CALIFORNIA LOVE: CHARLIE SHEEN+DREAMY, SEXY 1970’s STYLE

Ladies of the 70's were so sexy. They really embodied the sort of nonchalant elegance that I think is missing from fashion today.

Jun 8, 2012 at 2:00pm | Leave a comment

I know so little about my chosen field, the entertainment industry, that it’s laughable.  I absolutely never know who has what project in the works, and I have never seen a movie in it's opening week.  I am always frantically Googling people as I am walking into meetings with them so I can act like I know what's up. So it is quite unusual that I saw a fun movie this week at a private screening before anyone else -- even the press.

A Glimpse Inside The Mind Of Charles Swan III” stars my favorite nutjob, Charlie Sheen, and was directed by Roman Coppola, son of my all-time favorite director, Francis Ford Coppola. ("Apocalypse Now" is the greatest movie of all time.) The film does not have a release date yet, so I am not so sure I am even suppposed to be writing about it. You are most certainly hearing about it here first!

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The movie poster.

The movie is set in my absolute favorite decade for fashion, the 1970’s.  Charlie Sheen plays Charles Swain III, a womanizing graphic designer and artist living in sunny Southern California.  Charles has just broken up with his beautiful blond girlfriend (Katheryn Winnick), and is reliving his mistakes throughout the relationship via lots of strange fever-dream type sequences. Weird doesn't even begin to explain what's going on here.

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Charlie Sheen and co-star Katheryn Winnick.  Photo via RadarOnline.com.

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Bill Murray, Charlie Sheen, Jason Schwartzman.  Photo via @CharlieSheen

There are lots of great actors in this little movie. (Duh, it's the Coppolas.) Jason Schwartzman plays Swain’s stand-up comedian best friend and partner in crime. Clearly Bill Murray shows up to anything the Coppalas do, and he is funny in the film as Swain’s doom and gloom business manager. Patricia Arquette is the dry-witted, sensible novelist sister. Her 70’s "working girl" outfits, complete with head scarves and turbans, are worth seeing the movie for alone.

I really only went to the screening because sometimes it's fun to examine movie stars up close to see if they are really human. But I ended up loving it, in no small part to the clothes. The film’s Costume Designer, April Napier, did a fabulous job. Period films are a ton of work, and on top of that, this movie is completely filled to the brim with crazy specialty costumes.

Ladies of the 1970's were so sexy. They really embodied the sort of nonchalant elegance that I think is missing from fashion today. Here are some of my favorite 70's things that watching "A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III" reminded me of:

The long polyester "hostess gown" is the holy grail of 1970’s looks. I always feel so pretty when I wear one. It works with platforms, flat sandals, or knee high boots underneath. The only rule is it that the dress must graze the floor, so that just the tips of your toes peek out from the hem. 

I love a long dress at a dinner party. It's so dramatic. Plus you can sit however you want without fear of flashing your underpants. (Or lack thereof.) How do I manage to talk about not wearing any underwear in everything I write? I think the sleeveless and halter styles are what keeps these dresses from looking too dated or "costume-y."

The only accessories these dresses need is some slinky gold jewelry and a Quaalude!

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From top left: Green cocktail ring, $61.56, Rachel Zoe for QVC.com. Vintage basket weave necklace, $15.00, RubyPlaza.com. Gold snake bracelet, $21.20, Rachel Zoe for QVC.com.

I am secretly in love with all of Rachel Zoe's jewelry collection for QVC.  Yes, the home shopping channel. My mom got me started watching "The Q," as we call it, and it is strangely addictive. I am going to be drummed out of the Costume Designer's Guild for admitting that, I'm almost positive.

Zoe has a world class collection of vintage jewelry, and appears to be knocking off some of her faves at very affordable prices. If you are a QVC watcher too, please admit to it in the comments so I don't feel like such a lunatic old cat lady.

Modcloth is killing it with their 70’s game right now.  They have a great mix of both vintage and new pieces of 70’s clothing, shoes, jewelry, housewares, and handbags on the site.

Yes, those are Dittos. The models in these pictures are wearing their flares very correctly -- platforms underneath and toes just barely peeking out. It makes your legs look a mile long when there is no visual interruption at the ankle.

Last month, Julie was tasked with finding picky-footed Emily some wedges for summer that weren’t made out of wood, cork, or straw. I get where Emily is coming from, as these materials are reaching a saturation point, but her edict sadly leaves out the greatest sandal of all time -- Kork-Ease!

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Kork-Ease platform sandals, $140-$150.00.  All, Kork-Ease.com.

Kork-Ease are the original staple sandal of every 70's California girl wardrobe.  They really defined the wedge genre in their time, and are back in production now with some excellent color choices.

You cannot talk about 1970s fashion without mentioning the legendary Barbara Hulanicki of Biba. Biba was a spectaular fashion line and boutique in London in the 1960's and 70's. Biba basically invented affordable, trendy fashion for young women and teens. Before Biba, you went straight from wearing children’s clothes to the boring grown-up clothes your mother wore.  

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Biba's dark, smoky, Art Deco meets 1971 aesthetic has never been equalled.

Stores like Topshop and Forever 21 are a direct result of Barbara’s desire to democratize fashion and make trendy styles available to all. There is a great documentary, "Beyond Biba: A Portrait of Barbara Hulanicki" that tells her story.  If you really want your mind blown, pick up a copy of "Welcome to Big Biba:Inside the Most Beaitiful Store in The World."  The book is full of photos of the 7 story flagship Biba department store in London on Kensington High Street. It sold everything from dresses to dog food to makeup to books. You won’t believe such a magical place ever could have existed. It’s breathtaking.

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Can you imagine shopping here?

I saved the best 1970's accessory for last.

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My boyfriend in high school had an electric blue Trans Am complete with it's original 8-track tape player. My mom just shook her head every time he pulled into the driveway.

What's your favorite decade for vintage fashion?

Yes, I have a Twitter: @IveyAlison