Fashion: Alien resurrection - the flares that never died

Oh my gawd - it's the Seventies. They've remembered the decade that fashion forgot, writes Tamsin Blanchard. Photographs by James Cant.

If, seen from here, the Seventies were your worst sartorial nightmare, then prepare to confront it all over again. This week, Boogie Nights, the epic movie about the porn industry of Seventies West Coast America, starring Mark Wahlberg as Dirk Diggler in brown Crimplene flares, opens at a cinema near you.

And that's not all. In early February, Sigourney Weaver takes to the big screen in The Ice Storm, a more cerebral story set on America's East Coast in the earlier half of the decade, 1973 to be precise. Before you know it, you'll be singing "Boogie Nights" and getting on down to your local Oxfam store in search of clothing horrors - halter necks, boob tubes and gold Lurex galore; or, even worse, you'll be dragging out those relics of your youth that you couldn't quite bare to part with. Horrors of the haunted wardrobe!

"They keep saying the Seventies are coming back," says Sigourney, whose movie clothes are more Abigail's Party than disco fever. "They are not coming back. They could not come back. They would not be allowed in." This a woman who knows the meaning of horror and fear. Clearly, Alien Resurrection was a picnic by comparison.

Sigourney may not be able to stomach men in big collars and hideously Seventies brown, rust, orange and gold. They don't do it for most people. But for those who didn't live through the decade that style forgot, the Seventies looks remarkably, well, stylish. Of course, many of the decade's fashions were downright ugly, but for young fashion folk, that is the attraction. Huge, rounded collars, wide, spoony-shaped shoes, chunky platforms, colossal flares, pearly green eyeshadow, and jarring colour clashes: just let us get at 'em!

Of course, films such as Boogie Nights are a godsend to shops specialising in retro clothing. The Pop Boutique has clothes from the Fifties to the Seventies; it is even doing good business in vintage tracksuit tops. A certain Fila tracksuit top like the one worn by Bjorn Borg sells for between pounds 70 and pounds 80, bobbles and all. Nylon shirts and polyester flares are also hot property, not to mention a tad moist and sweaty, too. Prices start at pounds 14.50 for super fly-collared shirts and pounds 16.50 for the sort of pants that some of us hoped might never see the light of day again. A lot of Pop Boutique's customers are after clothes for one-off Seventies nights. Others are committed to the decade full time.

London's clubland has also discovered that the Seventies are big business. The names of the "nights" say it all: Carwash, Voulez Vous, Starsky and Hutch, Groove Train and Good Times are just a few hot spots where a convincingly flyaway outfit is a free ticket to trip the light fantastic.

At the Electric Ballroom in London's Camden Town on Saturday nights, Saturday Night Fever offers free entry to anyone who makes an effort to dress up like John Travolta, or somebody from Abigail's Party. The Independent's stylist, Sophia Neophitou, took a suitcase of choice pieces from the decade to add a touch of fashion class to the retro clubbers. They all loved the dressing-up box, whose contents ranged from flared jeans to a silk, draped evening dress by Bill Gibb, a collector's item and a snip at pounds 175 from Steinberg and Tolkein on London's King's Road. Mark Steinberg has a keen interest in both film and fashion. Boogie Nights will undoubtedly increase demand for vintage Seventies clothing, although Steinberg attributes the revival to last year's movie, LA Confidential, the jewellery for which all came from the London shop.

"The Seventies has never really been out of fashion," he says. And judging by the designers - including John Galliano and New Yorker Anna Sui - who have been scouting around shops such as the Pop Boutique for inspiration, the look is here to stay.

Photographer's assistant: Philippa

Styling: Sophia Neophitou

Styling assistant: Warren Noronha

Shot on location at Saturday Night Fever, every Saturday at the Electric Ballroom, 184 Camden High Street, London NW1, pounds 7, pounds 5 to members; free if you dress in Seventies outfits, 10.30pm-3am (0171-

485 9006)

Clockwise from main picture:

Laura wears Jacket and culottes suit, pounds 34, shiny polo-neck top, pounds 12, beige boots, pounds 39, all from Blackout II, 51 Endell Street, London WC2 (0171

240 5006)

Dawn wears zip-front dress, pounds 375, by Pucci, from Steinberg and Tolkien,193 King's Road, SW3 (0171-376 3660)

Asaki wears top, pounds 35, from Cenci, 31 Monmouth Street, London WC2 (0171- 836 1400); flared jeans, pounds 35, from Pop Boutique, 6 Monmouth Street, London WC2; Dr Martens shoes, model's own

Laura wears gold Spandex trousers, 20p, from The Cat Shelter open-day jumble sale, Sheffield; scarf top, pounds 220, by Pucci, from Steinberg and Tolkien, as before

Donna wears pink silk evening dress, pounds 175, by Bill Gibb, from Steinberg and Tolkien, as before; cream shoes, pounds 24, from Blackout II, as before

Donna wears pink sequin boob tube, pounds 10, pink sequin necklace, pounds 5, pink sequined bag, pounds 10, all from Cornucopia, 12 Upper Tachbrook Street, London SW1(0171-828 5752)

Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
Arts and Entertainment
James Hewitt has firmly denied being Harry’s father
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Oliver
filmTV chef Jamie Oliver turned down role in The Hobbit
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Sport
Ashley Barnes of Burnley scores their second goal
footballMan City vs Burnley match report
News
news
News
Sir James Dyson: 'Students must be inspired to take up the challenge of engineering'
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Software Engineer - Python / Node / C / Go

    £35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: *Flexible working in a relaxed ...

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Bookkeeper

    £20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This accountancy firm have an e...

    Recruitment Genius: Junior Developer / Mobile Apps / Java / C# / HTML 5 / JS

    £17000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Junior Mobile Application Devel...

    Recruitment Genius: LGV Driver - Category C or C+E

    £23000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This national Company that manu...

    Day In a Page

    A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

    A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

    Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
    Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

    Scarred by the bell

    The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
    Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

    Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

    Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
    Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

    Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

    Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
    The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

    The Locked Room Mysteries

    As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
    Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

    How I made myself Keane

    Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
    Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

    Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

    Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
    A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

    Wear in review

    A look back at fashion in 2014
    Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

    Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

    Might just one of them happen?
    War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

    The West needs more than a White Knight

    Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
    Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

    'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

    Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
    Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

    Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

    Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
    The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

    The stories that defined 2014

    From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
    Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

    Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

    Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?