We dare you to watch the just-released trailer for The Get Down and not refute the timeworn adage that describes the ’70s as “the decade that fashion forgot.” Ten years in the making, this musical drama charts the birth of hip-hop and disco as it developed in bedrooms, clubs, and on the graffitied streets and clubs of the Bronx.
Besides the obvious draw of the music—and Jaden Smith as tagger Marcus “Dizzee” Kipling—there’s the fashion to keep you binge-watching when the show airs on Netflix later this year. The Get Down is directed by Baz Luhrmann and the costumes are by his wife, the award-winning Catherine Martin, who’s known for her meticulous research into period dress. Having time traveled to fin de siècle Paris for Moulin Rouge!, and Jazz Age America for The Great Gatsby, more recently she’s been pondering questions related to a more contemporary chapter in fashion’s history: “What were B-boys’ favorite shoes? What made a pair of suede Pumas in 1977 really desirable?” said Martin at the Tribeca Film Festival talk with Hamish Bowles.
While we can’t answer the last question, the trailer goes some way in explaining why the style of the era is exciting again now. The Get Down is fiction, but it tells the story of “real” people and what they wore, which dovetails with the current interest in streetwear and clothes that are more down to earth. And given that the decade chronicled is closer to our own than, say, World War II–era Australia, the clothes feel more like fashion than costume. While sideburns and massive flares are period touches, the A-line snap-front jean skirts and halter tops seem just right; ditto for the jaunty Kangol hats and Grandmaster Flash’s satin DJ jacket. You might even call them a rapper’s delight .