Fashion from the 1960s reflected the youth style. From the short skirts of the mid-1960s to the patchwork skirts of the hippies, clothing took over, new colours and line, and was a reflection of the optimism and idealistic charm that the people yearned for in the new egalitarian society.
The birth-control pills were introduced that encouraged women to look for a new kind of freedom. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 increased the interest of the youth in African as well as other ethnic groups. The youth of the West stopped identifying them as a homogenized whole and rather thought themselves as a collection of tribes who had a wide variety of interest and had specific “self-created” roles to play.
The youth in the 1960s wore geometric prints, short skirts and vibrant colours. From the casual, easy sophistication, that ended with the op art and pop art influenced by the mod, the dressing styles of youth went through a radical change. Men grew their hair. Young people rejected traditional clothing style until the next half of the decade, and a new, vibrant bohemian look was emerged by the hippie movement.
Like the aesthetics of the 19th Century, the new bohemians as we mentioned before rejected the negative effects of consumerism and mass production, as well the roles and responsibilities devoted by the society.
The hippies embraced an alternative way of living, and were seen dressed in recycled clothing and folk dresses. A nice example would be bold, multi-coloured patchwork dungarees. The look that the hippies created were based on creativity, fantasy and of course individuality.
The bohemian youth incorporated fashion from other cultures and military surplus into curious combinations, creating a new fashion statement. While the scarves and skirts were influenced by the traditional European clothing, kaftans from the Middle Eastern regions, Native American influences, and so on. The resultant new fashion was exotically unstructured and fun!
The social positions or the society itself could not dictate anymore what one should wear and not.
In this, one colour bled into the other creating vibrant patterns, geometric shapes, which led to Indian paisley and amoeba patterns. Tie-dye skirts and Patchwork dungarees were much in demand.
A stereotype emerged during this time, young people were seen in Afro hairstyle, wearing a tie-dyed shirt, bell-bottomed jeans, exhibiting a peace symbol.
While the psychedelia lost its steam quite quickly, the bohemian trend of hippies still has their influence in fashion today. ???????