HBO’s latest series, Vinyl, is all about aesthetics. Grounded in New York City’s music scene during the tumultuous 1970s, the show follows music executive, Richie Finestra, as he walks the line between successful business man and raging coke fiend, sweet husband and accidental murderer, all the while in denim on denin with a larger than life belt buckle to match.
As with any storyline so heavily rooted in a specific era, the clothes become a character all their own. With a focused eye on accessories and 1970s staples, as well as a wide berth of inspiration—Factory Girls to upper East Side dames, precursors to grunge and men’s office suiting—Vinyl often redeems clichéd plot twists and uninspired storylines with these garments. Beneath the lamé and suede, gold studs and pointed collars, a touch of nostalgia for what was is palpable and like with any fallen hero story, a wish to return to better times echoes across multiple character’s storylines. Still, beneath all the trouble and discord, no matter where a character crashes their head at night, the 70s vintage is as alluring and unmistakably kitsch as hoped for.
Listed below are a few style hits from Vinyl and how to emulate the ultimate, groovin’ seventies look.
One style still running strong to this day is heavy, charcoal eyeliner with a matte powder and nude foundation finish. A play on the classic cat eye with a thicker line and heavier hand, Devon Finestra is the spitting image of an Edie Sedgwick inspired factory girl, down to her nude claws and sulky pout.
To transform into a Warhol muse, try a nude nail polish paired with thick, high-arched eyeliner.
Essie’s All Eyes On Nude Nail Polish via Beauty.com, $8.50
Along with the parade of musicians and wannabe models, a New York story needs its artists and Vinyl is no exception. Though Andy Warhol was an icon all his own, part of the show’s charm is the parade of the once was. With his signature silver locks and dark shades, coaxing monotone voice and wan demeanor, Warhol inspired style beyond his decade’s reach and clearly has a hold on Devon Finestra as well.
For silver strands like Mr. Warhol himself, a platinum hair color kit is as DIY as one of Andy’s soup cans.
Revlon Color Effects All Over Platinum Color via Jet, $8.98
While the 1970s was not known for the same amount of excess as the 1980s, colors were vibrant and layered and most certainly fell into the go big or go home category. Even dressed in matchy-matchy monochrome, the 1970s felt vivacious and full when it came to an outfit’s color story. Tough exec, Andrea Zito, shows off how rich a monochromatic outfit can feel with her silver dress paired to matching nails, earrings, eye shadow and shoes.
To emulate a one-tone color story, grab a sequined dress to add a touch of shine and light as well as dimensional texture to the outfit.
Alluring Electricity Dress via Modcloth, $49.99
Let it be said, the 1970s were all about natural hair and texture. Jaime Vine may have youth on her side but with a mane as wild as her spirit, the spirals really set her character apart from the rest of the office. Big, full locks and rocker bedhead style make Vine a natural to help set the Nasty Bits off on their next musical adventure.
Channel true diva style with a volumizer and curl booster leave-in conditioner.
B’Leave-In Curl Boost and Volumizer via DevaCurl, $19.95
Hannibal is a soul man and his closet is filled to the gills with all the necessities for a night out at Studio 54. Red leather jumpsuits, platform boots, big shades and crushed velvet blazers, this wild and rambunctious tour de force is a vision when decked out in iconic seventies standards. With a loose afro to top off the ensemble, Richie may be unable to tame this powerhouse but at least Hannibal’s stage antics are worth the trouble.
Go for pure seventies funk with a purple crushed blazer and plaid bellbottoms to truly get down.
Men’s Corduroy Blazer via Sammy Dress, $20.18
The bigger, the better seems to be the consensus with accessories during this time period. Statement necklaces matched to earrings and bracelets along with bangles, wrist cuffs and dripping chokers. Another layer to an undoubtedly loud outfit, large gold pieces mean business and add a touch of lux to any maxi dress or beach party.
Make like Devon Finestra and snap on a statement collar piece.
BCBGeneration Flower Child Fringe Necklace via Lord&Taylor, $68
While the pointed collar most certainly has its detractors, after a few episodes of Vinyl, this classic construction may need a reboot. A statement to be sure, this collar is not for the faint hearted. Typically paired with an equally loud print and possible pearl buttons, a pointed collar instantly evokes a seventies sensibility. Just be careful about pairing it with long sideburns to avoid the ultimate time warp.
Vintage pointed collar tops make quite a statement, even when done in an understated brown hue.
Fruit of the Loom Xanadu Men’s Shirt via Good-n-Plenty Vinty, $18.99
Along with curls and baseball knee socks, maxi dresses and thigh high boots, depending on the occasion, suede and crop tops were a necessity. Add a touch of stud for a harder edge or go light taupe for a more bohemian style, suede was—and still is—all the rage for a night on the town.
Channel Jaime Vine’s put-together with a wild girl twist in a suede crop top.
Only You Genuine Suede Crop Top via Tobi, $86
While the lead singer of the Nasty Bits, Kip Stevens, may have a rough and tumble, cockney authenticity, his look screams oxymoron: approachable punk. With a sleek leather jacket, baseball tees and skinny jeans, Stevens hints at music’s next evolution—a step away from all things disco and soul to a new era where stripped away rock and garage punk will reign.
Grab a lean leather jacket to get all the girls a-swooning.
Off Road Leather Jacket via Levi’s, $850
If there is one outfit that is true authentic 1970s, it is the long, red dress with plunging neckline and slinky construction. Add flowing long hair, tousled just so and a stained red lip to match and disco is re-born. This look walks the razor edge line between classic and sexy while being made for the dance floor. Flirty and flashy, a streamlined, body-conscious red dress is everything the seventies were made of—understated excess and a restrained flamboyant self-consciousness.
Attack the dance floor like a true seventies diva in a red, maxi dress.
Slinky Jersey Cross Wrap Maxi Beach Dress via ASOS, $55