Friday, April 27, 2012

Deco Revival Fashion

You may recall I mentioned some time ago I was doing a spot of research on retro revival fashion in the 1970s? I've finally managed to assemble my research, so I thought I'd kick off with a post on the Art Deco revival in the late 60s to 70s. One influential cinematic influence on the movement was the 1967 release of Bonnie and Clyde starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. A 1968 article in LIFE magazine neatly summarised some of the key features of 1930s revival fashions inspired by the film and reinterpreted for the 70s:

1970s fashion revived a number of 1930s design features including flutter and capelet sleeve styles, and deep-V collars. Made in the right fabric McCall's 6834 could almost pass for an original late 30s tea dress.

1930s style orange slipper satin dress

30s style strawberry print dress (modelled by Aimee of Bright Young Twins)

30s and 40s revival fashion in LIFE magazine, February 1971

But it's not just the clothing itself: Art Deco influences can also be seen in accessories, including items like beaded evening bags and jewellery. Some seek to imitate the originals, but more often they're given a distinctly 70s twist.

Art Deco orange clutch, sold by Penny Dreadful Vintage

70s Deco fan earrings

1930s inspired beaded purse

Spectator shoes "A 30's flavor with the look of the 70's" in Sears, 1973

However, possibly the fashion arena which most wholeheartedly embraced the Deco vibe was in the prints: jazz era imagery enjoyed huge popularity in textile design over the decade.

1920s inspired fabric

1920s tennis players T-shirt

1970s skirt printed with early 20s fashion plate style images


  1. I love the printed skirts and so forth. I saw a very deco parrot on the front on a 70s dress recently, sadly not in my size!

  2. This is fabulous! I love the LIFE article! Bonnie and Clyde was my mum's favorite movie in college, and after college she was into antiques and her wardrobe certainly reflected both her passion for the Bonnie look as well as the turn-of-the-century revival that occured.

  3. I'm sure I made the last 70s sewing pattern shown - back in the 70s that was!!


  4. Great post!! I'm actually more inclined to look for '70s takes on '30s styles these days, as they're often cheaper and sturdier than the originals :) It reminds me of the glamourous Biba aesthetic too. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I love the 70s does 30s style, there is something quite decadent about it. Thank you for featuring my bag :) x

  6. You should look into some Marimekko styles...they always got that 70s vibe in the clothes and fabrics...


I'd love to hear your thoughts!


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