rtclIt wasn’t so long ago that the Seventies were being tagged as uninspired as far as fashion went. Nevertheless, in recent seasons the “Me” decade has become a source of inspiration for a lengthening list of sportswear designers.

Looks that defined the Seventies – bell-bottom pants, maxi coats, vests, platform shoes, beads, ribbed knits, and cloche hats – are surfacing in collections for fall, resort and spring.

And early indications at retail are that consumers too are embracing it.

Women, tired of the tailored Eighties power wardrobe and now confident of their place in work force are opting for a softer, simpler and more casual style, designers said.

The Seventies derived much of its flavor from the Twenties, Thirties and Forties, when such movie queens as Marlene Dietrich and Katharine Hepburn held sway. Designers are probably pulling more from the Seventies simply because its …