FEEL, SOMETHING, REAL: 70s California style for the generation who forgot to leave the house
Some dude once told me that there is always some kind of 70s revival happening…Whether it’s the origins of the skateboarding industry, the elements of hip-hop, or Mom’s iTunes playlist ‘high school hits’ – with the emphasis on high. But the same can be said about every decade, nostalgia is big, perhaps so big because now is too fast, too hectic, too connected. Who wouldn’t want to go back to the relative freedom of say, 2008?
One of the most attractive facets of 1970s living is the apparent freedom, outdoor living and related attire, so for this article we’ve taken inspiration from 70s California, a place etched in legend and mystique. It’s been reproduced countless times in celluloid, docu-films such as Dogtown and the Z-boys making it possible for us future kids to daydream what life would have been like. In its cinematic adaptation, Lords of Dogtown, the moment that captures the spirit of the decade as we know it is when Skip Engblom questions Stacey Peralta’s motives for wearing a watch because a teen skateboarder shouldn’t even need to know what time it is. BOOM!
So here it is, The Revolution: anti-Internet, anti-connectivity, switch off, drop-out, and hit the real world. Soak up some rays and feel grass on your bare feet whilst on a Spielberg style adventure with your small crew of real-lifers; embrace each other physically, mentally and even take a way-out sense of astral-spirituality, believe in the reality of the world.
“Didn’t we all get into this to AVOID responsibility?” slurs our leading male, facial muscles perplexed, hands flipped towards the ceiling. On the way to the party he smokes and his loose buttoned shirt hangs out of his denim, his tash is as un-kept as the soft wave of natural brown hair that sits on his shoulders. Nothing about this guy is disingenuous, he steps outside and the warm Californian breeze dances over his skin.
Yeah, yeah, I watched Almost Famous last night and now I’m trying to shape my whole life around the hedonistic escapism of yoof and eternal freedom and I want to leave my laptop out in the rain and dance next to it in some thrifted corduroy flares (Forever 21) and a crochet top that my friend brought back from India (Primark) holding onto the healing crystals that I got from a Native American in exchange for a Pez (they’re on their way. Ebay – 3.99 Inc. P+P (!)).
The 70s! Remember them? No, of course not, but I’m big into pretending and this summer I’m going to use my tiny imagination to drench my wardrobe in super 8 tones and swan around in crushed velvet, nostalgic pendants and track & field sportswear. Gurrls, roll down your 80s denim hems, hide your sweet buns. Bra? No thanks, it’s time to embrace the side boob. Guys, the 30th of November was a sad day, I liked your moustache, grow it back please…did someone say lynx effect because I can hear the phone ringing! Crystals, Ying-Yang, Zen wisdom-app, lets get spiritual (albeit with modern sensibilities).
The Boogie Nights poolside look is a strong contender for “summer uniform”, as is Tom Boy Sophomore. We should be taking lessons in ‘laidback’ from our girl Penny Lane and all the boys from Lords of Dogtown, this is just as much about attitude as it is about crochet and kick flips.
Hair is loose and natural and skin is the colour yo’ mama gave ya. If you happen to have been to California in the last month and picked up a caramel coating, then good for you, but this is 2012 and we accept all major credit cards. Make up is for people with too much time, you’ve got shit to be getting on with, like drugs and promiscuous sex.
Accessorise heavily with sportswear – striped ankle socks, raglan tees, skateboards, caps – backward or forward – feel free to use it as a visual metaphor for how nostalgic or future you happen to be feeling that day.
I’m going to be bold now but I want you to bear with me. Every year the bootleg jean tries to creep back into our hearts like a dirty stop out at 4am and we kick it back to the living room couch, but seriously give the guys a chance. Two words: Kirsten Dunst. Ok, two more: Crazy Beautiful. Seen it? It works. Just don’t think about it too much, abandon the cigarette silhouette and use your nipples as accessories. Hey, would you look at that, my ass is perfectly balanced out by this wide hem swinging jovially around my shoes. Boys, if flares are just too far out, get some tapered 501’s from your local Rokit, if your ankles can’t be free then, great grandmothers spatula, let your crotch breathe for just a second.
FYI gold hoops are strong. Women who wear gold hoops know themselves. See J-LO, Heather Graham and RiRi. I’m not sure if Heather Graham wore gold hoops in Boogie Nights or as Felicity Shagwell but if she didn’t then she should have. And if I didn’t stress it enough before – coloured shades. This is totally unisex, infact, men of the world, buy a pair of pink lenses, did you know that after “good shoes” and “nice eyes”, “potential wardrobe swag” is a bonafide way to pick up chicks. I want your sunglasses, I want you. Maybe.
Guys! Offset those savings and spend some real money on an excessively expensive pair of Cazal sunglasses – you can buy retro or modern reissues for upwards of £200, the rest of your look is going to be minimal spend thanks to Ebay so the more you spend on sunglasses the less you have to spend on everything else. Ain’t nobody gonna think “why’s that bum wearing £500 shades? He must be a rock-star or something right??”
Plus, when it comes to summer a few washed out basic tees will suffice, hey, if it’s hot it’s acceptable to go shirtless, when it gets cool throw a coat on over your bare shoulders and let go of those preconceptions that this look is reserved for a 100,000 strong crowd at Woodstock.
This look is going to support a feeling within you, a feeling to create, to manifest, to make, to be, TO DO! Its roots in sportswear are there to encourage you to get outside and explore and the sexy side orders are all for you, we’ll have them to go please.