These 7 Photographers Captured the Fearless Fashion of the ’70s
BY DEMIE KIM
What accounts for the timeless appeal of the 1970s? From Gucci’s fringed midi skirts this spring to Missoni’s latest bohemian ruffled dresses and Vivienne Tam’s flared pants on New York’s catwalks this past week, the iconic decade has seen a strong resurgence in the last year of fashion. During an era defined by the sexual revolution, the fight for women and gay rights, hippie subculture, and anti-war movements in the U.S., people began to use their wardrobes as vehicles for self-expression and sartorial experimentation. Urban youth looked to pop icons like David Bowie, in his body-hugging catsuits and fluorescent-hued makeup, and Cher, with her sweeping hair, groovy crop tops and fur-lined sleeves, for inspiration.
Roaming city streets with a Rolleiflex camera during his lunch break, Traub photographed passersby—bedecked in the oversized sunglasses and fur coats emblematic of the ’70s—going about their days in what he calls the “theater of the street.” From 1977 to 1980, the Kentucky-born photographer captured some 400 people across New York, Chicago, and even Milan. Just last year, these close-up, predominantly square-format photographs were published in his time capsule of a book, Lunchtime. “I am not a fashion photographer and was never interested in that issue, but rather into how a ‘type’ could be seen through the lens at looking at the face,” he has said.
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