The photograph above was taken in 1974 in Scarborough while my father and his friends were on holiday. It was taken in a pub before they went clubbing. My father is the man second to the right and wearing the white suit, which is the outfit I will be focusing on in this blog post. As my father and his group of friends were going to go clubbing, they dressed smartly. My father decided to wear a white suit jacket, white waist coat and a navy shirt, and although you are unable to see them in the photograph, white flared trousers which I was told were ‘extremely fashionable at the time.’ (Told in an email from A. Cunningham on the 13th November 2016)
The navy shirt my father is wearing under is white blazer has a bigger collar than the shirts that are considered fashionable today. This can also be seen on my father’s friends in Figure 1 and in the catalogue in Figure 2, which demonstrates that this was a very popular trend at the time. Three piece suits including big open collars played a huge part in “Disco fashion” in the 1970s. it is said all styles of clothing were affected by the disco style, especially those of men. The three piece suits were available in a variety of colours and were characterised by wide lapels, wide legged or high-rise waistcoats, and flared trousers.”Culottes, bell-bottoms, and cut-off short shorts are all on the most-wanted list.” (Karpetz, 2015)
These trends were later presented in the film “Saturday Night Fever”. “The movie Saturday Night Fever brought out fashions reserved for the disco club scene and popularised them for the rest of the waiting world.” (Marsh, 2006)
When talking to my father about the photograph he said his outfit was most likely from “Cecil Gee”, as this was his favourite place to shop for fashionable clothes. “Cecil Gee” is a men’s clothing specialist, founded in London’s Charring Cross Road in 1851 by Cecil Gee, who quickly revealed himself to be one of the country’s most innovative men’s clothing specialist. (Anonymous, 2015) Cecil Gee’s success came in the 1950s when he recognised that by importing fabrics, he was able to provide suits which could be more lightweight, comfortable and versatile. (Anonymous, 2015) The “Cecil Gee” store my father used to shop at was located in Glasgow, Scotland as he was living in Kilmarnock (not far from Glasgow) at the time. There are still “Cecil Gee” stores around to this day although they are now owned by JD Sports Fashion. “JD said it bought the business and assets of eight Cecil Gee stores in cash, as well as the rights to use the Cecil Gee name.” (Farey-Jones and Reynolds, 2011) The Cecil Gee business had been made up of nine menswear retail stores. One store in Glasgow that is not part of the sale will be converted to a new format Moss Bros store.(Farey-Jones and Reynolds, 2011) More information about the JD take over of Cecil Gee is available here.
My father also mentioned that the “Feather hair cut” was very popular amongst his friends (which is shown in Figure 2) and in the 1970’s in general. My father explained that David Essex was a style icon in the 70’s and he had the “Feather cut” which made it popular amongst men. (A. Cunningham on the 13th November 2016) The Feather cut was all about adding volume which created more width and fullness to the top. (Heimann, 2006) The feathered hair cut may sound like a layered hair cut but a layered hair cut is to add dimension and thickness whereas a feathered hair cut was to look edgier and add more drama to the overall look which is what the 70’s was all about; making a fashion statement. (Anonymous, 2012)
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ANONYMOUS (2012) Feather Cut Hairstyles for long hair [Online] Available from: http://www.becomegorgeous.com/hair/stylish_haircuts/feather_cut_hairstyles_for_long_hair-9127.html
ANONYMOUS (2015) Cecil Gee – About the Brand [Online] Available from: http://www.eyekit.co/information/brands/about-the-brands/cecil-gee-about-the-brand.html
FAREY-JONES, D and REYNOLDS, J (2011) Moss Bros offloads Cecil Gee to JD [Online Article] Available from: http://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/1075816/moss-bros-offloads-cecil-gee-jd [accessed 16/11/2016]
HEIMANN, E (2006) 70’s fashion vintage fashion and beauty ads. Köln, Germany: Taschen
KARPETZ, S.J (2015) A ’70s fashion flash back’ [Journal]
MARSH, M (2006) 70’s Fashion Fiascos. Portland Oregon: Collectors press inc.
Figure 1: Photograph from Andrew Cunningham’s photo album, Scarborough 1974.
Figure 2: ANANYMOUS (1973) Advert from ‘The world of kays’ catalogue displaying men’s suits and flares. [Online image] Available from: http://www.voicesofeastanglia.com/2013/07/seventies-kays-catalogue.html [accessed 15/11/2016]
Figure 3: ANANYMOUS (1977) Film Theatrical release poster of ‘Saturday Night Fever’ Available from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturday_Night_Fever [accessed 15/11/2016]
Figure 4: ANANYMOUS (1970s) advertisement for Cecil Gee [online image] Available from: http://www.ebay.com/itm/13155-postcard-cecil-gee-advertising-1970s-men-modern-card-/360480041641 [accessed 15/11/2016]
Figure 5: ANANYMOUS (1970s) photograph of Cecil Gee Available from: http://sixtiescity.net/Culture/KingsRoad2.htm [accessed 15/11/2016]
Figure 6 : ANANYMOUS (1970s) Photograph of David Essex [Online Image] Available from: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/36591815695327270/