You might think that the color yellow is what we know as the iconic colors of the 70s. Not so, and I am quite surprised to see a book by some of Canada’s most celebrated design pioneers, William Segal and Paul Strand, that takes a look back at the 70s and 80s with a very different perspective.
I find myself thinking about the colours of my youth in a nostalgic sort of way when reading through this book. For example, in the late 70s and early 80s, I wore navy blue jeans and a grey flannel shirt. In fact, I had no idea that the dark blue we now associate as a bold colour today was what people were actually wearing. It was very chic. I certainly remember having a few friends at parties wear navy blue clothes. Perhaps one of the most popular colours by far, when you think about it, was yellow. (I did not, however, have any of these colours, and have never even considered what I would have worn! But this book really seems to think about it!)
In fact, I don’t really think I went past navy. But I did have quite a bit in the other two most popular colours: mint green and green-brown. And I even had a few “black-on-black” shirts. The colours were definitely there.
To put this in perspective, here’s what happened in the 70s:
The new rock band The Ramones came out.
Lily Allen made some music.
Omaha-born fashion designer Donna Karan appeared in Groucho Marx’s film of the same name.
A young designer named Richard Newbold was born.
And, if you think about it, most of these trends actually did become mainstream!
The question for the book, however, is:
“Who are the most interesting and influential designers in the 70s? And why?”
Well, in an extremely eclectic and diverse set of interviews, with many different designers at their best and their worst, Segal and Strand explore the key designers’ key influences in designing. To put it in an easy-to-digest format, here is how the interview goes:
Segal: So you’ve spent a lot of time watching video of designers like Ralph Lauren or Alexander Wang, right? Strand: Very little. Segal: Is Michael Kors important? Strand: Kind of, I guess. Segal: So
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