A decade that stays with us even now, the 1960s conjures up images of Twiggy and British rock bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. The sixties became a revolutionary decade,that saw young people with money to spend and looking for ways to express themselves through fashion, music and lifestyle.
London took the fashion crown from Paris, as new styles arrived in small London boutiques and captured the imagination and heart of rebelling teens. Young British design stars took over Carnaby Street and the King’s Road, as their designs filled the new and exciting boutiques. Perhaps the most famous of these, is Mary Quant, who went on to create some of the most defining fashion features of the decade championing the mini-skirt and dresses.
These new revealing designs, called for a waif-like silhouette introduced with the explosion of supermodel Twiggy. Straight boxy shift dresses with scandalous hemlines meant more of women were on show than ever before. ‘Space Age’ style became the biggest influence of the 60s and material used for dresses was more daring than ever before with plastic detailing, metal chainmail, PVC and cut-out designs.
Black and white designs became the uniform of the Mod girl, while the male Mods dressed in tailored suits and parkers, with The Who providing the soundtrack. Films such as Quadrophenia and Brighton Rock define the Mod style of the sixties, featuring their iconic clashes on the coasts of England with the rockers.
By the late sixties, focus switched from London to America, specifically the flower children of San Francisco, with their anti-war chants, long hair, loose fitting second hand clothes and use of psychedelic drugs, an anti-fashion movement was born.
Inspired by this hippie generation, Ossie Clark, Zandra Rhodes and Thea Porter used it to launch their own brand of escapism. Collaborating with his textile designer wife Celia Bertwell, Ossie Clark produced inspirational fashion that made them an instant success.
It was these new floaty designs and patterns, that carried onto the 70s…
Suits: Slim boyish figures
Good for: Shift dresses, mini-skirts, monotone, PVC boots,
Invest in: A shift dress,
Who wears it well: Amy Winehouse, Diana Vickers, Pixie Lott, Nicola Roberts