Indeed the S/S ’12 collections displayed at London Fashion Week displayed remarkable similarities to the clothing adopted during the 1960’s. So let’s sail back and take a peek into the swinging sixties.
The decade witnessed the fashion world discovering colour; a ‘kaleidoscopic liberation’ of sorts, fuelled by LSD ‘trips. The trends were a reckless mixture of colour, print and fabric, echoing the carefree attitude in society. The female erogenous zone moved from the collarbone to the thighs, with the introduction of the mini skirt in 1964 (and tights for the slightly more modest gals).
Women sported PVC box-shaped dresses, miniskirts, go-go boots and bell-bottomed trousers for the first half of the decade. Bell-bottoms made a comeback in the mid-90’s, with an urban re-vamp from abtastic Jlo. The latter half of the 60’s saw the development of hippie styling with tie-dye, culottes, maxi coats and dyed fur gilets. Shearling gilets have popped up all over the catwalks for this autumn, paired with polo necks at Prada for that real ‘peace and love’ feel.
Make-up went from haughty to baby-faced, emphasising eyes with false lashes, pastel shades and a kohl sweep. This ‘line of beauty’ was seen at Anna Sui, Alberta Ferretti and DKNY this year.
The mod vs. rocker feud spilled over from the 50’s, keeping two distinct styles alive. Mods favoured sharp tailoring and minimalism, whilst leather biker jackets, turn-up jeans and outrageously pointed winkle pickers and became synonymous with the rocker look. ‘Mod’ is back in right now – just look to The Kooples and Acne for that minimalist vibe.
The 60’s gave birth to some of the most influential figures of our time. The leading ladies in the modelling world were Jean Shrimpton, Twiggy, (Lesley Hornby) with limbs resembling stick insects, and Penelope Tree, the original ‘Flower Child’. Of course not forgetting Audrey Hepburn, who seemed to radiate glamour with as little effort as us normal folk use to breathe. Doe-eyed Edie Campbell and it-girl Sienna Miller are reminiscent of these icons.
The fashion market was led by the UK, with the emergence of an entirely new concept – boutiques. One of the most well-known was Biba, opened by Barbara Hulanicki in 1964. The boutique was full of charm and was much like a modern day H&M or Topshop. Mary Quant was just as influential (despite being so afraid of customers she kept a bottle of scotch underneath her counter!). For the contemporary take on Quant’s look, cast an eye upon Prada’s windowpane-check pinafore or Calvin Klein’s shift dress
And so, the inspiring decade of the 60’s has echoed through time, with an array of garments being recycled time and again. With 60’s movements dictating fashion over the next few months it seems Queen Beyoncé was indeed correct, and what goes around really does come back around.