The greatest 1970’s fashion icons still leaving their mark today

1970’s fashion icons still leaving their mark today

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It’s official flares are back in fashion – time to dig out your old wardrobe and impress the grandchildren. What was once the rockstar’s go-to staple is now the fashionista’s statement piece and the trend for nostalgic denim is gaining popularity. If you’re guilty of saying ‘don’t throw that away it will come back around someday’, now is your moment. 

1970's fashion

70’s style

Do you believe that the 1970s was the most stylish decade of your lifetime and perhaps of all time? From flares to miniskirts to knee-high boots, fashion in the 1970s was about individuality and self-expression.

 There are no rules in the fashion game now.

Vogue proclaimed in the early 70s

Kaleidoscopic Era

From glam-rock to punk-rock, an array of styles painted the 70’s with magnificent, contrasting hues. Pops of colour were associated with glam-rock, artists such as Ziggy Stardust and Elton John, whilst stark tones of night paired with blinding stripes of neon blared punk-rock anthems from those such as The Clash and The Sex Pistols.  

1970’s Fashion Icons 

The decade gave rise to an eclectic mix of style influences and fashion icons. Here we look at four key influencers of the time who have forever shaped the world of fashion: 

1. Vivienne Westwood

The queen of punk-rock Vivienne Westwood herself is said to be the inventor of the well-known punk-rock image. Pursuing a mix of fashion and sexuality, Westwood became the forefront designer to reimagine and inspire fashion for this rebellious cohort.  


In September 1974, Westwood’s concept store, ‘SEX’ opened to the public for the first time, complete with taboo fashion and borderline offensive designs; truly designated for the punk-rock members of the sub-culture. Westwood depicts this initial collection as, ‘rubberwear for the office’.  

Vivienne Westwood is well-known for styling The Sex Pistols

Punk-rock meets high-fashion

Her own ensemble sported the likes of spikes and pins and sky-high platform boots paired with her innovative take on plaid. She continues to provide a contemporary, high-fashion take on the quintessential style she pioneered and maintains the Vivienne Westwood brand as a punk-rock, household name. 

2. Yves Saint Laurent

Yves Saint Laurent is arguably said to be the powerhouse behind the chic, stylistic attire associated with the sexy and glamorous lifestyle of the decade. Saint Laurent obtained the role as the creative director of the House of Dior at the time, as young as twenty-one. 

Liberating fashion 

His outstanding talent provided women of the 70’s with liberating fashions such as the iconic, androgynous pant suit, ‘Le Smoking’, famously debuted on Bianca Jagger. Not only did this empowering statement-piece establish professionalism, authority and feminism within the modern-day women but also served as an emblem for women’s rights. Saint Laurent didn’t stop there. 

Self-expression and individualism were prominent ideologies captured by his designs, such as his taste for sheer garments aimed at empowering women to take back ownership of their bodies.

Diversity trailblazer  

Not only has Saint Laurent left his mark on fashion indefinitely with timeless designs, he was one of the first designers to condemn systematic racism within the industry. 

He fought against whitewashing casting models and instead made it his priority to promote a diverse range of models, including supermodels; Iman, Rebecca Ayoko and Katoucha Niane.  

3. Roy Halston

Roy Halston, also known as one of the most relevant and influential designers of the era, is famed for his posy of Halstonettes and celebrity friendships. Of these were some of the biggest names in pop culture including Liza Minelli and Elizabeth Taylor. Halston was a regular in the prevalent New York socialite hub, Studio 54. 

Roy Halston and his Halstonettes

Death of couture

The accessibility of fast-fashion ultimately resulted in the death of couture and permanently changed the social exclusivity of designer wear.  

Comfort and glamour 

Halston’s most iconic design was the halter-neck dress, still loved for its flattering cut. He introduced ready-to-wear fashion; enabling a new generation to copy the latest featured trends on the catwalk.  

High fashion to high street: What is fast-fashion anyway?

Clothes shopping used to be an occasional event, driven by the change in seasons and when we outgrew what we had. During the 70’s, something changed; clothes became more affordable, trend cycles sped up and shopping became a hobby in itself.   

4. Diane Von Furstenberg

Diane Von Furstenberg gave us arguably the most important women’s clothing item of the ‘70’s; the wrap dress. Simple, flattering, comfortable to wear and versatile, the wrap dress was the perfect day to night dress. Women all over the world added the staple to their everyday wardrobe. 

The wrap dress’ popularity lives today and is a favourite of The Duchess of Cambridge. 

What we do is celebrate freedom and empower women, and sell confidence, because at the end it’s the confidence that makes you beautiful.


Did we miss any? 

Who or what was your favourite fashion influence growing up? Do you still own your 70’s wardrobe? 

We’d love to hear your stories and see your pictures.  

Let us know who you’d flip through magazines to see or what styles you followed.