The 1970s was a decade to be remembered in history. Not only revered for its introduction of technological advancements, the decade also paved the way for a new era of fashion and music trends which would go on to inspire and mould the creative outputs we see today.
The ‘70s was not only a key time in history but also a turning point when Gola became a household name, following the release of our flagship Harrier shoe in 1968. With such significant events occurring during this time, we take a look back through the 1970s to remember the best music, technology, hairstyles and fashion.
The 1970s was all about experimentation with music. We saw greater diversity forming with the new wave of anarchic punk witnessed from the Sex Pistols alongside the juxtaposing upbeat development of funk and soul from legends like Aretha Franklin. The disco anthems of the Bee Gees provided some of the greatest hits of the ‘70s, with hits such as ‘Stayin’ Alive’, ‘Night Fever’ and ‘How Deep Is Your Love?’ all being released in the decade.
Musical icon David Bowie changed the way we experienced music with his evolving style and intriguing personas adding more dimension to his music, in particular the Thin White Duke became a key persona for the ‘70s era. Bowie’s songs proved to stand the test of time and are still enjoyed today, showing the longevity of his influence and the power of his talent.
Fleetwood Mac released their internationally acclaimed album ‘Rumours’ in 1977, which brought to the mainstream hits; ‘Go Your Own Way’, ‘Dreams’ and ‘The Chain’. Perhaps one of the most celebrated of all time and certainly one of the best-selling, the album documented the widely speculated relationship issues of the bands own members. ‘Rumours’ took the tribulations of Fleetwood Mac themselves and channelled it into a best-selling album which still stands up against chart music released today.
Legendary band ABBA formed in Stockholm in 1972 and would go on to win Eurovision in 1974, a feat which would help propel them to fame of astronomical levels. ABBA enjoyed a string of hits through the ‘70s, including renowned singles ‘Dancing Queen’ and ‘Money, Money, Money’. Not just inspiring in music, ABBA went on to influence films and stage, with their catalogue of songs turned into a movie and show ‘Mamma Mia’.
Technology may have advanced in leaps and bounds over the years but it wasn’t that long ago we were all listening to tape cassettes and marvelling at the capabilities of a Pocketronic calculator. The Polaroid camera was created a few decades before the 1970s but saw a surge in popularity during this decade, as it allowed users to efficiently print their snaps in minutes and take with them on the go.
Entertainment advanced further with electronic game consoles being a must-have in many family homes. The Atari was a favourite pastime for ‘70s kids, who spent many a weekend trying to beat their high score on Pong.
The TV had already become an essential home item by the 1970s but the invention of the Videocassette Recorder made it all the more desirable to consumers, giving families the option to record their favourite shows and play them back at a later date. VHS tapes were released in the early ‘70s to allow storage of TV recordings, revolutionising the way we consumed television and ensuring quality television shows were never missed.
The home computer also took off in the ‘70s, with the Apple II becoming one of the first commercially successful PCs to be released. Created by technical geniuses Steve Jobs and Jerry Manock, the Apple II offered something new to the average household and took a different approach to competitors who were targeting the professional market at the time. Jobs ensured the Apple II design featured a plastic outer casing to be more appealing to the average person, concealing the wires and mechanics inside and being a more aesthetically pleasing computer to have at home.
In the recurring cycle of fashion 1970s trends have returned in new iterations, but back in the day these trends were revolutionary and new to the experimental fashion consumer. Western themed clothes came to the forefront of design, as tan suede adorned many jackets, waistcoats and trousers. Fringing also became a huge trend of the decade, with jackets and skirts taking on the style in an abundance.
Menswear saw collars and cuffs go oversized, with accommodating flared trousers to suit. Colour matching suits and shirts were not popular during this time, as bold hues such as purples and blues were clashed with lime greens and oranges for a vibrant result.
For women, there were many trends on offer to provide a versatile choice of style. The ‘hippy’ movement inspired earth tones in both clothing and footwear, with maxi dresses and peasant blouses becoming more popular in pretty embroidered designs.
Shirts were colourful, with no shying away from clashing prints or textures with your outfits. Tie-dye was a popular DIY method of creating colourful prints on T-shirts. Button-down shirts also offered busy patterns and prints with psychedelic designs becoming popular to result in statement looks.
The influence of disco music and the new wave of rock and pop encouraged more fashion-forward observers to don jumpsuits on nights, not complete without sky-high platform heels to match. There was an androgyny to the stage outfits of artists such as David Bowie that birthed a new way to dress for the masses.
In sportswear, Tennis was the sport that influenced casual wear for men and women. Polo shirts became a staple silhouette to many wardrobes, often being paired with adhering tennis trainers in bright white hues. Tracksuits also grew to become everyday attire toward the end of the 1970s, as the beginnings of what we know as athleisure today developed.
Hairstyles became bigger and wilder during the 1970s, as people looked for a new look to suit the changing times. Jane Fonda became a style icon, influencing women everywhere to go for the ‘Shag’ style and cut more layers into their hair and add a fringe to match. Women’s hair in general was looser and less styled, reflecting the free-spirited nature of the time.
Men’s hair also got less structured as more guys embraced a natural look and grew their hair long. Beards and mustaches also became more popular during this time, perhaps inspired by the top musicians of the time.
Think you know all about the 1970s? Take our retro quiz and see if you recognise the faces and items.