Fashion Dresses From the 1960s

Written by luke boston
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Fashion Dresses From the 1960s
Vibrant shades of orange rose in popularity during the 1960s. (Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

The 1960s were a time of innovation and experimentation. This was particularly true of the world of fashion and design. During the 1960s, dresses were a staple wardrobe item for the young and fashion-conscious woman. Popular trends within the art world, such as pop-art, were often reflected in the design of fabrics and textiles.

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Colours and Fabrics

The fashions of the 1960s were defined by acid tones, psychedelic prints and bold floral designs. Vibrant shades of orange, lime green and yellow were commonly used by fashion designers. Fabrics symbolic of the era include velvet, PVC and crimplene. Art-inspired prints were often incorporated into the design of the minidress, most notably the pop and op-art trends. The flower power revolution of the late 1960s was epitomised by flowing floral chiffon and ethnic-influenced prints.

The Mod Look

One of the most definitive looks of the 1960s is that of the mod. The mod look was the antithesis of the dishevelled and rebellious rocker style. Hemlines were typically extremely short and dresses were commonly cut in a classic A-line or shift style. The Peter Pan collar was a key trend within the mod fashion movement, as were bold monochrome prints and vibrant colours.

Hippie Chic

The hippie movement of the mid-1960s was a reaction to increasing U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War and the loss of young life suffered in the conflict. The dresses favoured by hippies were typically long and flowing. Popular prints included Indian and ethnic-inspired cottons, bold flower-power chiffons and brightly coloured patchwork velvets. Tunic dresses were also a key look among hippies; they were often embroidered with floral designs using vividly coloured cottons.

Key Dress Designers

The major fashion designers of the 1960s were predominately London based. The styles found in the vibrant markets and boutiques of Carnaby Street and King's Road influenced fashion designers and fans throughout the world. The key innovator was Mary Quant, who pioneered the mini skirt in her London store. Legendary Biba designer Barbara Hulanicki produced affordable and iconic dresses that were championed by 1960s models and pop stars such as Marianne Faithful.

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