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Entries in 1960s (52)


It Was Fifty Years Ago Today…

Lulue channels the Sixties in a houndstooth jacket, white mini, knee-high lace-up boots and of course the ubiquitous Vidal Sassoon bob (and, in the truest Sixties style, it’s a wig). Add giant white-framed sunglasses, hot pink fishnets, big jewellery and lashings of black warpaint, and she’s good to go … to a Sixties themed party at the very least.

The Sixties was the decade of youth: the new generation of Baby Boomers born following the war created a new market; a market that rebelled against all expressions of authority. Out went haute couture, and in came fashion off the streets.

The Mini

Tired of the neck and shoulders, fashion found a new erogenous zone: the midriff and thighs. The miniskirt was born in the early Sixties, first worn by art students in Manchester, and then marketed worldwide by Mary Quant in 1965. André Courrèges and Yves Saint Laurent also adopted the brief skirt in their Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter 1965 collections respectively. And also in 1965, what a scandal Jean Shrimpton caused by wearing a minidress to the Melbourne Cup Carnival! 

The Bob

“Everyone wanted more hair, adding thickness and height, whether the cut was short and bobbed, or long, heavy and swinging,” Georgina Howell tells us in her book In Vogue: 75 Years of Style (Condé Nast Books, 1991). Vidal Sassoon’s new do was hard and architectural, requiring a revolution in makeup and the correct hat to complement his bob. To satisfy this desire for height, hairdressers encouraged the use of hairpieces instead of constant and damaging back-combing. Eye makeup darkened – false eyelashes were an essential component of the Sixties look, and lips paled into insignificance.

The Boots

According to Howell, “in summer you went bare-legged and rouged your knees. In the winter you covered your exposed limbs in thick patterned tights or stretch lace, and boots climbed up the legs in pursuit of hemlines.” (How I love that last phrase, boots in pursuit of hemlines!) The go-go boot is the quintessential Sixties footwear, and were originally low-heeled; Lulue’s black lace-ups are more akin to ‘kinky boots’. The term was coined in the UK in the early Sixties, when boots became a mainstream fashion item. Prior to this they were worn predominately in the underground fetish world of the dominatrix.

It was certainly a youthquake, but everything grows tame in time. Young people grow up, and their glory years become a mine for their grandchildren’s theme parties. 

Check out more pics in the Out-takes & Extras album.

Thanks to Lulue for being such a gorgeous model yet again.


I'm seeing spots!

This photo has always fascinated me. A bed in the field! Children romping in shortie dresses — that may be my second oldest sister on the far left. I love the plethora of patterns: stripes and florals, spots and plaids. I love the baby (my cousin) in her little white bonnet. There seems such a story to be told in this candid moment, but there is nothing even written on the back. I am sure I must have asked my mum why there was a bed in the field but I can’t recall what she answered.

That is my aunt in the wild print dress which dates the photo to some time in the fifties, although her hair looks distinctly thirties style with the marcel waves. My mum is wearing the polka-dot scarf and numerous layers (the topmost of which is spotted too). Seems safe to say she was not the fashionably-minded one in the bevy of sisters!

However, she continues to be enamoured of spots, as you will see in the photo below. This is 1967, making my sister in her spotted dress nearly four years old. I bet that dress my mum is wearing is made of polyester, and I like to imagine the print is purple, as that is her favourite colour. Note the sensible loafers both women are wearing.

I know hardly anyone prints their photos anymore, but I adore the deckle edge of these, and the slipshod, off-centre printing; the spots and scratches. They need to bring the deckles back and then they might see a resurgance of photo printing the world over. Everyone loves a bit of instant nostalgia.

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