Exile on Main Street
From high-waisted flare jeans to slinky, slit-to-the-thigh cocktail dresses, disco-ready dangly earrings to big-brimmed hats, '70s-inspired fashion is everywhere this season. And while so many of the runways showcased a certain sort of decadence that's associated with the end of that era (think: Studio 54-influenced opulence and Saturday Night Fever swagger), some of spring's best looks remind us of the decade's early days. Heavily influenced by the bohemian movement--psychedelic colors and prints, chunky wood shoes, and flamboyant accessories (feathers much?)--the early '70s managed to be dramatic, earthy, and just a little androgynous all at once. As we considered these elements and the thrilling theatrics we saw at the S/S 11 shows, suddenly it hit us: this look is completely channeling the Rolling Stones circa the Exile on Main Street years!
But it wasn't just the boys in the band with noteworthy style. While we are, of course, obsessed with Keith Richards and Mick Jagger, we're also just as enamored with their lady loves at that time, Anita Pallenberg and Bianca Jagger. From Pallenberg's vividly colored, rock'n'roll getups to Mrs. Jagger's mind-blowingly chic white wedding suit, the women on the scene in the south of France (where the Stones recorded said album) were truly forces to be reckoned with. Now, 40 years later, their sartorial influence can still be seen on the runways. For example, at Jason Wu, we swooned over the designer's white tux jacket paired with shorts--specifically, the Gabardine Tuxedo Blazer ($1450), Gabardine Tuxedo Shorts ($695), and Tulle Bow-Tie Tee ($895)--as it's a perfectly modern interpretation of Jagger's seminal wedding ensemble. Meanwhile, at Emilio Pucci, designer Peter Dundas designed haute-louche ensembles with a gypset air, like the Chiffon Tie-Dye Blouse ($1650), Lace-Up Stretch Cotton Pants ($760), and Cropped Cotton and Linen-Blend Canvas Jacket ($1700), which we think Pallenberg would adore. Bearing all of this in mind, we were inspired to create today's Currently Channeling: Exile on Main Street as our ode to the early '70s signature style. Read on for a few of our favorite pieces and why they're perfect for this incredible look!
ASOS Oversized '70s Floppy Straw Hat ($36) in Tobacco
As we discussed earlier this year in an Accessory Report, one essential '70s staple is the big-brimmed hat. It adds a certain visual drama to any outfit, which is why we adore this floppy straw iteration so much. The wide-brimmed chapeau is perfect for summer, as it will shade your face, keep your head cool, and give you a certain rock star insouciance--all for a very reasonable price!
Aspinal of London USA Passport Cover ($35) in Purple Croc
While no one expects you to hold dual citizenship a la Bianca Jagger, we do think you should travel in style. As such, we highly recommend picking up a jet-set essential accessory: the passport holder. This croc-embossed leather cover is the perfect pick and will surely add a little luxury to your next overseas jaunt, even if you're traveling in steerage.
Gucci Large Round Frame Sunglasses ($245) in Tortoise
Thanks to their ability to change the overall vibe of a look in the blink of an eye, it's safe to say that sunglasses are a key part of any outfit. Accordingly, to achieve the louche look of the '70s, you need a really glamorous pair of sunnies, like this oversized tortoise pair from Gucci. Though generously proportioned, the frames are relatively slim, which gives the sunglasses a modern look. If you love these shades but don't want to invest, don't miss Topshop's Knot Detail Large Sunglasses ($32) or Le Specs' Joplin Tortoiseshell Frame Sunglasses ($63), which are darling, affordable alternatives.
Theodora & Callum Batik Leaf Scarf ($135) in Blue Multi
When assembling a Bianca Jagger or Anita Pallenberg-inspired outfit, it's always a good idea to consider a scarf. But not just any scarf--oh no--you need something that says, "I'm a gyspet wanderer who cannot be tamed." While conveying that exact message might sound difficult, it's actually a snap with this gauzy, blue and white batik leaf-print scarf from Theodora & Callum. Wind it around your neck or fold it into a long band and tie it around your head--either way, it's a winner.
Ben-Amun Silver & Gold Plated Nugget Necklace ($380)
As you've surely noticed by now, this look is not really about restraint, per se. No, even the simplest looks call for at least one dramatic piece, ideally with an earthy touch, which is why we simply had to include this chunky necklace. Though certainly sizeable, it's a really versatile piece that would look equally fashionable with an understated sheath or styled with a slew of other baubles. (Pallenberg wore a similar necklace with an arm full of bangles, oversized hoop earrings, rings, and a wide-brimmed hat, just as you'd expect from bohemian royalty.) If you're looking for other tiered styles, don't miss Gay Boyer's Vintage Bead Necklace ($150) and Tuleste Market's Layered Ball & Chain Necklace ($150); both are excellent options too!
Gap Suede Wide Strap Wedge Sandals ($89.50) in Saddle
Wondering what to wear with your wide-leg, high-rise jeans, ultra-bright skirts, and other Exile on Main Street-inspired ensembles? To ground these pieces, you need something sturdy and unfussy--hence our selection of Gap's Suede Wide Strap Wedge Sandals! The wooden platform and wedge heel are the ideal partner for your ultra-long bell bottoms and the saddle brown suede is flattering on most skin tones and will help elongate your legs. We also approve of the clog-like studding at the base of the straps; it's a nice touch and adds interest to the shoe without making it look too retro!
Jenni Kayne Short Sleeve Crew Neck Sweater ($375) and Side Button Skirt ($295)
One of the things we adore most about both the Exile on Main Street era and rock stars (and their girlfriends) is their unabashed love of color. Though you can't see it in the image of Anita Pallenberg, above, she's actually wearing a fuchsia lace blouse paired with an orchid skirt, while Keith Richards is wearing a similarly purple t-shirt. As an ode to their vibrant wardrobe, we decided to include two equally colorful pieces from Jenni Kayne's perfectly executed S/S 11 collection. We love this simple skirt's patch-pocket design, especially when paired with a slim, short-sleeved sweater. If you'd like additional options for this look, we suggest checking out American Apparel's Unisex Baby Rib Fitted Short Sleeve T-Shirt ($16) in Raspberry paired with Zara's Mini Skirt With Pockets ($50) in Pink. Alternatively, if you like blue, try Gap's Cuffed Crewneck Sweater ($29.50) in Pangea Blue worn with Forever 21's Pleated Knit Skirt ($12) in Royal.
Guerlain Terracotta Skin Healthy Glow Foundation ($49)
Though everyone seems to have an on-again-off-again relationship with the sun, one thing's for certain: to truly channel glamorous girls like Bianca Jagger, you need a tan. Obviously we advise you to go for a faux glow--ideally a natural, non-orange color--which is why you need to check out this new pseudo-foundation from the bronzing geniuses at Guerlain. The product is kind of a cool hybrid between a bronzing powder and a tinted moisturizer, and it looks ridiculously gorgeous on most skin types. Available in two shades (Blondes and Brunettes), it's the perfect beauty product for the Exile on Main Street look.
Zara Double-Breasted Blazer ($129, 323.935.5041) in White
Some of the most well-known and adored images from the Exile on Main Street era were taken on a single day: May 12, 1971. So why is this moment so memorable? It's the day Mick married Bianca in St. Tropez. The bride wore a white suit by Savile Row's Tommy Nutters--sans shirt, very daring!--and an oversized chapeau, resulting in a stunningly chic look. Taking a page from Bianca's playbook, we decided to include a white double-breasted blazer and bell-bottom trousers from Zara. Instead of skipping the shirt, we suggest pairing the snowy suit with a silky button-up blouse and a black string bow tie for a truly sophisticated look.
Club Monaco Kathy Shirt ($98, 310.657.1818) in Vanilla
If you're looking for a short sleeve, silky, button-up blouse, your search ends here. The Kathy Shirt from Club Monaco is a wonderful lightweight option for spring and perhaps the perfect feminine shell for all of your suits or workwear. We love it styled with string bow tie--make your own by picking up a length of black satin ribbon ($3, 323.653.6453)--but it looks equally lovely on its own.
Zara Bell-Bottomed Trousers ($79.90, 323.935.5041) in White
White pants may not be the most practical choice, but they can certainly look stunning and they're definitely enjoying a comeback right now (especially in a flared silhouette). Pick up a pair and wear them with a coordinating blazer for a true Bianca Jaggeresque look or style them with a brightly colored blouse; however you wear them, you'll have created a knockout ensemble!