The 1960s were of course marked by the assassinations of prominent figures in history, the Vietnam War, and the space race…..
With the rise of Anti-war, African-American Civil Rights and Gay rights groups, a movement was created toward liberation in society, including the sexual revolution, challenging authority and government, and demanding more freedom and rights for women, minorities, and the environment.
One of the most popular movements became known as hippies.
Changes were happening in the world and movies began to break social taboos such as sex and violence causing a storm and at the same time had appeal. Dennis Hopper’s Easy Rider (1969) focusing on the drug culture of the time. Roger Vadim’s Barbarella (1968) becoming more sexually explicit. European Art Cinema gains broader distribution featuring la Nouvelle Vague (The French New Wave) filmmakers such as François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard; … and the Italian cinematography was reaching its height with Michelangelo Antonioni (La Notte) and Federico Fellini (La Dolce Vita).
Yes, the sixties were volatile, tumultuous, controversial, drug fuelled, etc… An era of defiance and rebellion but it was also a time of fun, and change.
In 1960, what has been called the greatest scientific invention! THE PILL WAS RELEASED and it changed the lives of women and men forever! The Pill made possible the sexual revolution of the 1960s and the Woman’s Liberation Movement visions.
And that changed Fashion forever!
Yes, the bikini came into fashion in 1963 thanks to the surprise hit film Beach Party.
But the game changer was the Miniskirt.
Who invented the miniskirt? Mary Quant or Courrèges ?
The miniskirt is one of the significant fashions items of the 1960s and commonly associated with Mary Quant as the creator of the style.
Courrèges also designed shorter skirts around the same time. Courrèges’ Miniskirt was more sophisticated which helped making the garment acceptable to “ La haute couture française”
Courrèges would later claim that he was the father of the miniskirt.
Quant dismissed his claim, saying “It wasn’t me or Courrèges who invented the miniskirt anyway—it was the girls in the street who did it.”
Although skirts had been getting shorter since the 20s and even shorter in the 50s, it is undeniable that Quant and Courrèges both helped in the shaping of the quintessence of the miniskirt.
Every contemporary era had Style Icons and the 60s did not disappoint.
Twiggy is renowned as one of the first British teenage models of the swinging sixties.
British actress, singer and model Jane Birkin in 1968 in a chic knit mini-dress (very Coco from Tilly, don’t you think?)
Françoise Hardy, a French singer and actress is a popular figure in music and fashion. Mick Jagger described her as his “ideal woman”.
The Afro, and Iconic Hairstyle Marsha Hunt was the first black model to appear on the cover of British high fashion magazine Queen.
First African- American supermodel. Naomi Sims (Vintage Bazaar Dec 1968)
And let’s not forget Jackie Kennedy Onassis, America’s undisputed queen of fashion. Elegance was simply her style.
“The 60′s were a leap in human consciousness. Mahatma Gandhi, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Che Guevara, Mother Teresa, they led a revolution of conscience. The Beatles, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix created revolution and evolution themes. The music was like Dalí, with many colors and revolutionary ways. The youth of today must go there to find themselves.” Carlos Santana
I think that we can safely say that the youth of the 60’s known as the baby boomers today, did go there, and we thank them, for the changes in awareness, for the peace sign, for the music and the colours, for the mini skirt and bikini and especially for the pill!
Join me next time for a trip down memory lane to enjoy the 60’s hairstyles! Until then Make Love Not War!