1970s Fashion


Aberdeen Art Gallery is delighted to be hosting the 'Zandra Rhodes: 50 Years of Fabulous' exhibition.

Fashion designer Zandra Rhodes launched her second collection The Ukraine and 'Chevron Shawl' in 1970, which saw her experiment with a range of different materials including feathers in her designs.

I would like to share some highlights from our 1970s costume collection made from materials popular in that decade including lurex, nylon, plastic, denim, velour and feathers.


Hat 1970s

Hat, 1970s

This dramatic hat has a domed crown and is decorated with pink feathers. Feathered hairstyles also became popular in the 1970s inspired by style icons like Farrah Fawcett.


Hostess Gown 1970s

Hostess Gown, 1970s

This full-length dress was purchased from Richard Shops during the 1970s. The high neck and long sleeves are typical of 1970s hostess gowns and the metallic lurex knit adds a touch of glamour. 


Nylon Dress 1970s

Nylon dress, 1970s

This full-length dress reflects the 1970s romantic look inspired by bohemian and hippie influences. It has a high ruched neckline, high waist and full skirt. It fastens with a plastic zip down the centre back. The flounced sleeves add dramatic effect. 


Cape 1970s

Cape, 1971 

Cloaks and capes were fashionable during the 1970s and were inspired by historical dress from previous centuries. This houndstooth check cloak is made from synthetic fabric trimmed with black braid and has a Russian braid toggle at the neck. The pattern used to make this cape was published by Mccall's in 1971. 


Platform Mules 1970s

Platform mules, 1970s    


Silver Boots 1970

Platform boots, 1970s

Platforms were top fashion in the 1970s. These colourful plastic mules and blue knee-high leather boots demonstrate the giddy heights reached by platforms. The bottom of the heels on the boots are flared to aid balance when walking.


Denim Flares 1970s

Denim flares and printed top, 1970s

Flares are one of the iconic looks of the 1970s and the wide bottoms fitted well over bulky platform shoes. These denim flares have been paired with a floral printed cotton top.


Hooded Jacket 1970s

Hooded jacket, 1977

This loose-fitting jacket has long cuffed sleeves and a large hood. It is made from velour which is a soft fabric similar to velvet that is comfortable to wear. This jacket was purchased in London from a shop on Portobello Road in 1977. 


“Zandra Rhodes: 50 Years of Fabulous” is now on at Aberdeen Art Gallery (entry: £9; Concessions £7; Friends of AAGM £4.50; under 12s free). This must-see exhibition is the largest ever show dedicated to British design legend Dame Zandra Rhodes, and explores 50 years of a fascinatingly varied career, presenting influential looks, original textiles and archive material. At 81, she continues to be a revolutionary force in fashion.