Sometimes, our greatest inspirations for new looks come from the past. Which is why we love The American Vernacular, a recently launched (it started last November!) online vintage store with fantastic, bygone-era inspired taste. Each piece on the site comes with information about its brand history, written by TAV’s owner and founder, Bryn Lander. This week, Bryn shares her vintage style secrets with us and gives the downlow on how to score those glam, leading lady looks.
Top: Diane Keaton, Liza Minnelli, Ali MacGraw, Faye Dunaway
Bottom: Pam Grier, Jerry Hall, Lauren Hutton, Bianca Jagger
During the ’70s, liberated women had more choices and fewer social constraints than ever before, producing two very distinct styles.
The eclectic boho style that stemmed from the ’60s hippie look became part of high fashion by the mid-’70s, when designers like Yves Saint Laurent, Ossie Clark, and Thea Porter created the ‘haute peasant look.’ The was also the decadent and glamourous style associated with Studio 54 and disco, which was largely defined by designers like Halston, Bill Blass, and Diane von Furstenberg, who experimented with draped jersey knits to create distinct silhouettes like the open-back halter neck, flowing maxi dresses, catsuits, and wrap dresses. My favorite iconic fashion films of the era are Love Story (1970), Cabaret (1972), Chinatown (1974), Shampoo (1975), Mahogany (1975) and Annie Hall (1977).
1. Tribal-Inspired Glass Beaded Torsade (The American Vernacular)
Embracing ethnic fashions like tribal jewelry, batik sarongs, caftans, and macramé bags became a part of mainstream fashion by the ‘70s.
2. Convertible Leather Bucket Bag (The American Vernacular)
Celebrated for her thoughtful and practical design approach for the burgeoning class of professional women, Liz Claiborne launched her brand in 1976 and became the first female founder with a company on the Fortune 500 list exactly ten years later.
3. Brass Embellished Tan Leather Belt (The American Vernacular)
Wide leather belts that accentuated the waistline helped make trends like gypsy tops and long peasant-style skirts more approachable and flattering.
4. Bill Blass Wool Jersey Blend Dress (The American Vernacular)
Quoted as saying that “no woman can be well dressed unless she is comfortable in what she is wearing,” Bill Blass helped set the tone for ‘70s fashion with his wearable designs and fresh take on American sportswear.
5. Genuine Raccoon Fur Peacoat (The American Vernacular)
In earlier eras, fur may have been reserved for ladylike evening jackets, but by the ‘70s, this boho-style jacket (with a pea coat shape traditionally used in menswear) was the modern way for women to wear fur.
6. Black Draped Silk Evening Dress (The American Vernacular)
The popularity of flowing, draped designs made in lightweight silk or new synthetic fabrics was reminiscent of styles from the ‘30s and ‘40s.
Get these looks! The American Vernacular is offering a 20% discount on any item listed in this week’s posts when you use checkout code: birchbox on the store’s site.