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Retail stores fumble attempt to revive the '70s

By Alexandra Bell
On February 6, 2014

In the wake of the very successful film, "American Hustle," many retail stores have made an attempt to bring back the 70s. This endeavor, while plucky, was unfortunately a bit too gung hoe. In a decade when the younger generation is dressing in a relatively conservative manner, the plunging onesies and pink mohair jackets are a bit daunting. Not to mention, the thigh hugging, mid-calf reaching tube skirts are flattering on almost no one. Admittedly, it was exciting to see stores such as H&M going retro. However, a successful revival of a decade as scandalous as the 70s requires a great deal of finesse. Here was an opportunity for the fashion industry to provide us with a tantalizing nibble of "Rock'n Roll Suicide." Instead, we are overloaded by bathroom tile greens, grandma's nail polish oranges and unreasonably long and leg shrinking blazers. It's enough to give anyone with even a hint of the chic gene an aneurysm.
The 70s relapse may have been poorly executed, but I believe it reveals our generation's desperation for nostalgia and a stylization of our own. Every decade of the 1900s had its own particular vibe and exuded its own flavor. When one mentions the 20s, visions of energetic women in flapper dresses, and suave Gatsby boys arise. Thirties fashion was polished. They emphasized length, contour and femininity for women, while keeping men's fashion strong and firmly linear. The forties had the American wartime look going on. The fifties had poodle skirts and greasers. Sixties had... well think Twiggy and flower power. The 70s had iconic everything, from Ziggy Stardust to disco. The 80s were gross, but held their own, and the 90s had grunge, excesses of leather and a general sense of confusion. It was as though the 90s were one big funeral for the vibrant evolution of style and society. The dead end of the century loomed. Then things went grey. It's as if style went into a coma, and is now little more than a ghost. In this age of soulless technology, we are floating in an oblivion of monotony, our only reprieve from which is the occasional moment of reminiscence. Granted, this is depressing, however it is important that we consider whether we will ever be to able wake up, or if this state is a permanent one.
Fashion and style have always reflected the heartbeat of society, and provided a visual representation of our general state. This means that most aspects of our lives, not just our style choices are stuck in a rut. Hopefully, at some point in the near future, we will once again find some means of blossoming into a state of mental and artistic evolution that doesn't entirely depend on the technology which seems to be currently dripping depresents into our systems. Until that point, however, we will continue to recycle the past in the vain hope of recapturing its vibrancy. We will continue to stand before the bedroom mirror, trying on our old clothing, wishing they would fit like they used to. Until we find it within ourselves to move on, it would help with our self-consciousness if we were to at least do a better job of altering those old garments to suit our new form. Pulling articles of clothing directly out of the 70s and plopping them in the year 2014 simply will not do. Lacking the inspiration to invent anew is one thing, but failing to produce something wearable from the arts and crafts box accessible to the design industry is an insufferable display of incompetence. People have a difficult enough time dressing themselves as it is without the all-powerful closet gods confusing them further. Let us all hope that the next time the holy closet spits out a time capsule it is better planned, and more sensitive to our current predicament.
 


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