Friday, November 5, 2010


More than any other decade, the 1960's underwent the most stylistic transformation. At the start of the decade, the Kennedy's were a conservative northeastern model for American style. Jackie Kennedy continued to influence fashion as she displayed European designers to the American public throughout the 60's.

Dress by Oleg Cassini

Looking at the fashion on the pages of Vogue, below 1961 & 66, we can see a dramatic shift from conservative classic clothing, in this case Chanel suit in pastels, to more vibrant motifs and draping in Pucci.

The film scene of the 1960's was the last of the golden moment in film. Slowly by the end of the 60's studios were decreasing in power and budgets. Below, Robert Evans, head of Paramount, featured in Life Magazine, 1968.

Pastels were established as popular colors for fashion and lifestyle int he 1950's This continued into the 1960's By the late 60's, brights, especially red-orange became popular.

The film The Party from 1968, costumes by Jack Bear, is a classic case study on the 1960's. It presents many of the conservative styles that began to be fashionable in the 1950's, especially in the color palette. It also includes tuxedos, which defy a specific fashion moment. However the fashion elements of the late 60's can be seen, especially in the hair and make up. Twiggy's popularity influenced the pixie cut and the platinum blond is seen was associated with 60's celebrities like Doris Day.

Breakfast at Tiffany's, 1961, is significant for costume design because it involved Givenchy and Edith Head. Throughout the film Audrey Hepburn is significantly overdressed and embellished with the exception of a few scenes when her character appears emotionally vulnerable.

Masks play a significant role in the film. Especially below where the main characters exchange their first kiss, only after removing the masks, unveiling their real selves.

As described Hepburn is consistently overdressed for the events of the film, as seen above when she is with her South American lover. However as she relates more and more to Paul, she begins to appear more casual. In the scene below, she is shown with the classic 1960's fashion accessories, sunglasses and cigarette.

Photographer Cecil Beaton directed the costumes for My Fair Lady in 1964. Below the humble version of Eliza Doolittle was presented in clothing that was aged by the crew making an even greater contrast to the transformation of the character.

Next to Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor was most influential in fashion and film of the 60's. Below Butterfield 8, 1960, costumes by Helen Rose, Taylor portrayed an escort with an extensive closet of luxury clothing.

Irene Sharaff was costume designer for Cleopatra, 1963, which had excessive detail and costume changes.

Tiziani of Rome” created costumes specifically for Boom!, 1968. It was actually an American owned label “ghost designed” by Karl Lagerfeld.

Boom! is based on a Tennessee Williams play that is transformed by set and costume. The Mediterranean location is complemented by Greco-Roman and Non-Western robes and head pieces.

Theordora Van Runkle created the costumes for The Thomas Crown Affair in 1968. Some were designed and some chosen from contemporary clothing. The film shows both pastel colors and the newer bright red-orange that had become popular. The emphasis is on the leisure class and sophisticated tailored clothes appear along with many casual sports clothes that follow the stereotypes of WASP identity.

Again sunglasses and cigarettes are the key accessories of the 1960's. Above the Persol sunglasses have become iconic as a result of the film and were re-issued in 2008.

1 comment:

  1. This is really cool! I am gathering info for my singing career in fashion and film colouring etc. Love your collection. : )