Sunday, November 2, 2008

It's Hip To Be Cool

In the sixities, the fashion industry was turned inside out and upside down. New styles and colors evolved and fashion was based on ethnic designs from Nepal, India, Bali, Morocco and Central America.
In general, most hippies were anti-fashion. We rejected the dictation of corporate America as how we were supposed to dress. The fashion industry was seen as part of capitialist propaganda. Forget ever wearing a logo or endorsing a sports figure. We were anti-establishment, revolutionary, and laid back.
Our stores were the Goodwills and Salvation Armies and piecing something together with bits of cloth. We slit our jeans to make bell bottoms, inserting American flags or colorful bandanas. We covered the holes in our jeans with patches, tie dyed our shirts and bleached our jeans.
We wore Nehru shirts, halter tops, velvet, batiks, and any other crazy outfits we could piece together. An old vest and some beads meant you were stylin.
In 1965 Mary Quant designed the mini skirt. That was the symbol of sexual freedom for women, along with see through blouses and braless breasts.
Accessories were a must to complete the look. Love beads, granny glasses, ethnic jewelry, and necklaces with peace signs and ying yang symbols were popular.
Going barefoot puts you in touch with the world around you. You become more aware and sensitive. Shoes were confining, so going barefoot summed up our quest for freedom.
When I look back on those times, I realize how creative we were to compose our own identity. But, in fact, we all pretty much looked the same. I can understand now, why my parents went crazy. How odd we must have looked to that generation. I know they must have been praying, hoping it's all just a fad.

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