Forensic Fashion
(c) 2006-present R. Macaraeg


>Costume Studies
>>1969 American hippie
Subject: hippie
Culture: American
Setting: counterculture, America 1960s-1970s
Evolution1955 American beatnik > 1969 American hippie

Context (Event Photos, Primary Sources, Secondary Sources, Field Notes)

* Dirix 2016 p144
"In the mid-1960s, the United States saw the rise of hippie culture, which spread quickly among the young, culminating in the 1967 Summer of Love and the 1969 Woodstock festival.  Hippies, like the beats before them, rejected materialism and Western values, and their politics were reflected through their antifashions: both men and women dressed in Asian-inspired garb of tunics, beads, and flowing maxi dresses (often in bright colors or featuring exotic or psychedelic prints) or jeans and T-shirts to signal their questioning of gender roles.  They moved both the political and sexual revolution forward and their ideas spread to Europe, where, mixed in with existentialist rhetoric, they culminated in the Paris Spring of 1968.  Saint Laurent went out into the streets to sketch young protesters on the barricades and, inspired by their demands, designed a collection of pantsuits for women, including his now-iconic safari suit for the urban female warrior.  In the same year, Sonia Rykiel, who had started making upmarket ready-to-wear in the early 1960s, opened her boutique in Saint-Germain on the Left Bank, where she sold clinging knitwear designed to be worn without a bra.  Freedom of bodies, sexuality, and a relaxing of moral codes were embodied by her designs, which she defined as woman friendly.  Traditional values and gender roles were being questioned, if not overturned, and fashion traced and contributed to this journey."

* Miles 2004 p9
"Call them freaks, the underground, the counter-culture, flower children or hippies -- they are all loose labels for the youth culture of the 60s that transformed life in the West as we knew it, introducing a spirit of freedom, of hope, of happiness, of change and of revolution.
    "Its beginnings were small, growing from the Beat Generation of the 50s.  Many of the Beats remained central to the movement throughout the 60s; poets Gary Snyder, Michael McClure, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Allen Ginsberg were all regarded as statesmen and gurus of the movement in the USA, as was WIlliam Burroughs in his self-imposed exile in London.  Like the Beats, hippies rejected the stultifying boredom of Americans 50s' consumer society, offering an alternative to the then prevalent idea of living in identical suburbs, sleeping in twin beds, driving virtually identical cars, watching mind-numbing sitcoms on television or staring through picture windows at the neighbors' identical picture window.  What became known as 'straight society' went to church, satisfied that they were the moral guardians of the world in their fight against godless communism."

* Croll 2014 p84-85
"Hippies are arguably youth culture's most celebrated subculture, the result of large numbers of Baby Boomers who all came of age at once.  The hippies had causes: they opposed the Vietnam War, championed racial equality, and embraced sexual freedom.  They believed in natural lifestyles, Mother Earth, Eastern philosophy -- and took psychedelic drugs to expand their minds.  Their fashion reflected all this: a nonconformist assortment of thrift-store finds and non-Western clothing (dashikis, saris, and the like), bell-bottoms, sands, beads, leather vests, and trippy patterns like tie-dye. The hippies continued with their sit-ins and love-ins until the end of the sixties, when the double blow of Altamont's Hells Angels-driven violence and the Manson Family murders brought the era of peace and love to a shocking end.  Hippie fashions, however, live on into the present, inspiring looks from music festivals to high-fashion runways."


* Cumming/Cunnington/Cunnington 2010 p104
Hippie style, hippy style  (F & M)  Period: 1950s.  A term appropriated from the hipsters of the early 1950s.  This was an alternative approach to fashion espoused by the young and demonstrated through their choice of clothing, which mixed recycled but colourful old clothing with patchwork, psychedelic colours, and some ethnic elements such as Indian fabrics and Afghan coats.  Often long, wild hair styles beards and bare feet were part of the look."

* Calasibetta/Tortora 2003 p289-290
"hippie/hippie look  Term coined in mid-1960s for young person who defied established customs and adopted an unconventional mode of dress (e.g. long uncombed hair, aged blue jeans, miscellaneous tops, fringed jackets, strings of beads, symbolic pendants, pouch bags, bare feet, or sandals). Started a trend toward ethnic fashions and unusual mixtures of dress."

* Fogg ed. 2013 p386-387
"At the end of the 1960s the youth-led fashions made in futuristic fabrics inspired by the space age were rejected in favor or handcrafted garments and a reverence for natural fibers.  The hippies, a youth subculture with its origins in the U.S. beat movement, preferred to wear clothes picked up on their global travels, rather than the mass-produced, machine-made items that were retailing in the Western fashion system.  Industrial processes and synthetic products were anathema to the protagonists of the hippie 'back to nature' lifestyle.  In the social and political upheavals of 1968, 'flower power' symbolized the force of nature against the power of authority.  This adherence to an alternative lifestyle outside conventional society culminated in a desire for free expression in all aspects of culture, from fashion and art to music and the media.  All of these were appropriated by the counter-culture and, over time, infiltrated the mainstream.
    "In fashion the antimaterialist ethos of the hippies resulted in an eclectic sourcing of vernacular dress, in which the construction of the garment is rooted in the simplest way of utilizing all the fabric. Global garments from the hippie trail to India and the Far East, such as Indian prayer shirts decorated with bells, Nehru jackets, gathered ankle-length skirts embellished with fragments of mirror, wrapped pants, embroidered waistcoats, and variations of the 'T'-shape kaftan, appeared in the collections of leading European and U.S. designers including Emilio Pucci (1914-1992), Zandra Rhodes (b.1940), and BIll Gibb (1943-1988).
    "The accoutrements of Native American dress and decoration, such as fringing and beading, appealed particularly to the U.S. hippie -- located chiefly in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district -- and was a look commercialized by Italian-born American Giorgio di Sant'Angelo (1933-1989).  Zandra Rhodes also used the beadwork and feathers of Native American dress as inspiration for her print designs, alongside the art and artifacts of other cultures.  Renowned primarily for her evening wear, Rhodes maximized the effect of the print, relying on layers, gathers, smocking, and shirring to create the silhouette.  The clothes were engineered to accommodate the placement of the prints, rather than cut from continuous, repetitive yardage.  British design duo Celia Birtwell (b.1941) and Ossie Clark (1942-1996) offered a more refined version of the haute-hippie dress, eschewing the simple 'T'-shape silhouette for the fluid sophistication of the bias cut, with colors and patterns inspired by the Ballets Russes costumes and the Art Deco movement."

​* O'Hara 1986 p134
"hippy  Nineteen sixties successor to the beatnik.  Hippies often grew their hair long, walked barefoot, and wore colorful (often old) clothes and accessories.  In the 1970s many designers copied hippy fashions, such as patchwork skirts and coats; long, flowing, flounced skirts; and psychedelic patterns and prints."


* Moeran 2015 p190
"Youth movements of all sorts have ... used hair to assert their sexuality.  Hippies quickly used the length of their hair as a symbol to fight against the social and sexual mores under which young people had been brought up in the 1950s and early 1960s."


* Calasibetta/Tortora 2003 p289
"hippie beads  Beads adopted by hippies, an avant-garde group of young people in the United States in the mid-1960s. For necklaces, usually small beads worn chest-high by both sexes. Influenced conventional men to adopt the fashion of wearing chains or medallion necklaces. Also called love beads."

​* Mitchell 2023-05-17 online
"Mood rings are associated with a particular very old classic trend that emerged in the 1970s. The mystical properties of a gemstone that changes color depending on how you felt at the time sparked a mini reformation of its own, and the fashion statement became so widespread that they’re still sought after today."