A Brief Fashion History Of England Part 2 - The Sixties 1

Twiggy - the face of the 60's
Twiggy - the face of the 60's

Sixties and a change in... everything

The sixties marked a time when women were starting to become more independent.

It also marked a stage in evolution where people wanted to move away from the austerity if the early fifties and before to become more expressive and much less encumbered by the rules of Victoriana.

In addition, technology was moving forward in regards to textiles, colour and the design of much of the clothing of the sixties reflected that. We therefore had a big shift in how people - led by the young and possibly impulsive - thought others should see them.

In the Victorian and Edwardian eras, it was considered unseemly for women to show themselves, or at least their bodies and therefore skirts were long, collars were high and skin was something that only kept your insides from falling out.

In the fifties, this became less so, but still, the people of the day were decorous and kept their skirts below the knees, although designers had made an effort to show off the shape of a woman.

In the sixties, that all went out of the window as PVC fashions, miniskirts and skin appeared everywhere.

A selection of the clothing worn in the 60's
A selection of the clothing worn in the 60's
Carnaby Street in the 1960's
Carnaby Street in the 1960's

Carnaby Street

Located near Oxford Street and Regent Street in the Soho district of London, lies Carnaby Street. It above all other areas was synonymous with the fashions of the sixties. Mary Quant - to whom the miniskirt was attributed, had a boutique there as did Lord John and others. 

Wardour Street - home of the legendary 'Marquee' was only round the corner and with Bands like the Beatles, The Who, The Small Faces and The Rolling Stones playing, Carnaby Street became part of the centre of the place to be in London's Swinging Sixties.

The Flip as modelled by Dianna Rigg alias Emma Peel, Mary Tyler Moore and Leslie Gore
The Flip as modelled by Dianna Rigg alias Emma Peel, Mary Tyler Moore and Leslie Gore
Vidal Sassoon
Vidal Sassoon

Hair

The Beehive hairstyle, which first made an appearance in the 50's still in full use, the new trend became the flip.

Here, the hair was teased and back-combed on top to give volume and the bottom was turned out and up--especially popular with girls who had shoulder-length hair.

However, a young Englishman by the name of Vidal Sassoon was about to turn hairstyles on their heads with the re-invention of the bob.

Adding angles and A-symmetry, the Sassoon bob was soon the talk of the world, never mind the town.

Sadly, I show my age here, because I can remember all this--not quite as if it were yesterday, but clearly enough. As one who was born right at the top of the 1960's, I saw my mum and her younger siblings go through the changes in fashion and I don't think there has been another decade in history where so much happened fashion wise.

The 1960's were definitely a happening time.

More of the PVC fashion craze of the Swingin' 60's
More of the PVC fashion craze of the Swingin' 60's

Leather wasn't hip. The material to be using was this new-fangled stuff called PVC. Sadly, the guys and dolls of the 60's didn't have a clue about the trouble this product would cause in later years, but right then and there it was right-on.

Much of the fashion in the early part of the 60's was very monochromatic and tended towards being made of PVC as it was much cheaper than leather, although I think I would have preferred the breathable product rather than something that after a day on your feet, you could have swam in...

In the next pants-gripping episode

Britain goes mod...

Still in the sixties, we look at what the men wore back in the day, covering the mod fashion associated with The Who, Hippy trends associated with people like Bob Dylan, Scott McKenzie and others.

Stay tuned for more :)

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Comments 9 comments

LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 6 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

This is an awesome Hub! Sharing...


Nick B profile image

Nick B 6 years ago from Normandy, France Author

Why thank you, Lilly.

There's more to come...


urs_dipak profile image

urs_dipak 6 years ago from Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Nice Hub nick B


Nick B profile image

Nick B 6 years ago from Normandy, France Author

Thanks urs_dipak. Will be trying to crack on with part 2 today.


Gib 4 years ago

Hmmm I think I just found out something! http://www.exposix.com/files/ans_attachments/95911... ^^


limpet profile image

limpet 2 years ago from London England

The actress Honor Blackman who starred in the original TV series of the Avengers said that the leather outfits worn during filming became uncomfortable to wearing after being in them for hours at a time but the fashion certainly caught on with girls ushering in leather skirts and knee high boots. There was also an upsurge in girl's taking up judo classes emulating Miss Blackman's Cathy Gale and Pussey GALORE.


limpet profile image

limpet 12 months ago from London England

And what a time that was? The 'swinging sixties' and all!


limpet profile image

limpet 12 months ago from London England

And what a time that was? The 'swinging sixties' and all!


limpet profile image

limpet 7 months ago from London England

Bring back those gorgeous 'Dolly Birds' !

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