Fashion in the 1960’s
Introduction The 1960s was a time of change, war, revolution, and new visions on the way the world should be. The Civil rights movement was finally seeing the transformation it’s people had been waiting for, the youth were looking for a new way of life through music, love, and the concept of peace throughout the world, and the new genre of “hippie” was born. The Kennedys controlled the political realm, influencing the country to become as great as it could be, and the Space Race brought about the most technological advancements in science the Untied States had ever seen.
All of he political, social, and economical changes influenced another great aspect of the decade, the fashion. The new clothing designs were more provocative, anti- establishment, full of personal expression, and were made to shift away from the conservative look of the 1950s. The events that mark the era of the 1960s all had a profound effect upon the fashion styles that were created for the decade. Events During the late 1940s the Baby Boom was sweeping across America, emitting a new generation.
The offspring that the baby boomers conceived had their teenage years during the 1960s; they alone were one of the greatest influences of the decade. The post World War II Baby Boom had created 70 million teenagers for the sixties, and these youth swayed the fashion, the fads and the politics of the decade. ” (Peter) With such a large amount of youth during this time, the opinion of the young-minded Americans is what ruled the country. The Civil Rights Movement had been developing before the 1960s, beginning with Rosa Parks not giving up her bus seat to a white man in 1955. “Martin Luther King”) It wasn’t until the sixties that the revolution of the Civil Rights Movement truly began. Martin Luther King Jr. was the eading face behind the push towards equality for all, to be able to live in a world filled without hatred, without segregation, and without the fear being denied basic human right based on ones ethnicity. The Women’s movement for equal rights also leaped to great success in the sixties. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was amended, and made so that discrimination due to gender was illegal.
Birth control was becoming socially acceptable, giving a woman the right to have sex for pleasure, and be able to decide when she was ready to conceive a child. Liberals primarily ruled the political world during the decade. John Fitzgerald Kennedy was elected president in 1961. Standing by his side was his wife, Jackie Onassis Kennedy. The First Lady was a woman full of beauty, style, intelligence, and the capability to create a personal relationship with the citizens of the country. JFK was in office until his assassination in 1963 by Lee Harvey Oswald.
The country had fallen in love with Kennedy, the abrupt death of the president left the country in a state of melancholy. While President, JFK was a firm believer in the Civil Rights Movement, and Women’s rights. During his during his presidential campaign in 1960, he spoke of the idea of the Peace Corps, wanting to create an organization that would involve the youth in world affairs, be able to give back and help struggling countries in need. “John F. Kennedy sought to encourage mutual understating between Americans and people of other executive order on March 1, 1961 establishing the Peace Corps.
Following the assassination of Kennedy, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn into office, then reelected the following year. The Vietnam War was alive and terrifying for the citizens of the United States. A military draft was established in 1969, calling all male outh the age 19 or older to be forced to enlist in the US Army if physically capable of serving. The draft brought on huge amounts of tension from college student across the nation. Anti-war protests were arranged from city to city, coast-to-coast. No one wanted a draft, and more importantly no one wanted a war.
The Vietnam War was a key ingredient to the Peace Movement of the sixties. With the youth predominantly in control, theyre views on the negative effects of War outweighed the views on those who thought it was okay. The anti-government attitude also grew from the war, and developed into the Hippie Movement. The spirit of the hippies was to be free of government, be in touch with nature, find love from everything, earn for world peace, express sexuality in an open manner, experiment with various drugs to explore the soul, and find the answer to life through music.
The Space Race between the US and the Soviet Union lead to one of the major technological advances of the decade. In 1969 Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon. In the previous decade no one would have dreamed this day would come, then a few years later the world stood in a state of shock, watching with close eyes as Armstrong bounced in his space uit, speaking the famous words, “This is one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. ” (“Brainy Quote”) With this huge leap in technology the United States was able to win the Space Race, becoming a world power in science and technology.
All of these events are marked as the significant times of the 1960s. Whether they are social, political, cultural, or even technological, these occasions shaped the decade, and all were huge influences on the way the United States grew during those years. The overpowering role the youth had on America also was a signifying factor that inspired the new ways of the sixties. Each of these events blossomed another huge trend of the decade, the new sense of fashion. Each event cultivated it’s own spirit, establishing certain styles.
The surrounding elements that fashion designers lived in gave them the ideas, and helped create the new designs that will forever remain the lasting impression of fashion during the 1960s. Description Inspirational. Influential. Spirited. Radical. These words all signify the essence of the 1960’s, giving great portrayal on what the overall feeling of the decade was. With each occurrence of events, whether being political, social, or economical, brought bout significant change in the United States, thus influencing the world of fashion.
The styles were designed after the various movements that were flooding the country, each with its own unique character that made it a new genre of style. The youth in the 1960’s overpowered the country, doing what they wanted, when they wanted. The decade before them was full of clean cut, conservative styles that did not represent the personality of the new generation of teens. They searched for a new look, something responsive to which they were. The power that woman were gaining by finding equality brought on a sense of sexual freedom. Women were now dressing more scandalous and provocative.
Credited to the designer Mary Quant, the mint-skirt was invented, bringing the hemline well above the thigh, exposing almost skirt. This look was opposite of the shin length ensembles of the 1950’s. John F. Kennedy was the president of the country at the beginning of the decade, captivating the people of America to support him and his party, as well as lead the nation in a positive, new direction. Standing by his side was his wife, Jackie Kennedy. She alone held one the biggest influences on the fashion of the decade, establishing her as a ashion icon for years to come.
The women in America looked to Jackie as a role model, and someone they wanted to be. She wore beautiful classic suits, long silk gowns, Jackets with a square shoulder, and accessorized with pearls, gloves, and hats. Figure two shows Jackie Kennedy in this appearance. The “Jackie Look” “was by now sweeping the nation, with legions copying her pert coiffure, tip-tilted pillboxes, and streamlined elegance. ” (Allison 2) This look dominated the fashion world, filling women’s closets from coast to coast during the decade. Another clothing sensation of the 1960’s was the look of the hippies.
Hippies were born from anti-war protests, the belief in world peace, freedom, love for all and showing personal expression. The hippies clothing style consisted of layers of various fabrics, often with rainbow accents. They tended to be dirty, with long, matted hair, thick beards, and at times were free of shaving any part of the human body. They accessorized with headbands, flowers, necklaces, and bracelets. Figure three and four are images that represent the look of the hippies. The youth primarily ruled this style during the times. The Space Race with the Soviet Union captured the interest of Americans over the decade.
The technological advancement in science was astounding to the people of the country, causing intense interest in the subject. Fashion designer Andres Courreges also found a passion for the Space Race. His ‘Space Age’/Couture Future collection was directly inspired from the Space Race. (Nikolaou 1) Figure six shows an image of a collection by Courreges. His fashion shows even held the vision of the universe, and the future of where the world would be going with this huge technological advancement. The designs would mimic the space suits astronauts wore, styled with white helmets and white boots.
The use of silver was the primary color of fabrics, giving the clothes the space look. American citizens loved this style, and rocked the look of the Space Age during the decade. Each of the styles seen throughout the decade formed their own genre of clothing; each using beautiful fabrics, lush textiles, bright colors, tight hemlines, and futuristic garments. A of the styles were influenced from the various events of the decade, giving a profound effect on the people, the country, and even the world. Cause and Effect The decade of the 1960’s will forever remain a time of change, new beliefs, and styles hat define a generation.
The occurrence of the various events affected the viewpoints the citizens had on their country, as well as changing beliefs on equality, freedom, and peace throughout the world. The Vietnam War caused millions of Americans to stand up for peace, and speak out against the war. The effect the war had on the United States included the military draft, peace pro-tests, youth involvement in politics, and the launch of the hippie movement. Posters could be seen hanging in cities across the country. The fought for the war to end, persuaded the people to believe in peace, not destruction and war.
Shown in fgure six, buttons saying phrases such as “end the war” were distributed was also an effect of the war. The youth were tired of seeing their loved ones forced to leave and fght for a war they didn’t believe in. The belief in peace, love, and harmony throughout the world was a direct effect of the war. (Peter) Hippies emerged from these beliefs; being born with them was also the styles of the hippies. Along with these viewpoints on life, came the drugs and spiritual awareness the hippies had for themselves. The most inspiring movement of the 1960’s was that of the Civil Rights Movement.
Its effect on the people was profound, and made a lasting impact. Finally, the people of the movement had seen the change they had been waiting for. Segregation between whites and blacks was eliminated. The people of color were now apart of society, not looked down upon because of the color of their skin. (“Martin Luther King”) Effects of this movement included a new, positive attitude on how equality is moral, buttons were created, protests were held, and places where only whites were allowed were no more. Another movement that had a great effect on the people was the Space Race.
Never before had the citizens of the United States been so involved in science, eager to learn about the latest news NASA had on where the US stood against the Soviet Union. The Space Race caused scientists to try and devise new ways to lead in technological advancements, the effect of this great research lead Neil Armstrong to land on the moon in 1969. (“The Space Race”) Science was forever changed because of this incredible achievement NASA had. The designs that were effects of the Space Race primarily include those of Andres Courreges, who’s vision of futuristic attire would not have happened if the push for the Space Race wasn’t so reat.
The events and people of the 1960s dictated the decade, causing great effects on the people of the United States. The effects were primarily positive, leading the country down a new path for the future. The happenings of this time can easily be compared and contrasted to the events of the 2000’s. Compare and Contrast The new millennium has seen many changes in clothing styles, fashion icons, and the overall designs of clothing. All of these elements have impacted the 2000s in vast ways. The way people think, act and live all can be viewed from personal expression in clothing styles.
The way of interpreting a lifestyle though clothing is something that was huge during the 1960s, and remained immense throughout the 2000s. The two decades can be compared and contrasted very easily. The youth takeover of the 1960s can be compared to the youth in the 2000s, the silhouettes such as the mini skirt remain popular in fashion today; the clean-cut look of Jackie Kennedy is still admired, and the hippie look can also be compared to the styles of the 2000s. The baby boom of the 1950s created a massive amount of youth for the 1960s.
The youth were the predominant factors in political decisions, popularizing music, and ransforming clothing styles. In the 2000s, many of the children that were born from the baby boom generation of the 1960s, grew up in the new millennium. They, compared to their parents, also were huge influences on the decade. One area that can be compared and contrasted is that of political involvement. In the 1960s the youth held massive protests against the war, urged for people to get out and make their voice heard, and strongly campaigned during the presidential election.
In 2008 the United States saw similar political involvement when Barack Obama was elected ut campaigning, and informing their people about who Obama was, and what he was going to do for the country. If it hadn’t been for the massive amount of young voters urging for Obama to win, he may not have secured the popular vote. Youth involvement is one of the main elements that can be compared and contrasted for the two decades. Jackie Kennedy was the wife of one of the most beloved presidents our nation had ever seen. While falling in love with John F. Kennedy, the citizens of the United States also fell in love with Jackie.
She was an ideal first lady, and someone woman across the nation aspired to be like. She was beautiful, caring, compassionate, and was always dressed in the most stylish ensembles. The look of Jackie Kennedy was clean cut, represented empowerment, and always looked extremely presentable. This look can be compared to the 2000s to that of first lady Michelle Obama. She and Jackie are very similar in many ways. Michelle dresses very modest, most often seen in J. Crew attire. Just like Jackie, her style is very clean and polished. Michelle is also very iconic to woman in the 2000s.
Her ability to fulfill the role of first lady in the most impressing ways makes her someone women strive to be like. The silhouette of the mini skirt is a design that has been very popular since the 1960s. In the 2000s this design would be seen everywhere in the fashion world. Runways, high fashion stores, department stores, and fast fashion boutiques all withheld this style. If it wasn’t for the design being created in the 1960s, then the 2000s may not have ever rocked this style. The mini skirt was made to make women feel sexier, and express their sexual freedom through clothing.
This element is something that can also be compared and contrasted to the 2000s. In the new millennium the styles for woman tended to shift to being very sexual, and would xpose a woman’s body in ways that fashion had never seen. Tight pants, low cuts, and short skirts all were incorporated with the look. Thanks to the mini skirt, this style revolution was shaped in this way during the 2000s. Another style that can be compared to the 2000s is that of the hippie look. The 1960s is when finding love from everything, respecting nature, exploring ones mind, and trying to live in peace and harmony was becoming popularized.
The leaders who had these beliefs became known as hippies. The style that they are associated with represent the elements of which they believe in. The dress would be very slouchy, often wearing pieces of nature, such as flowers as headbands or necklaces. Many colors would be thrown together to represent happiness, and love for life. The element of the hippies can be compared to the 2000s because in this decade the hippie movement is still alive and growing. Because of the hippies, the peace sign remains popular, and even the dress styles are in fashion.
Clothing designers often make collections that were purely inspired by the hippies. The youth, as well as adults, sport hippie inspired headbands, colorful clothing, and flowers as ccessories. This 1960s and the 2000s have numerous similarities’ that can be compared and contrasted in the most positive ways. The styles of the new millennium, as well as youth involvement were all inspired by the 1960s, and have grown thanks to that decade. Conclusion history. The spirit of the times had moved from a conservative outlook of the 1950s, and into a spirit of freedom, love, and youth empowerment across the nation.
The influence of each social, political, and economical event had profound impact on the people, but an even greater impact on the clothing styles of the decade. The Vietnam War, Civil rights movement, and youth takeover all examples of events that were able to affect the world of fashion in new, radical ways. The fashion of this decade changed America. From the sixties and on, the style that citizens wore became more freeing, and gave opportunity to express personal beliefs, and show who they were through clothing. The revolution that occurred during the 1960s will forever remain one of the most inspirational times in our nations history.
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Kennedys Production (Ontario), Inc. , 2011. DVD. “This is one small step for… at BrainyQuote. ” Famous Quotes at BrainyQuote. N. p. , n. d. Web. 18 Nov. 2012. “The Space Race Military History Encyclopedia on the Web. N. p. , n. d. Web. 27 Nov. 2012. “Wine and Summer: I’m in a Fight with Taylor Swift. ” Wine and Summer. N. p. , n. d. Web. 27 Nov. 2012. “Worn Through ?» Today in History: Man and the Moon. ” Worn Through. N. p. , n. d. Web. 27 Nov. 2012. Appendix Figure One: (“The 20th Century Fashionista) Figure Two: (“Wine and Summer”) Figure Three: Oourney) (“Retro Threadz”) Figure Five: (“Worn Through”) Figure Six: (“Peace Sign Buttons”)