Snow, Skis and the 1970s

Picture this: it’s 1975, mid-December; winter holidays have begun and you’re spending them at a resort in Aspen. Your days are full of snowy mountain tops, and skiing down slopes at exhilarating speeds. At night, you cozy up beside a crackling fire with a big mug of hot chocolate in hand.

The best part about it though? Doing it all in style!

Skiwear has changed drastically throughout history. It has evolved from bulky and impractical, to sleek and perfectly engineered.

The grooviest decade for this winter athletic wear is the 1970s.

The use of synthetic materials exploded during the 1970s, especially with fabric in the fashion industry. The new innovations were used in skiwear; designers began to use Gore-Tex technology, which made ski outfits more breathable (Maria, 2014). Brushed fleece was incorporated into the garments; it was lightweight but kept the skier warm in the snow. The fleece mid-layer is still used today (Maria, 2014).

Skiing outfits boasted metallic and vinyl details, and fake fur (Johnston, 2018). Typically, suits were bold, and featured saturated colours in a blocking pattern. Up until this decade, skiwear consisted mostly of heavy garments and bulky outerwear; the silhouette of the 1970s was long and lean (Johnston, 2018).

Skiwear was not just seen on the hills, but also the streets. Quilted nylon ski jackets gained popularity. Two in one versatility? A 1970s jacket with zip-off sleeves could transform into a fashionable vest with ease.

The essential accessories for your après-ski look, (which is just as important) included: ponchos, moonboots and capes.

Notable designers in the skiwear market included Killy, Lange and Berghaus and V. de V. and Jean Charles de Castelbajac (Maria, 2014). Their influence can still be seen in contemporary looks today.

Top Two and Bottom Photo: Ski wear designs by the brand Cordova

It’s 2018, mid-December; winter holidays have just begun and you’re on your way to Aspen.

Your yellow ski suit is packed neatly in your suitcase, next to a pair of moonboots.

Written by Lindsay Kalliokoski

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