70s style returns to the runway for local fashion event

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The disco era returns with James + Dunne's Gucci-inspired fashion show Thursday at Scooters Skating Center. Photos by Lisa Brown of Bella Rose Photography.
The disco era returns with James + Dunne’s Gucci-inspired fashion show Thursday at Scooters Skating Center. Photos by Lisa Brown of Bella Rose Photography.

The feathered bangs. The big sunglasses. The satin bombers. And, oh, that brocade.

The disco era is alive and well–with a modern twist–in Gucci’s spring and summer collection, and it has inspired local fashion guru, stylist and writer, “Style Girl” Jess James, to bring her own version of revamped vintage to a local runway.

James’ That 70s (Fashion) Show hits, naturally, the floor of Scooters Skating Center, 314 Shipyard Blvd., from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday. It’s presented by Simply Noelle boutique and styled by James and her partner Shannon Dunne of James + Dunne Styling.

“What other place holds more 70s nostalgia than your childhood roller rink, right?” James said.

Jess James said the eccentric mix of styles and textures is one reason she feels so drawn to the 70s.
Jess James said the eccentric mix of styles and textures is one reason she feels so drawn to the 70s.

Her playful banter reflects the whimsy James finds in a decade often remembered for its less savory fabrics and fits (think butterfly collars and polyester three-piece suits).

Despite its bad rap, she said 70s style is a fantastically messy menagerie of textures, tones and themes that scream versatile and fun.

“I like that 70s fashion doesn’t take itself too seriously,” James noted. “That time frame is sort of a style chameleon, much like myself. You can wear high-waisted wide leg denim with a crochet top and fringed bag by day and go disco glam by night.”

And after getting a glimpse at Alessandro Michele’s collection for Gucci, James was, in a word, “mesmerized.”

“Finally, something in this what-comes-around-goes-around carousel ride called fashion to be excited about again,” she said.

So, rather than put together her usual bi-annual Fashion Preview, James opted instead to give a nod to Gucci and all its colorful glory.

In the first Wilmington fashion show staged at a skating rink, James’ event will feature a 12-foot Gucci floral and gold lit backdrop designed by Legare Simpson, the creative force behind local custom home decor company A Ribbon Runs Through It.

Fashion hounds will get the chance to shop during the first and last hour of the show at a pop-up market featuring a variety of area clothing stores, including Aqua Fedora, Lula Balou, Oliver, Bloke, Beanie + Cecil and Second Skin Vintage.

Little Pond Catering will provide the light bites and Bakla-Vavoom will serve up dessert. Those attending will get one complimentary glass of wine courtesy of One Hope Wine, and Charleston, South Carolina’s Cannonborough Beverage Company will be serving up spritzers.

Tickets to That 70s (Fashion) show are $25 in advance and available online ($35 at the door). For tickets, more information and a full list of participating vendors, click here. A portion of proceeds will be donated to local no-kill animal shelters.

James, center, showcasing some of the styles she has put together for Thursday's runway.
James, center, showcasing some of the styles she has put together for Thursday’s runway.

Hilary Snow is a reporter at Port City Daily. Reach her at hilary.s@portcitydaily.com.