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Say hello to 70s style.

Byline: Hannah Stephenson

Put on your platforms, turn on your lava lamp and take a seat in your ochre leather sofa -because 70s style is back.

The decade once considered the style bypass of the 20th century has been given a boost as Raleigh relaunches the Chopper bike, Starsky and Hutch return to the big screen this Friday and Farrah Fawcett's big hair, white teeth look is recreated for a new TV movie about Charlie's Angels. While 70s retro is evident on thehigh street in all aspects of life, from fashion to furniture and frippery, there are also some real collectables to be had, says Madeleine Marsh, editor of the latest Miller's Collectables Price Guide, out this month. Marsh, author of Modern Retro Tabletop, says: 'The 70s was quite a confused decade. Everything was big and blown up -big hair, big shoes, big bean bags, big shirt collars and big medallions.

'It was a decade of change. There was glam rock and disco, happiness and optimism at the beginning, and then there was a big economic blip and the decade ended with the emergence of punk and a lot of anger.'

Why has it taken so long for 70s trends to come around again?

'Because they're gross,' she says frankly. 'Everything in the 70s was the equivalent of platform shoes, distinctly lacking in subtlety.'

However, the forthcoming movie Starsky And Hutch -starring BenStiller and Owen Wilson in the title roles originally played by Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul -has undoubtedly boosted the 70s profile, says Marsh, along with the model Tricia Helfer, who has recreated Farrah Fawcett's famous poster in red swimsuit, blonde curls and perfect white teeth to promote a new TV movie about Charlie's Angels. 'These images have a huge influence on people. One of the things that period films do is look into the decor and furniture of the era. It's a real style inspiration,' says Marsh.

Some unlikely pieces from the 70s are again making their way into our homes. Think ceramics, mainly brown and sage green, which appeared in kitchens up and down the country. The 70s image was scrubbed pine, muesli and yoghurt makers.

'People were looking to recreate The Good Life country kitchen with brown biscuit barrels and ceramic canisters. You can find them in charity shops and in modern design shops.

'The ceramics often appear to be handmade even when they are mass produced. In the 70s it was fashionable to give ceramics a handmade look.'

So, what are today's must-haves from the 70s?

. Toys: It was the age of the Space Hopper, Klackers and skateboards.

Klackers have gone -they were deemed too dangerous -but other 70s toys are back with a vengeance. The Chopper bike has returned. The most popular retro toys include Transformers, the small fighting machines which transform into vehicles and robots, originally launched in the 70s, Star Wars spinoff merchandise from the original film and Atari games, among the first to plug into the TV, which have now returned as hand held versions. And, of course, Trivial Pursuit, launched in 1979 and still going strong. Slime, the pot of PVA goo used to stuff down your mate's polyester shirt, can also be found in gimmicky shops.

. Fashion: Platform shoes have been worn on the catwalks and are now in the shops in new spring and summer collections. Bright colours are coming back, particularly canary yellow. Jodie Kidd recently took style back to the 70s at London Fashion Week with lashings of lurex and a blonde Afro, . Homeware: Capsule-shaped radios are cool once more. In tableware, look for items with bold circles, discs and target patterns. In the 70s, tangerine was an extremely popular colour. Op and Pop-artmodelling Ronit Zilkha's latest designs. Chunky cardigans have been seen in recent collections of Dolce & Gabbana and Paul & Joe. Perms are back, blue and marinecoloured eye shadows and boldcoloured mascaras are being worn and wide-legged flares are everywhere in the high street. Collectables include punk gear from the 70s, says Marsh. 'Vivienne Westwood designer T-shirts from the punk era can fetch pounds 1,000 apiece,' says Marsh. Westwood, former lover of Sex Pistols' manager Malcolm McLaren, ran the clothes shop 'Sex' in Chelsea in the 70s. 'People don't buy them to wear them. They frame them,' says Marsh.

paintings are once again gracing the modern home, along with a plethora of luxurious fake fur throws and cushions. while stainless steel, which was embraced by Italian designers in the 70s, has returned 30 years on.

. Furnishings: Posh bean bags are back in vogue and vinyl and plastic are coming more into the contemporary settings. Home office decor is also veering back to the 70s as people deck out their offices with white plastic chairs, space-age look speakers, teak furniture and smoked glass tables. Leather sofas are again in fashion in brown hues. Fibre optic lighting harking back to the 70s has been in fashion for some time, as have lava lamps. Original posters by the graphic artist Jamie Reid, who captured the punk era so dramatically, are also worth buying, she adds.

. Music: No band could have recreated the feel of the 70s to greater effect than The Darkness. Winners of three Brit awards including Best British Album and Best British Group, lead singer Justin Hawkins is big on lurid spandex catsuits, flared at the ankle and wrists. Hair is long, tousled, make-up is heavy eyeliner, lip gloss and sometimes lightning streaks on the cheeks. It's T-Rex, Ziggy Stardust and glam rock revisited.

Of course, some will not be swayed from the notion that 70s style should never be repeated, that it is tacky and the epitome of bad taste and that platforms, polyester and prawn cocktails should be confined to the dustbin forever.

Marsh's advice to collectors is: 'I'd bypass the 70s and go to the charity shops for 80s items.'


Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul aka Starsky and Hutch; Starsky and Hutch for a new generation, Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller; Raleigh's new Chopper below and bottom, the original favourite; 70s glam rock revisted thanks to Justin Hawkins from the Darkness
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Mar 17, 2004
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