Imagine you are sitting in a bar and there's this cocktail called "70s Style". The main ingredients are simply Peace, Love, Freedom and Protest, sprinkled with colors and glitter. It's a long drink and can cause psychedelic effects. Are you in? Imagine there's a calendar hanging on the wall in this very same bar you are sitting, and the date of today is somewhere in the spring of 1970-something. The music around is funky, a mix tape of Gloria Gaynor, Frank Zappa, The Rolling Stones and Roxy Music, graved with Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, Queen and Uriah Heep. As B Sides and Rarities, it's Punk. So far, it does look like a lot of mess, right? Well, let's start our night out in the 70s, you will enjoy the tour.
The 70s time requires more than a page article, we can go on and on for days, going through talks about music and style and getting into deep philosophical and political discussions. As this article is not meant to mess up your mind with serious topics, let's focus now on the clothes. And they reflected the serious stuff.
The 70s was a revolutionary decade and "experimenting" was every other person's second name. Fashion went through a deep shake, from the sugary sixties dolly look and below knee dresses, to hot pants, miniskirts and sci-fi polyester jackets. Maxi coats, hats and asymmetrical bags didn't seem so weird anymore. Because guess what?! The "wear what you want" era had finally arrived! Fashion started to challenge the social norms and old taboos, the short skirts, pants and power suits became symbol of the women's liberal movement and emancipation, it was all calling for gender equality. And David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust showed the world that putting the alter ego under the spotlight was no more a psychological case. Designers like Yves Saint Laurent, Missoni, Gucci and Chanel, losing their ground with conservative style, embraced the new trend, as it was already not just a street label, it was a social attitude.
The 70s was a globalization in the making. Safari looks and folklore patterns, influenced by Eastern Europe and Asia, going pan continental with the oriental colors of Yves Saint Laurent, with peasant look. Baggy Cossack pants, turbans, loose sleeves - they were all out there, manifesting that the societies needed to change. Fabrics of wool, velvet and linen combined together with loud colors, floral jewelry, leather jackets and platform pumps never made the world look so individual. Besides, Fashion is a social tool, and in the 70s, marked with one of the biggest human catastrophes - the war in Vietnam, wearing US army surplus uniforms on a daily basis was a high form of protest against the militarization. There was going the hippie movement! Mid Seventies was the birthday of The Punk movement, emerging on the streets of London and New York with anti establishment and anti-racist slogans. And creating one of the most alternative style looks of all times.
Now, let's put Munich on the world map, and situate our bar in the heart of Schwabing, somewhere along Leopoldstrasse, and name it Crash, or Yellow Submarine, or Domicile (the jazz bar) or better yet Blow Up or Schack. P1 and Pimpernel were hot places even then, and can tell stories up to today. If you were lucky that night, you might have even seen Mick Jagger hanging out there, or Freddy Mercury (imagine!) or many others. No wonder Munich was called "The German San Francisco", home of alternative bars and stylish boutiques. And that meant there were big shoes to fill. Or platform pumps, combined with tight hot pants or denim.
Media had its tribute as well. "Madame" was the first German magazine reflecting the international look of the 70s with the fabulous work of Regina Relang, an iconic fashion photographer from Munich, famous for her shots in Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and Bild der Frau. Her photos can be seen in München Stadtmuseum, a Collection of Fashion and Fabrics. The exhibition goes from 25.01 to 15.09.2013 where you can visualize all the words written above and see real pieces of world's greatest designers, a real collection of Fashion, fabrics and artifacts form the 70s.
As for today, if I had the chance to go back in time and chose a decade to live through, I am quite certain about my choice. I am also certain what cocktail I am getting, if "70s Style" was listed on the menu.
Münchener Stadtmuseum, Mode der 70er Jahre, Sammlung Mode/Textilien
St. Jakubs Platz 1
Di-So 10.00-18.00 Uhr