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Sixties Fashion

From 'Less is More' to Youthquake

Jonathan Walford

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The definitive story of the clothes, the labels, the movements and the music that shook the very foundations of society

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This is the decade in which everything changed. Fashion in the sixties was radical, revolutionary – like nothing the world had ever seen. At the end of the fifties, Yves Saint Laurent started looking for new ways to define the female form. By the seventies, styles, markets, materials, demographics, inspirations, and the very definition of fashion had been utterly transformed. We are still living with the effects today.

Sixties Fashion tells the definitive story of the clothes, the labels, the movements and the music that shook the very foundation of society.

In the early sixties an unprecedented explosion of youth culture – Diana Vreeland’s famous ‘youthquake’ – led to a demand for informal but stylish clothes, and self-expression became paramount. From the mods in London and the yé-yé scene in Paris, to the flower children in San Francisco, subcultures took fashion into their own hands and changed the world’s style from the bottom up.

The miniskirt, the ultimate expression of ‘less is more’, was a potent symbol of change that defied the establishment. Designers Mary Quant and André Courrèges were famous for raising hemlines, but as Quant herself said, ‘it was the girls in the street who did it’. By the end of the decade, fashion had given way to style, and clothes were never the same again.

Jonathan Walford charts these revolutions in this richly illustrated history in which period advertisements, images of clothes and first-hand accounts from contemporary publications bring high fashion and low fashion, and everything in between, vividly to life.

This beautifully designed volume is the essential sourcebook for professionals and retro enthusiasts alike, and will be treasured by all dedicated followers of fashion.

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'Exquisite photography … fashion mavens will swoon over the cocoon cocktail coats and Pucci prints'
The Lady

Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Size: 25.0 x 23.0 cm

Extent: 208 pp

Illustrations: 306

Publication date: 21 October 2013

ISBN: 9780500516935

Contents List

1. Foundations: High Fashion in the Early 1960s • 2. Youthquake: Fashion by the Young for the Young • 3. The Miniskirt Myth: The Thigh’s the Limit • 4. Scandal Suits and Shapeless Shifts: The Mid-1960s • 5. Who Will Do Laundry in Space?: Looking to the Future • 6. Doing Your Own Thing: The Rise of Non-Conformism • 7. Mod Men: Menswear Catches Up • 8. Beauty from the Neck Up: Hair and Cosmetics • 9. Aftershock: Fashion in the Late 1960s

About the Author

Jonathan Walford has held curatorial positions with several institutions, including the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, of which he was founding curator. He now runs his own company, Kickshaw Productions, which promotes the history of fashion through a variety of media and venues.

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