Monday, April 25, 2005

Fashion Through The Ages - 1960s

The 1960s began modestly, with only the vaguest hints of what was to come. Dissent was growing, but many were still happy to buy into the Camelot facade of the Kennedy era. Jackie Kennedy was a huge celebrity, famed for her gentility and classic Chanel suits.

Jackie Kennedy

But, bubbling beneath the surface, the Civil Rights movement was brewing and revolution was hip. Music, literature, and art became hugely experimental. The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Motown, Andy Warhol-all struck a chord within a society looking for change.
People thirsted for social freedom and self-expression. Just a few years into the 1960s, the pill-boxed silhouette of the Kennedy era was discarded for experimental fashion, pioneered by designers such as Mary Quant. Best known for introducing the mini-skirt, Quant also promoted the use of wild geometric prints on waif-like models such as Twiggy, pictured below.

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These wide-legged pants were derived from Navy styled uniforms and became very popular with the young society in the 1960's. Elvis Presley, Sonny and Cher helped make bellbottoms a fashion statement for the hippies and counter-culture audience. They were typically made of denim until they were produced with corduroy and polyester so they could be worn in any situation. Bellbottoms were still popular in the 1970's during the disco years and even in the 1990's when the Gen X crowd was wearing them to be cool too.

Tie Dye T-shirts
Nothing said 'psychedelia' better than the rainbow explosion of swirling colors and bold designs of the ancient art of tie-dye. Tie-dye is one of the oldest forms of fabric manipulation and design. The concept is simple: dye can only penetrate loose fabric, and when portions are bound off by string, rocks, clothespins, or rubber bands, the dye cannot reach that part of the fabric. That untouched section could remain the original color, or you could then dye the pristine sections a separate color to create works of art.

During the 60's, the hippies' revival of old ethnic crafts resurrected the art and put a new spin on tie-dye. The hippies' tie-dye was no subtle handicraft-they tie-dyed with several colors, layering one on top of the other for wild bursts of color and crazy visual trips. Hearts, peace signs, bulls eyes-anything could be done with a little creativity. Tie-dyeing became the ultimate sign of the times.

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Miniskirts and Minidresses
Began the era of women's liberation. Miniskirts achieved the height of their popularity around 1967. Following the lead of English designer Mary Quant, fashionable young women across the Western World were going mad for the Miniskirt. Featuring hemlines ranging from four to seven inches above the knee, the skirts were often worn with decorative tights or pantyhose.

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Daily News Record magazine proclaimed 1967 the year of the turtle, as in turtleneck sweater. Favored by beatniks and flower children. At its peak, the turtleneck was worn by such high-profile celebs as Johnny Carson, Sammy Davis Jr., Senator Robert Kennedy, Paul Newman and Steve McQueen.

The Beatles with their turtlenecks

Shoes reflected the rampant experimentation with color, texture, shape, and style. Many matrons refused to give up their stilettos, but young people were gobbling up all the boots, sandals, and shoes that designers could throw at them.
Everything from citrus-colored sandals to spacey, iridescently rainbow platforms to classic colonial or Edwardian-style pumps were in demand.

Go-go boots were popularized by Nancy Sinatra's song, "These Boots Were Made For Walking," and soon became a symbol of the 1960s. A white, flat-heeled version of the boot was first created by designer Andres Courreges. Other designers followed suit with boots in a variety of colors, materials, and styles.

Bouffant Hairdo
A trend launched by First Lady Jackie Kennedy. It was a difficult style to wear, time consuming to achieve and required a great number of tools to concoct. Came to an end about 1964 after the assassination of President Kennedy.

Alexander McQueen Fall 2005 collection

Hair Ironing
Once the troublesome bouffant had begun to look old, young girls in the northeastern states staged a revolt. Taking up hot irons and ironed their hair dead straight. The ironed tresses lasted about an hour, this fad diminished in the early 70's followed by less dangerous styles.

Chanel Fall 2005 collection

Everyone had an afro. It was the hairdoo of choice. The bigger the better. Even the girls had afros.
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Eyes were a highlight, made up with dark eyeliner, Mod White eyeshadow.

Chanel Fall 2005 collection

Fashion Icons
-Bridgette Bardot
-Jackie Kennedy

Movers and Shakers in Entertainment
-Frank Sinatra
-The Beatles
-Sonny and Cher
-Alfred Hitcock
-Jimi Hendrix
-Rolling Stones

Hollywood Revival of the 60s

Austin Powers - The Spy who Shagged Me. Shagadelic baby. Go-go boots. Miniskirts and Dresses. Puffy Hair. Hints at the disco 70s.

That Thing You Do. Styled like The Beatles.

And on the Red Carpet

Go-go style with Heather Locklear

Shop the 60s

For the early 60s, buy Alexander McQueen's Jackie Kennedy-isque Fall collection!

For the late 60s, buy Chanel's Mod collection!

Join the Mod Squad with black and whites:

Spiegel Mod Dress

Women's GOGO Spike Angel