On Trend with Meleana Estes

Emilio Pucci's white poncho with embroidered flowers screams hippie chic.

Emilio Pucci’s white poncho with embroidered flowers screams hippie chic.

Fashion has a way of playing on our fantasies, taking us to a far-off place or allowing us to reinvent our identity—even if just for one night in a new dress. Fashion inspired by the early ’70s— arguably one of the most iconic fashion decades ever—does just that. Born from youth movements of the 1960s that rejected confining social norms, opposed the Vietnam War and celebrated gender equality, the “hippie style” represented the ideals of freedom. Gender differences in dress were wiped away, as loose-fitting clothing replaced the tight, uniform styles of the ’40s and ’50s; handmade details such as fringe, macramé and beading rejected consumerism.

By the early ’70s, this hippy aesthetic had infused mainstream culture, becoming a more wearable and widespread trend. Trends tend to have a rebirth every five to seven years, and we°ve seen ’70s nostalgia come around many times. However, the styles hitting the runways for Spring 2015—with their luscious fabrics and silk threaded details—offer the most sophisticated resurgence yet.

An office-appropriate rendition of boho from DVF.

An office-appropriate rendition of boho from DVF.

We spared from the ultra-constricting “skinny jean”—the dominant pant style (men included) for the last nine years—by this season’s hip-hugging flared pant legs and impressive bell bottoms. Dramatic white silk bell bottoms from Honor’s collection as well as chic, navy high-waist, wide-leg pants from Diane von Furstenberg both glamorize this pant shape that, in its usual faded denim, screams beatnik.

No designer incorporates refinement and beauty into the bohemian style of the ’70s more than Peter Dundas at Emilio Pucci. Whether it was his dress with embroidered macramé on tulle, the white crocheted fringed poncho or a jeweled embroidered tunic, exquisite detail in the entire collection was jaw dropping.

Fortunately, this spring’s renditions of the lacy peasant blouses, luxurious suede jackets, earth-toned floppy hats and feminine pant suits of the ’70s have grown up a bit—but not too much to still awaken that uninhibited free spirit in us all.

Photos courtesy brands

Punahou grad and Fashion Institute of Technology alumna Meleana Estes gives us her take on the hottest runway trends. A trendsetter in her own right, her designs for her eponymous handbag line and modern take on resort attire for aloha wear purveyor Manuhealiʻi have garnered rave reviews.

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