The 1960s were a splash of color and a cultural boom! It’s like the world suddenly regained its vivid colors and nuances and women just wanted to be playful teens who have fun and are free! It was the time of the true emancipation and women broke down all the barriers! The feminist movement started and women demanded their equal rights. This came along with the power that they gained during the war working as men and taking men’s jobs everywhere and a result of the “housewife ideal” of the 1950s. Don’t forget that in the 50s a lot of children were born that were now teenagers born in a safe world who didn’t want to repeat the wars of their parents but who also wanted more out of life! Girls wanted to work and to have a voice! This thing impacted greatly fashion as young people started to make their own clothes and the street style became more powerful and popular than the runways!
The 1960s are so rich and complex that fashion was split in three main stages:
1. Early Sixties resembled still the 1950s with the popular New Look by Dior and the boxy suits by Chanel. The idol of this time was Jackie Kennedy with her perfect tailored suits, clean look and white pearls. But then, after Kennedy’s assassination, Jackie wasn’t in the spotlights anymore and the whole political stage of the US made the world turn their heads to England. A British invasion started in films, music and fashion! And for the first time in history the fashion capital of the world was London!
2. Mid-Sixties brought the famous invention: the mini-skirt! They were a revolution in fashion and girls started to wear clothes for their age and the mature fashion of the 1950s was fading away. They needed a role model, so a British lovely teenager named Twiggy became a worldwide sensation, being charming, fun and the perfect embodiment of the 1960s!
3. Late Sixties were a time of nostalgia, romance, dreamy and floating! And this is what fashion became! The clothes got longer, vaporous, more colorful and the psychedelic clothing became popular. Bell bottom pants became popular. Prints were also very colorful, abstract and hypnotic describing in a way the sensations that people felt when they were on psychedelic drugs. Of course, the music reinforced this trend! Think of Woodstock! What a beautiful madness!
Find out more about the music of the 1960s, about the movements in art and about Mary Quant: the designer who brought the miniskirts into the spotlight! Check out the video below: