It’s why, explained Smith, American fashion designer Roy Halston rose to fame during those times, for his style of clothing.
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“He dressed them so they didn’t need foundation garments or anything,” Smith said. “They’d just put their polyester, or their silk, or their wool knit dresses on and they could go out feeling confident and free. They could just be casual. They didn’t have to conform to anybody any more.”
The appeal was very much in the relaxed lifestyle. “Women were feeling good, eating better, exercising.” She described it about being sporty but also the convenience of just throwing a dress on without all the confines of corsetry and costumery.
“Women found their feet, knew who they were, their rhythm was relaxed and casual.” Smith described it as typically Australian even though it was a look embraced the world over.
Following along those lines, Smith said the looks of today, with layered clothing, hair not styled and minimal make-up was all about the 70s.
Smith’s insights into dressing throughout the decades were showcased at a catwalk event called ‘200 Years of Empowerment – A Fashion Journey’ that was held in Sydney earlier this month.
The event was supported by Westpac and designed to raise funds for Dress for Success, a non-profit that empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.