Jackie Kennedy - 1961 Fashion Icon
1961 STRETCH PANTS
POPULAR DRESS SILHOUETTES FOR 1950s and 1960s FASHION
Fabric.On the sportswear scene, coeds, teen agers, and tots went in for stretch pants in a big way. Fashioned of nylon, or combinations of a synthetic fabric and elastic, they fit like ski pants and were worn with sweaters or long, loose cotton-knit tops that drooped well below the waistline. Stretch fabrics seemed to be headed for big things. Stretch skirts were introduced late in 1961, and many fashion authorities predicted that entire stretch wardrobes would soon be on the market.
The year women’s fashion became more feminine.
Fashion was swept along on a great wave of youth in 1963, to the delight of teen-agers and grandmothers alike. The "young look" took the form of knee-high skirts, sleeveless dressed, lower heels, and close-cropped, natural hair.
"Ye Ye" and Discotheque.Significant Parisian trends were side-buttoning dresses and coats, first introduced by Cristobal Balenciaga. The trim military-looking coat, in crisp hard-surfaced fabrics, was also inspired by Balenciaga and bcame the most important new-look coat in fall-winter collections.
Fashion headlines were made when Paris fall collections includedplants designs by several respected members of the couture. "Coco"Chanel's status slacks were styled with wide legs and a flatsailor-type panel across the stomach; Andre Courreges designed pantssuits with thigh-length jackets for daytime city wear; Jacques Heimand the House of Dior showed harem pants for at-home entertaining.
The mood of fashion was young in 1965. Andre Courreges, theyoung French designer of the bare knee, the square cut white dress,and flat white boots, offered the freshest and boldest look. He borrowedthe cowboy hat--chin strap and all--to top the geometric looksof his clothes. White textured stockings epitomized the trend. Hisideas influenced every facet of fashion.
A fashion revolution broke out in London, and for the first time aBritish fashion invasion stormed New York City to entice millionsof dollars from U.S. store buyers. Four fashion shows of 17 Britishready-to-wear manufacturers presented young girls in short hairdosand even shorter skirts, adding to the young look of fashion in 1965.
Pop and Op.In the United States, Pop Art popped into style. Then along came OpArt, which opened up a whole new area. Women dressed to match Op Artpaintings, with their stripes, checks, and wavy line prints. Designswere also based on the work of the famed Dutch painter Mondrian. Dresseswere divided geometrically by intersecting bands and brightened bycontrasting blocks of color. They came out of Paris couture and offthe drawing board of Yves St. Laurent. The Mondrian look was a success.It was adapted at all price levels, appearing even on a Mondrian bootof four bright colors.
Fashiondesigners revolted against tradition in 1966. The thunder was firstheard in England, where a youth rebellion resulted in world-wide recognitionand profits for designers and manufacturers of the Mod look in clothes.Although the fashion rebellion began in London in 1965, it becamemore intense and widespread elsewhere during 1966.
Throughout the world, girls enjoyed the Mod look. The look requiredabbreviated skirts, or miniskirts, and pale colored fishnet or lacytextured hosiery, cut-out, low-heeled "little girl" shoes,mannish jackets, and ties or French "undershirt" tops. Accessoriesincluded over-the-shoulder handbags and gaudy jewelry, which rangedfrom antique pins and necklaces to modern styled geometric earrings.
Young men also went Mod via low slung, wide belted, skinny, fittedpants, to which they added extra-wide, flashy printed ties that contrastedwith the wallpaper floral prints of their shirts. Boots, vests, Londoncaps, and narrow Carnaby jackets were also worn by the young men whotook part in the rebellion against traditional men's clothesand conservative ways.
Youth's Uniform.In the United States, the Mod look became one of the clothing industry'sbiggest promotions. Both young men and women picked up the look. Americanyouth became infatuated with the exotic, offbeat image, using it asa means of differentiating themselves from the adult generation. Miniskirts,associated with Mod fashions, were adapted to more conservative styleswith the length modified to two inches above the knee.
The new short-short skirt fashion resulted in mixed emotions everywhere.In the United States, some schools found it necessary to regulatepermissible skirt lengths. In Iran, the education minister labeledthe miniskirt "improper and indecent" and said any girlwho insisted on wearing it would be denied admission to educationalinstitutions.
The Cone Shape.The uplifted hemlines were also a part of Paris' haute couturefashions, but these were less radical, yet still very youthful. Parisdesigners Yves St. Laurent and Cardin not only raised hems to abovethe knees but also uplifted entire silhouettes of dresses for styleswith high cuts, narrow shoulders, and gliding but controlled coneshapes. Revolting against the short skirt trend was designer MarcBohan of the House of Dior, who lengthened his coats to midcalf, buthad his models wear them over shorter skirted dresses.
A look that was a combination of Mod and haute couture was the most popular fashion for women past their teens. Cone shape dresses, often with halter necklines, came with above-the-knee hemlines. Women living active lives chose them not only for their fashion interest but also for their relaxed, mobile silhouettes. The look of glittering silver was a popular, young, and swinging look for evening. The metallic mood was completed with silver shoes and shiny, wet-looking lipstick.
Mannish and Military Styles.Women borrowed suit styles from men. They wore straight legged pantsuits, often of men's fabrics, for day wear. For evening and at-home, they wore them in more elaborate fabrics and in wide, fluid shapes. Pant suits provided a fashionable means of comfort. They were worn and accepted everywhere.
The military look was also popular. Army pockets, brass buttons, epaulets, and trench coat treatments were featured on coats, suits, and sportswear.
Paper dresses came to the fore in 1966. They were initiated by such offbeat designers as Californian Judy Brewer. Women purchased the paper garments for ease, amusement, and as conversation pieces.
Fashion focused on the look of the leg in 1967. Short skirts worn still higher above the knee gave legs exposure they had not had in years. Women took advantage of this fashionable trend by cloaking their legs ina wild assortment of textured and colored hose, both sheer and opaque. Showing from beneath flippy, brief skirts, the stockings gave fashions a mod mood of youthful spirit. Mini-skirts made pantie hose, in complexion sheerness as well as color and texture, increasingly popular because they not only gave the leg a hip-to-toe smoothness, but eliminated the possibility of garter-show.
Women showed off their legs in peekaboo fishnets, wide windowpane effects, spidery weaves, and delicate lacy looks. As the year progressed, stockings tended toward bold zigzag and striped patterns and whimsical floral designs. The nurses' "white leg" look was popular in the spring, but black and dark shades of brown and gray became predominant for fall. The entire color spectrum, hot to pale, including blue, lime, orange, pink, and yellow, were worn to match or clash with dresses and suits. For evenings, legs sparkled in glittery copper, gold, and silver, completing the metallic mood of dazzling evening costumes
Women also fancied high boots as a fashionable means of covering their new length of leg. High-rise stretch vinyl or patent leather provided glove like sleekness to complement winter fashions. Women donned boots in shiny black and brown as well as other high-gloss colors. Boots stretched to the knees, to the thighs, or even to cover the entire leg like fisherman's hip boots.
Fashion was stripped of its dictatorial powers in 1968 by a revolutionary assertion of individuality. Stylish women throughout the world put the catch phrase "do your own thing" into practice by replacing the safe couture-approved dress with costumey, role-playing clothes that were outward projections of their inner selves. The trend posed several challenges. To the designer, a reassessment of his function;t o the woman, a happy burden of doing her own "designing." She had to assemble her look from a dizzying variety of separates and an even more complicated choice of accessories--barbershop armbands, chains, cords, earrings, folklore trinkets, jingling pendants ,ribbons, rings, and other found objects. Sometimes the actual garment was of less importance than the accessory.
The new attitude was a reaction to the sparse, streamlined mini dress of past years. Its leg-oriented brevity forbade touches of self-expression, lest they ruin the proportion.
Fashion stretched, softened, became more body-conscious, and fell head over heels in love with all the L-words in 1969. The most innovative way a woman could look was Long, Lean, and Linear, or Lissome, Limpid, and Languorous.
The sometimes humorous, frequently hard-edged, and nearly always mini skirted girl of recent years grew up in 1969. Her fashion image became more feminine, more sensuous, and more sophisticated. She wore softer, clingier clothes. Sweaters and sweater dresses newly hugged every part of her figure, particularly emphasizing her ribs, her waist, and her hips. But above all, she had an adult's freedom of choice to pick from a never-before variety of hemlines--whatever was most appropriate for her life style and environment. She became a selector rather than a collector of clothes.
A Wardrobe of Lengthswas the anarchistic answer of designers to the yearly query on whereto settle the hemline. Both in Paris and in the United States, couturiers showed maxi lengths (almost floor-sweeping) but were commercially cautious and kept enough of their styles short. Many entrants were represented in both lengths. While Yves Saint Laurent made news with his "lowdowns" and their 12-inches-from-the-ground proportions, the skirts at Courreges barely covered the torso. Ladylike knee-length hems continued at Chanel and were endorsed by numerous American designers.
1950s & 1960s
1950s Fashion Pictures
1960s Fashion Pictures