With music-industry drama ‘Vinyl’ offering stylish muses for the summer, get hip with halternecks, wide-legged jumpsuits and platform wedges, writes Paula Burns
Ever since the curtain was drawn on the stylish Mad Men, we have been left in a fashion inspo limbo. There have been few shows that have seeped into the mindset of designers. Thanks to its innovative costume designer Patricia Field, Sex and the City became a fashion icon all of its own.
This was the show that made Manolo Blahnik a household name. The fashionable power of TV had shifted and so along came Mad Men. With John Dunn at the costume helm, viewers were treated to the delectable delights of A-line skirts and cinched waists. Leading lady Christina Hendricks reminded us that the pencil skirt was made for curves .
Now, Dunn is again filling our screens with stylish pieces, this time from the ’70s in HBO’s latest hit Vinyl. The show depicts a turning point in the music industry. This was the moment where punk, glam rock, and disco collided, creating the urban-pop culture of the future. In fashion terms the restriction of the housewife two-piece of the ’50s had gradually transformed to the mini skirts of the ’60s, to the sensualised visions of the ’70s. The main character Richie Finestra gorges on the hedonistic lifestyle of Bolivian dancing dust and the fashion remains in keeping with his excessiveness.
This is ’70s New York: It’s dirty, gritty, everything lay bare, which translates to the no-bra rule of the time. When it comes to setting the show’s style status, it’s the ladies that lead. Finestra’s wife Devon, played by Olivia Wilde, is the metaphorical muse of the iconic Edie Sedgwick. A former playgirl of Warhol’s Factory, there is something achingly sexy about her. When we first meet her, she has succumbed to suburban life, but through her clothes we see a different woman. Devon has left an artistic world behind, yet she refuses to allow her surroundings in Connecticut to influence what she wears.
Warhol’s factory is synonymous with her style. She is an ethereal ’70s goddess who refuses to allow her clothes to constrict. Often bra-less, Devon’s style at home is free-flowing kaftans. By night she plays with her sensuality, opting for the iconic dress of the era, the DFV wrap dress; or a halter-neck, low-cut jumpsuit, with décolletage ever present to entice. Devon’s style fits perfectly with this summer’s boho vibe. Bare shoulders allow for the bra-less silhouette her character so enviably carries off.
The ’70s was a decade of free spirits, a time where rules were made to be broken, especially fashion rules. This is something us new-century women should learn to embrace again, and the off-the-shoulder top is the simplest way to break the style constrictions.
What is now a staple wardrobe piece, the jumpsuit, has been revamped to it’s free-flowing original of the ’70s. Think Bianca Jagger and the Studio 54 set when emulating Devon’s look. Go with a halter-neck, wide-legged jumpsuit matched with platform wedges. For lazy summer days lounging around the house, opt for a kaftan, big sunglasses, and straight, flowing hair. By night, add a platform stiletto for carefree sexiness.
At the other end of the Vinyl spectrum lies Juno Temple’s character, A&R girl Jamie Vine. Her spiralled, blonde locks gives the fly-away feel of the era. Where Devon’s artistic flare shines through, Vine wants to be taken seriously, so we see her opt for a more classic ’70s style. Yet, as with all things style related in the ’70s, a touch of sensuality is a given. Her signature knee-high platform boots add structure, giving her a height she needs to stand out from the male-orientated crowd to achieve the position she wants. That’s not to say that the sexiness of the knee-high boot is overlooked, as a bedroom scene proves.
For the most part, Vine is the character to channel when creating that everyday ’70s vibe. Her choice of ribbed halter-neck or crop tops matched with flares and high platform shoes is effortless, yet well thought through. While skinnies will remain an ever-faithful friend of modern fashion, flares create a magnetic force of style nostalgia. Add the highest of platforms, be it a wedge or Gucci’s platform pump in red and white stripe (which Temple has been photographed in and are heaven-sent) to bring elongated sexiness to the flare.
It’s with Vine’s character that costume designer Dunn experiments with the staple prints and fabrics of the time. Lashings of lurex, suede, and knit could be found in crop-tops and halter-necks. Now, these fabrics have made their way back to the future mixed with the clashing prints of the time. One standout piece from Vine’s wardrobe is the loose, peasant-style paisley dress she matches with knee-high boots. It’s an easy look to bring from early spring though to summer. For summer, lose the boots.
People live by the mantra never look to the past, but fashion breaks this rule, leaving us with an inspiring style blueprint. Now thanks to the comeback of the small screen a stylish muse is never far away.
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