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Fashion in the 60's

Essay by review  •  December 6, 2010  •  Essay  •  541 Words (3 Pages)  •  822 Views

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Innovative, creative, bold and brash. Sixties fashion belonged to London, England. The Brits set the tone and the world followed.

What we wear has always defined us to some degree. At the very least, it can indicate economic status, but always before within certain confines of convention. Historically, a uniformity of dress created a homogeneous population.

The 1960s ushered in an attitude of "anything goes" and reflected the shifting politics of the day. "Do your own thing" applied to clothes as well.

The fashion revolution was youth oriented and youth driven and began in the streets rather than the old line couture houses. The Baby Boomers were coming of age.

The boutique clothing store emerged in the 1960s as "the happening" place to shop. They were fun and hip and young people felt more comfortable shopping there. No geography was more famous for swinging boutiques than Carnaby Street and Kings Road in London. Not to be left out of the trend, Paraphernalia opened in 1965 on Madison Avenue in New York.

Color played a big role in defining the look. The muted and pastel palette of Fifties fashions gave way to bright, bold color often splayed in geometric patterns. From daywear to Day Glo in less than a decade.

Art, usually Pop Art infiltrated fashion as works of art translated from canvas into fabric. Below left, Yves St. Laurent's interpretation of Pier Mondrian's rectangles.

A word about the word - Mod. Mod for modern, which in its purest use meant minimalist. Arguably there is nothing minimal about most Mod fashion, but that is the origin.

Mary Quant

Where a Victorian woman not only would cover her own legs but those of her piano as well, a hundred years later in the Sixties women exposed as much of her legs as her body shape permitted.

Some controversy surrounds who invented the miniskirt, but Andre Courreges usually gets the credit. Yet it was Mary Quant who popularized the swinging Sixties look and edged the miniskirt to mainstream.

Miniskirt lengths tended to vary by continent. In America the more conservative 4-5 inches above the knee reigned but in London, 7-8 inches or more was considered hip.

Mary Quant opened a boutique named Bazaar in Chelsea back in 1955.



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