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Through The Decades: 1960s Vintage Clothing 1960s vintage clothing is currently as popular as ever, with many of the current high street styles taking inspiration from the swinging sixties. If you step into any fashion retailer you will see shift dresses, mini skirts, tunic tops and peter pan collars – all taken from original 1960’s...
1960s vintage clothing is currently as popular as ever, with many of the current high street styles taking inspiration from the swinging sixties. If you step into any fashion retailer you will see shift dresses, mini skirts, tunic tops and peter pan collars – all taken from original 1960’s vintage fashion.
In the early sixties, the Mods were shaping and defining popular fashion for young men and women, with more and more designers coming on board to produce more sought after pieces that lead to an increase in fashion interest and sales. There was much less emphasis on accessories, as 1960’s clothing was such a statement and clean lines and strong colours were key.
In 1964, the infamous Mary Quant introduced the mini-skirt, one of the most groundbreaking moments in fashion history. Starting as a risque piece of 1960’s clothing, the mini skirt was eventually to be worn by almost every stylish female in the Western world. Then of course came the mini dress. In the 1960’s, this was almost always either a sleevless shift or an a-line shape. There was also a tendancy to use materials such as PVC and sequins. Bold floral patterns, contrasting colours and fluroscent tones were also often used in 1960’s clothing.
For outerwear in the 1960’s, young women chose brighly coloured swing coats, dyed fake furs and short plastic or PVC raincoats, with a high shine or wet look. One of the iconic looks of the 60’s is a shiny white plastic mac with knee high white go-go boots. Black and white monochrome looks were huge in 1960’s clothing – made famous of course by Mary Quant, and worn by the most popular models of the era such as Twiggy.
1960’s fashion in the latter part of the decade leant more towards the hippy/boho look. Both men and women wore bell bottom trousers, sandals, blouses and headscarves. Head coverings changed a lot in this period, as hats became less popular and more people began to wear the bandanna style pieces.
There are certain elements of 1960’s clothing that are most popular in modern day fashion. Swing coats and tunic tops are now common place in a current wardrobe, as well as shift dresses, a-line skirts, longline fitted tops and gypsy style maxi skirts. The monochrome mod look, beehive hairstyle, dark heavy eye make up and pale lips is certainly commonplace now, and is all taken from 1960’s clothing and 1960’s style.
There are of course, lots of novelty versions of 1960’s fashion, usually the fancy dress shops, but the best way to try any style of 1960’s clothing is with original vintage pieces. You can buy vintage 1960’s clothing from vintage shops, auctions and online vintage boutiques, with items to suit any budget. If you are new to vintage, then maybe start with a few accessories or a statement piece like a coat or a pair of shoes. More seasoned purveyers of vintage clothing will have a certain look or cut they go for, and will trawl through rails upon rails of 1960’s clothing until they find just the right thing – that’s dedication!
Designer Vintage Clothing Profile – Yves Saint Laurent Yves Saint Laurent was born in Oran on August 1st 1936, then lived in French Algeria; he left for Paris after secondary school to pursue a fashion career and at 17 was hired as couturier Christian Dior’s assistant. When Dior died four years later, he was named...
Yves Saint Laurent was born in Oran on August 1st 1936, then lived in French Algeria; he left for Paris after secondary school to pursue a fashion career and at 17 was hired as couturier Christian Dior’s assistant. When Dior died four years later, he was named head of the House of Dior. In 1961, Yves Saint Laurent opened his own fashion house and quickly emerged as one of the world’s most influential and spectacular designers.
In 1953, Yves Saint Laurent submitted three sketches to a contest for young fashion designers, organised by the International Wool Secretariat. He won third place and was invited to attend the awards ceremony in Paris in December of that year. While he and his mother were in Paris, they met Michel de Brunhoff, editor-in-chief of the French edition of Vogue magazine. De Brunhoff, a considerate person known for encouraging new talent, was impressed by the sketches Yves Saint Laurent brought with him and suggested he become a fashion designer. Saint Laurent would eventually consider a course of study at the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, the council which regulates the haute couture industry and provides training to its employees. Yves Saint Laurent followed his advice and, leaving Oran for Paris after graduation, began his studies there and eventually graduated as a star pupil. Later that same year, he entered the International Wool Secretariat competition again and won, beating out his friend Fernando Sánchez and young German student Karl Lagerfeld. Shortly after his win, he brought a number of sketches to de Brunhoff who recognised close similarities to sketches he had been shown that morning by Christian Dior. Knowing that Dior had created the sketches that morning and that the young man could not have seen them, de Brunhoff sent him to Dior, who hired him on the spot.
Although Dior recognised his talent immediately, Yves Saint Laurent spent his first year at the House of Dior on mundane tasks, such as decorating the studio and designing accessories. Eventually, however, he was allowed to submit sketches for the couture collection; with every passing season, more of his sketches were accepted by Dior. In August 1957, Dior met with Yves Saint Laurent’s mother to tell her that he had chosen Yves Saint Laurent to succeed him as designer. His mother later said that she had been confused by the remark, as Dior was only 52 years old at the time. Both she and her son were surprised when in October of that year Dior died at a health spa in northern Italy of a massive heart attack.
Yves Saint Laurent found himself at age 21 the head designer of the House of Dior. His spring 1958 collection almost certainly saved the enterprise from financial ruin; the straight line of his creations, a softer version of Dior’s New Look, catapulted him to international stardom with what would later be known as the “trapeze dress.” Others included in the collection were dresses with a narrow shoulder and flared gently at the bottom. At this time he shortened his surname to Saint Laurent because the international press found his hyphenated triple name difficult to spell.
His fall 1958 collection was not greeted with the same level of approval as his first collection, and later collections for the House of Dior featuring hobble skirts and beatnik fashions were savaged by the press. In 1960, Yves Saint Laurent found himself conscripted to serve in the French Army during the Algerian War of Independence. Alice Rawsthorn writes that there was speculation at the time that Marcel Boussac, the owner of the House of Dior and a powerful press baron, had put pressure on the government not to conscript Yves Saint Laurent in 1958 and 1959 but reversed course and asked that the designer be conscripted after the disastrous 1960 season so that he could be replaced.
In 1983, Yves Saint Laurent became the first living fashion designer to be honoured by the Metropolitan Museum of Art with a solo exhibition. In 2001, he was awarded the rank of Commander of the Légion d’Honneur by French president Jacques Chirac. He retired in 2002 and became increasingly reclusive, living at his homes in Normandy and Morocco with his pet French Bulldog Moujik.
He also created a foundation with Bergé in Paris to trace the history of the house of YSL, complete with 15,000 objects and 5,000 pieces of clothing.
A favourite among his female clientele, Yves Saint Laurent had numerous muses that inspired his work. Chief among these was the Somali supermodel Iman, whom he once described as his “dream woman.” Other muses included Loulou de la Falaise, the daughter of a French marquis and an Anglo-Irish fashion model; Betty Catroux, the half-Brazilian daughter of an American diplomat and wife of a French decorator; Talitha Pol-Getty; French actress Catherine Deneuve; Nicole Dorier, a YSL top model in 1978–83, who became one of his assistants in organizing his runway shows and, later, the “memory” of his house when it became a museum; Guinean-born Senegalese supermodel Katoucha Niane; supermodel Laetitia Casta, who was the bride in his shows in 1997–2002.
In 2007, he was awarded the rank of Grand officier de la Légion d’honneur by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
He died June 1, 2008 of brain cancer at his residence in Paris. According to The New York Times, a few days before he died, Yves Saint Laurent and Bergé were joined in a same-sex civil union known as a Pacte civil de solidarité (PACS) in France. He was survived by his mother and sisters; his father had died in 1988.
He was given a Catholic funeral at St. Roch Catholic Church in Paris. Yves’ body was cremated and his ashes scattered in Marrakesh, Morocco, in the Majorelle Garden, a botanical garden that he often visited to find inspiration and refuge. Bergé said at the funeral service: “But I also know that I will never forget what I owe you and that one day I will join you under the Moroccan palms”. The funeral attendants included Empress Farah Pahlavi, Madame Chirac, and former President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife at the time. Forbes rated Yves Saint Laurent the top-earning dead celebrity in 2009.
FREE Gift with Every Order! As a big thank you to all of our customers we are offering a FREE gift with every order placed online at www.myvintage.co.uk! Gifts are worth £5 – £35 (dependent on the order amount) and include vintage scarves, vintage handbags, vintage jewellery, vintage belts, vintage ties, make-up and much...
As a big thank you to all of our customers we are offering a FREE gift with every order placed online at www.myvintage.co.uk!
Gifts are worth £5 – £35 (dependent on the order amount) and include vintage scarves, vintage handbags, vintage jewellery, vintage belts, vintage ties, make-up and much much more.
What will you get???
Order now to find out!!!
Why original vintage wins every time on a big night out! It’s the big night out. Seriously, you’ve been looking forward to this one for months. High streets and web trawled, you’ve found the perfect dress and heels. You want to stand out but not look too ‘try hard’. Glad rags on, you don’t...
It’s the big night out. Seriously, you’ve been looking forward to this one for months. High streets and web trawled, you’ve found the perfect dress and heels. You want to stand out but not look too ‘try hard’. Glad rags on, you don’t want to blow your own trumpet but you look pretty hot!
A couple of hours in and that awful dread feeling creeps over you. You’ve spotted two different girls in the same high street number. Feeling completely bummed out, you grab another prosecco and spend the night avoiding your dress twins. Night wasted.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a bit of high street fashion, but it’s always wise to broaden your horizons and mix things up with some original vintage in your wardrobe. And here’s why…
1. No dress twin disasters
The above situation has happened to us all, it’s practically unavoidable. But with vintage there is no such risk. You find genuine one-of-a-kind pieces, whose twins are likely long gone or at the other side of the world. You get quite a kick from sharing how it’s unattainable anywhere else.
“Oh wow, where DID you get your dress?” “Oh this? It’s vintage!” Bam.
2. Guaranteed quality garments
Today’s society, and of course fashion, is very much disposable. ‘Throw away’ dresses that you have every intention of wearing just once. At the risk of sounding like your grandma, it really was better in the old days, at least when it came to clothes. Made to last and often handed down for many years, better quality workmanship with more hand made and less machinery made clothes back then just better. Enjoy superior tailoring, stunning fabrics and attention to detail in your vintage pieces.
3. Experimentation fun
The fun in vintage for many is finding something quirky, maybe in unique prints or unusual fabrics. Check out this gorgeous patterned maxi dress in it’s bright and bold print – We just love it!
There’s a story in every piece. You may not always know it, but it is a wondrous pastime to conjure up stories. Was your new dress worn in the 1920s by a flapper, or to a wedding in the 1950s? Perhaps an 1980s rock groupie? Who knows!
I wonder what stories this beautiful original 1950’s vintage prom dress has to tell? If only it could talk!
So there you have it, vintage wins!
It’s an investment and when done correctly, will last you a lifetime…plus no more dress twins and more time to enjoy yourself (and soak up all those compliments)!
Bye for now
Vintage T-Shirts Vintage t shirts can evoke memories from a bygone era with words and pictures emblazoned on the front that remind you of a certain time in your life. They go back to the 50s, where they were little more than something you wore under a shirt, if you were a man, as...
Vintage t shirts can evoke memories from a bygone era with words and pictures emblazoned on the front that remind you of a certain time in your life. They go back to the 50s, where they were little more than something you wore under a shirt, if you were a man, as an undergarment. Marlon Brando and James Dean wore the t-shirt as an outer garment and so started a trend that still exists today. Today we have celebrity slogan t-shirts, t-shirts with our favourite bands on, t-shirts with their latest album title across the front. Over the past 50 years we’ve seen the simple t-shirt go from undergarment to fashion staple.
It was the sixties that did it for the t-shirt really when it was seen as a form of rebellion, when a generation protested over Vietnam and demanded peace with pictures of their heroes emblazoned on the front. T-shirts were now worn by both men and women alike. Che Guevara is one of the most iconic images and one of the most popular to feature on the front of a t-shirt, even today.
Punk in the 1970s brought ripped t-shirts and pins and the 1980s gave us big baggy t-shirts with Frankie Says, and Wham with their Choose Life. Football teams took advantage of the t-shirt phenomena seeing a perfect opportunity to advertise their team’s achievements and soon clothes designers came along and produced their own. T-shirts with slogans and the eponymous tank top (not to be confused with double knits and David Cassidy) were now riding the crest of a wave.
If you’ve not lived through the first forty years of t-shirts and you really want a vintage tee, then take someone with you when you go shopping and do your research. You may be looking for a vintage band t shirt from the 70s, or a tee with a particular slogan, if you know what you’re looking for, you’re halfway there. The shape of a vintage t-shirt will be different too; they’ll be much baggier than today’s t-shirts which are usually skinny fit. The majority of T shirts from the 70s on-wards were usually a loose fit, but you can always look out for the smallest size. You may also discover the delights of the cropped tee, only worn by those with washboard stomachs, but don’t match with a head band across the front of your forehead unless you really feel you must.
Surprisingly there doesn’t seem to be a plethora of online stores as there are for other vintage items. There might be some rooting around called for, but this is the joy and the fun of searching out vintage clothes, the battle to find that one true item you desire, then after hard work and determination, finding it. Don’t give up; they’re wonderful items of vintage clothing to collect and as with any other vintage piece need a lot of care and attention. So find that vintage tee and wear with pride!
Copyright 2018 My Vintage…Written by My Vintage – www.myvintage.co.uk
Vintage Print – The Polka Dot It’s hard to argue that the most popular and iconic vintage print is the humble polka dot. From the 1920s to the 1980s, we’ve seen this simple spotty pattern emerge time and time again in varying forms. Even in modern day reproduction clothing, polka dot patterns are vastly...
It’s hard to argue that the most popular and iconic vintage print is the humble polka dot. From the 1920s to the 1980s, we’ve seen this simple spotty pattern emerge time and time again in varying forms. Even in modern day reproduction clothing, polka dot patterns are vastly used as they just scream vintage style.
Back in the nineteenth century, spots were used as decorative flourishes on delicate lace fabrics, until around 1850 when printing machines became more sophisticated and could print regular repeating patterns. It just so happened that at the same time, Europe was experiencing a huge new dance craze which reached as far as the USA. This traditional Czech folk dance was called the polka, and as well as this name being attributed to the new spotty print, it was also give to other items like hats, jackets and even puddings. They even called it Polkamania!
As we know, the 1920s was all about the rising of the youth. Polka dots were a young and fun print that was embraced by many, including Norma Smallwood (Miss America 1926) who wore a knitted polka dot swimsuit. Popular culture also jumped on the polka train and in 1928 Disney introduced the wonderful Minnie Mouse in all her red and spotty glory! Minnie’s polka dot hair bow was representative of the many different accessories that were now being worn by the flapper girls, and frivolous was chic!
In start contrast, the polka dots of the 1930s were more austere in browns, greens and navy blues. Often, dots would be printed discretely on sheer chiffons which encompassed the sophisticated glamour of the decade.
By the 1940s, couture fashion houses were beginning to use the polka dot in their designs. Still relatively demure if not a little serious, the likes of Jacques Faith and Christian Dior incorporated spotty textiles into their designs. Not least memorable was in Christian Dior’s ‘New Look’ collection of 1947, leading the polka dot into the fabulous fifties. He once described the benefits of the polka dots in his designs: ‘According to their colour … they can be versatile … Black and white for elegance; soft pinks and blues for prettiness; emerald, scarlet and yellow for gaiety; beige and grey for dignity.’
The post war austerity had lifted by the 1950s, and finally the fun and frivolity of fashion returned. Polka dots, like many other prints, got bigger and brighter in the 50s and were featured on every possible garment from dresses to scarves, knitwear to shoes as well as home decor items too! There is absolutely no doubt that this era was the absolute heyday of the spot! Polka dots also worked well on screen and celebrities loved to wear them. The playful Lucille Ball was rarely seen without a spotted print and the uber glamorous Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell both wore polka dot halterneck dresses to the 1953 premiere of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
The polka dots of the 1960s were very different indeed. The space age style that was embraced by the likes of Courreges, saw unconventional materials being used in fashion such as metals, plastics and papers. This gave a new life to the polka dot pattern, taking away from pretty pastels and floaty femininity to bright, bold and edgy. Pop art also played a part in the popularity of the polka dot, and the art of Lichtenstein used tiny monochrome spots in a cartoon comic book style. Polka dots were also incorporated into psychedelic patterns that nodded toward the hallucinogenic effects of taking drugs. Fashion might not have done sickly sweet in the sixties, but it did do doll-like cuteness, inspired by the amazing Twiggy of course. Pinafores and mini dresses were spotty, as well as earrings, hats and even tights thanks to Mary Quant!
When it came to the 1970s, polka dots really did fall from grace. There wasn’t room for this simple and repetitive pattern in the intricate and experimental prints of the boho movement. Seventies fashion was romantic, whimsical and pulled from history of centuries passed. There are the odd 70s garments in spotty prints but these are few and far between. If you adore polka dots, seventies fashion should probably be low down on your list of vintage to source!
The 1980s was never going to neglect the polka dot! Not only was it the era of excess, statement dressing; it was also the era that had a huge 50s revival! Mid eighties style demanded attention, and polka dots covered everything from power suits to dresses, hats to handbags, shoes to blazers and everything in between. Colours were loud, bold and clashing!
Fashion moved into a very understated and simple world in the early 90s, but the polka dot was still held in high authority. In the iconic 1990 film Pretty Woman, Julia Robert’s character wore a brown and white polka dot dress to the races, demonstrating her change from prostitute to sophisticated woman! The longevity of this simple spotty print has relied upon changes in scale and colour over the years and it’s success has been assured. It’s a style that will never date and one that has many more decades of style left in it.
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