NEW YORK (AP) — The wide-leg trousers, below-the-knee dresses and off-the-shoulder peasant tops headed our way in 2011 mark the beginning of a highly stylized trip down memory lane through the 1970s. Could an avocado kitchen be far behind?
Trendwatchers find many sociological parallels between the 70s and the current climate — a time when working women were seen as coming into their own, a period of economic instability and a party-hard attitude. That, they said, could bring back more than a few trends.
People are no longer looking to revolt. They want more of a "quiet rebellion," said Marian Salzman, president of Euro RSCG Worldwide PR. That can be interpreted in a plaid lumber jacket on a city street, men’s half-groomed mustaches and beards, and mashups of seemingly clashing colors.
There’s heritage and nationalism flowing on the runways with designers sticking to signature pieces, with Americans doing more sportswear and Italians the sexy thing, for example.
"I think there’s a backlash in fashion against all the futurism and athletic references we’ve seen," said Andrea Praet, trend director of forecasting firm StyleSight. "Minimalistic is still important, but so is authenticity. It’s about just getting out there and living."
Gucci Westman, the Revlon global artistic director, really sees power and confidence coming through, especially for women.
"A lot of the look for next year is celebrating female power and really showing the powerful (Helmut) Newton sort of woman, the woman who really holds her own," she said. "She’s sensual, confident and incredibly accomplished, but also beautiful and aware of herself."
It’s nice to reflect upon the style icons of the ‘70s — Lauren Hutton and Diane von Furstenberg, for example — because they balance glamour and approachableness, Westman said.
In her world of makeup, lip stain could be an "it" item because it also straddles two worlds: It’s not fussy but it also can’t be ignored, she said. (Don’t go back to cumbersome ‘70s skin care, though, Westman added. Sometimes advancement is a good thing.)
Praet can envision the ease and old-school femininity of gingham and floral fabrics (a la Liberty of London) translating into interiors, especially sheets, towels and a return to wallpaper. And, in fact, she did a report for clients on the resurgence of the avocado green color.
On the more glamorous front, Studio 54-style jewel tones, gold accents, and sheer and satin fabrics embrace a bit of a more conspicuous consumer, Praet observed. "People are feeling a little more optimistic. There’s the feeling of wanting to go out and party, and not being ashamed of that. People are still conscientious of what they’re spending their money on, but there’s a return to fun — it’s almost a provocative, underlying exhibitionism."
She pointed to the successful retrospective of performance artist Marina Abramovic at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, which was raw and glamorous at the same time.
Music of the day expressed a frustration particularly among young adults that, despite fulfilling their part of the bargain to go to college, became educated and fairly responsible. Riches weren’t theirs for the taking, Salzman said. Surely, any recent college graduate can relate.
People stuck closer to home, taking road trips and attending family reunions, Salzman said. It’s not quite the same as today’s staycations but in line with a more insular, homey vibe.
Palm Beach, Calif., was a favorite family trip for Revlon’s Westman, and she’d go back there in a flash with her own family, including husband David Neville, half of the Rag & Bone design duo, if it weren’t so built up now.
Instead, they flee to Vermont — a place that provides the "approachableness" they crave. "I like the feeling of a place that’s not tapped into yet. It feels genuine, a place where people know your name," Westman said.
She added: "I’d like to revisit Palm Beach if it was like how I remember from the ‘70s. It was discovered by the cool people then — but just them. It was a special gem."
There’s a cool, communal attitude in some likely food trends, added StyleSight’s Praet, including secret dining parties and the one-burner dinner, sort of an evolution of the one-dish meal. "That hippie movement lingered in the ‘70s and that’s a major influence in our spring ‘11 trends. It’s about coming together, expressing yourself and keeping it joyous and light."
A new generation would be lucky to experience some of the high points of the ‘70s, said designer von Furstenberg, a fixture on the style scene then and now.
"We thought we had invented freedom and our clothes reflected that. Somehow, young people today look at it and embrace it. ... It’s an era of optimism, creativity, freedom," she said. "Most important, it feels totally relevant."