Swinging 60s and 70s

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The Hippie cult
The hippie cult was hostile to fashion and chose to wear cheap ethnic type garments and second hand clothing. Handmade clothing was valued during the 1960s, but by the mid 1970s youth was interested in clothing that lasted for only a few months - that is, for the time of the fad. Colours were bright and varied. A multitude of man-made fibres became available. These offered great variation in price, texture, and properties such as sharp permanent pleats, shiny PVC and comfortable stretch crimplene. But these clothes also brought their problems such as poor absorption, snagging and pilling.

clear.GIF (808 bytes)Swinging 60s & 70s
Gallery 3 of the Benalla Costume and Pioneer Museum is devoted to the costume of this radical period of change in fashion, the 1960s and 1970s. This shift was wrought as the dictators of style began to change. By 1966 the market was geared to youth with youthfulness, simplicity, affordability and wearability as the prime directions. English designers led the change with Mary Quant and the Carnably designers (for men) creating the trend setters of the pop industry.

Fashion houses turned some of their activities to the 'ready-to-wear' trade and established boutiques in order support the industry. The Space-Age phenomena of 1964 inspired garments like the mini skirt (which became accepted by 1966), figure hugging pant suits and flat heeled boots. Short skirts brought a revolution in underwear and hosiery. "Undies" became long legged and frilled, but the fad for witches britches was short-lived. The new pantyhose covered all, and stretch, drip-dry and long-lasting properties and colours were revolutionary.

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News flash
...because of the actions of Animal Liberation Groups campaigns, artificial furs replaced real ones in coats, jackets, hats and wraps.

Trousers were accepted by 1968 and were common wear in the form of pants suits, hipsters, sportswear, and flowing skirt-like casual clothing. Maxi and midi garments were also fashionable for a short period. Denim was in vogue particularly for teen wear, designer jeans being the rage by the end of the 1970s.

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