trousers and tartan scarves sported by the Bay City Rollers and their fans. As much as I loved the Rollers (especially the gorgeous Les McKeown) I could never bring myself to wear the trousers, much to my mother’s relief!
I’m rather fond of the image of flares. For me they conjure up the vision of the three beautiful actresses who played Charlie’s Angels circa 1976.
When I was a child I had a bit of an obsession with this TV programme. It was the first time I recall seeing woman portrayed on the small screen as strong, smart and independent whilst also being fabulously glamorous.
In the playground my friends and I would pretend to be the Charlie’s Angels characters namely: Sabrina Duncan, Jill Munroe and Kelly Garrett. I really wanted to be Jill, the character that Farrah Fawcett played, but my friend wanted to be her and she had a tendency to Chinese burn me when she didn’t get her way, so I had to make do with being Kelly.
I remember having a red PVC handbag complete with fringing in which I would keep my lipstick (a plastic one from a lucky bag) and my gun (a stick from the garden). The Angels always looked fabulous in their Seventies gear, especially their flares which usually came down to the floor covering their shoes, which were mostly wedges.
The return of flares aren’t such a bad thing, they are much more forgiving than the recent resurgence of the skinny jean which showed every lump, bump and breakfast. Flares are supposed to lengthen the leg, give you a perky bottom, shrink the waist and elongate your silhouette.
With the modern flare the bell bottom is apparently a no-no, the new flare is described as slimmer, high waisted and super sleek. The fashion pillaging of the Seventies doesn’t stop with retro trousers, the bohemian floppy hat a la Bianca Jagger at her wedding to Mick, is also making a comeback and fringing is practically compulsory for any outfit.
Fashion second time around is never really the same if you were involved in the first time around. To me there’s something sacred about the Seventies fashions, it’s a time that I feel I can never relive as the people who surrounded me then are gone, and the face I see in the mirror now is no longer that of an excited child awaiting the rest of her life, but a weary woman who now knows the secret of what the future held.
I doubt I’ll be revisiting the flare this year. I’ll be sticking to my tried and tested elasticated-waist bootcuts. Thankfully there seems to be no return for the tank top, massive shirt collars and acres of brown that I recall were de rigeur in the Seventies, nor the resurrection of the Bay City Roller calf-length trews.
Some things are best left in the past. I will however be whipping out my pussy bow. Maggie Thatcher was a slave to the pussy bow blouse and it’s back with a vengeance.
I used to regard this garment as a fashion only for, (as we used to say in the 70s); squares, but with the resurgence of Seventies style, if I may borrow the immortal words of Huey Lewis; ‘it’s hip to be square’.
IS YOUR CONCEPTION SONG RESPONSIBLE FOR THE BIRTHDAY BLUES?
Next weekend I face another birthday. As I’ve gotten older I’ve found birthdays can be bitter sweet. I feel sad for the sweet things of youth that I’m losing like perfect vision, yet I love the mindset that maturity is bringing with it. It’s just rather unfortunate that now that I’m getting my head together my body seems to be falling apart! Some people hate the approach of their birthday. I confess to feeling a little sad on the day. Though give me a bit of cake, a shuffle around my handbag to Gloria Gaynor, and a glass of Blossom Hill and I feel like my work here is done for another year. Whether you’re a fan of birthdays or not, have you ever wondered what was the number one song when you made your debut into the world? Would you perhaps (somewhat cringingly) want to know the top tune your parents may have been getting romantic to when you were conceived? If these are queries that keep you awake at night, worry no longer! A website will give you the answers to these questions. It will even tell you your life anthem (which is the song that was number one when you became an adult on your 18th birthday.) My conception song may well have been Crying in the Chapel by Elvis Presley. As for the tune that was number one when I entered the world it was rather unfortunately; The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore by the Walker Brothers. Is it any wonder I feel sad on my birthday if these morose songs were my first introduction to music? If you are interested in finding out your number one birthday tune head to www.thisdayinmusic.com.