Unlike the post-war boom of the 50s, the 70s in America was characterised by growing disillusionment of government, advances in civil rights, a growing women’s movement, increased concern for the environment and space exploration. First a Vice President and then a President resigned under threat of impeachment, mood rings, lava lamps and smiley faces were popular. Men wore their hair to their shoulders and knits and denims were the fabric of choice, non-traditional clothing grew in popularity including the leisure suit, bell-bottom pants, t-shirts and gypsy dresses.
In Italy, the 1970s heralded in years of social and political commitment in Italy. Worker strikes and terrorist activities marked the landscape and everyone had a political point of view on almost any subject. The Made in Italy fashion style of the 1960s reached new heights in the 70s and Milan established itself as the Italian fashion capital. Labels like Versace, Armani and Dolce & Gabbana opened their first boutiques and emporia in the city. Prêt-à-porter fashion concentrated on stylish and affordable jeans, jerseys and mini-skirts.