Even if your closet didn't change much in 1977, your fashion vocabularly probably did. We got to know the meaning of words like: blouson, challis, shearling, pierrot and found new images for tunics, combs, silk, cashmere, shawls, gold, anklets, pearls and vests.
The year gave a boost to some little known fashion names like Bill Kaiser-man. Koos van den Akker, Kansai Yamamoto, Harriet Winter, Joan Vass, Julio, Holly Harp and Gloria Sachs, introduced Perry Ellis and Charles Suppon, reintroduced Willi Smith and reinforced the oldies but goodies. Geoffrey Beene, Calvin Klein, Karl Lagerfeld, Yves Saint Laurent, Kenzo and Ralph Lauren. Fading out of the limelights were two First Lady favorites. Dominic Rompollo and Albert Capraro.
It also introduced a new word - punk - an honest expression of economic hopelessness on the part of England's young that has been parlayed into big bucks in Paris and New York. "We are the future, no future" says Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols, which no doubt has inspired the hugh trash cans with shoulder ropes being sold for $5 as trendy carryalls at New York's Fiorucci.
Fashion punch words from 1977 that carry into spring and summer 1978: softness, easy, loose, light. For women, these are the antithesis of the man-tailored looks that have dominated clothes since the Saint Laurent sendoff several years back. For men, too, it is a break from stiff seams and sturdy linings, to a new kind of European look. For both it means loose fitting clothes in lightweight, unlined natural fabrics.
Things people discovered in 1977: that most of their skirts were too short; that flat shoes looked good with skirts; that there is life after Loehmann's - at Hit or Miss, T.H. Mandy and Marshall's, if you have the patience; that vintage men's clothes look great on women, and on men; that you should not put your knee socks in the dryer; that silk shirts can be washed, carefully; that anything natural always feels better, often lasts longer; that Europeans are right in buying little but always the best, and wearing it more often; that everything is seasonless, except winter coats and swimsuits, and should work into your wardrobe year round; that no one needs to go to New York to shop.
Not only do clothes change, the people do, too. Witness: Geoffrey Beene, Calvin Klein, Stephen Burrows, Ralph Lauren, Yves Saint Laurent and Halston.