Summer of Love fashions

August 21, 2017

At London’s Victoria and Albert museum a few years ago Michael and I were standing in front of a 1960s fashion exhibition when two teenage girls joined us. They examined the outfits closely.

“Wow,” one said. “My grandma wore stuff like this when she was our age.”

Michael and I looked at each other–it was an aha moment of recognition– the clothes we once believed were the height of fashion were now vintage. Part of history.  It seemed like just yesterday that we saw those clothes in stores, wore outfits like them and were among groups of others dressed like that. But it was a long time ago. Some 50 years, to be exact.

The fashions I’m about to show you were part of the De Young Museum’s Summer of Love exhibition, celebrating the 50 years that had passed since the famous summer in San Francisco. You’re going to recognize some of the styles—today they’re called Boho chic but they hearken back to the Swinging 60s, when they were unlike anything that had ever appeared on a runway.

Loose, free and easy. Like the 60s. These pretty dresses wouldn’t be all that out of place today. Still very wearable.

These, maybe not so much today. The frock on the far right was a staple hippie style and reminds me of the days when the back-to-the-earth movement was new. I can imagine a long haired woman with a naked baby slung on her hip standing in front of a cabin.

These are a little Heidi-ish, and I don’t mean Heidi Klum. But velvet and lace were very much a part of feminine fashion during the Summer of Love.

We all had shoes like these. Clogs became fashionable, and platforms, and this worked leather was very much a part of the era.

1960s-fashionColor and a bit of distorted reality. This was very Peter Max-ish. He was a well-known pop artist of the era. Pretty, isn’t it? I bought my own Peter Max painting more than 15 years ago, but it’s an abstract, not one of his more famous paintings. But I’m digressing. This piece reminded me of the artist.

1960s-fashionNow the rubber has hit the road. This look epitomizes fashion of the 1960s…the tunic, the bell bottoms, the wedge shoe.

Let’s talk fringe: big back then and still big. I love fringe. On the left, note the red bandana inset on the bell bottoms.

And more. This one is very rock-star-ish, no? Leather.

Suede also a big thing back then.

Janis Joplin loved those sleeves. Today, many Boomer women don’t need a blouse to sport wings like this; they’re the bane of senior women.

Still something you cuuld see in a store today, sort of a psychedelic paisley. These are joyful fashions with color and psychedelics–it’s the lens through which we viewed the world.

The hat and the maxi coat bring me back to that era. This screams 1960s fashion.

The peace symbol came of age during the Vietnam War’s anti-war movement. The peace movement. We would sit in our dorm rooms with a black Magic Marker and white fabric and make arm bands, then draw black peace symbols on them.

Another big part of the movement was buttons. You’ll still see people wearing buttons on their denim jackets. Not this many, though. The more the merrier was very much part of 60s fashion.

The boots. Dramatic, psychedelic, out there.

More fringe, this time with denim and in the background you’ll see the stripes from the flag.

In this era, the flag was a statement. It’s still a statement.

More Peter Max-ish designs. I love these pants and yes, men wore them. But not most men. Certainly not frat boys.

The hat, the bell-bottoms, the whole look took me back to my college years. Again, not most men, but a few.

More platforms. They weren’t as comfortable as today’s platforms and of course, we seniors are too afraid of falling to wear them now.

The empire waist was big, tunics were big, purple was a staple color and velvet a staple fabric…and those high collars–what we called Nehru collars– were a big part of fashion.

1960s-fashionI can’t say I ever saw anyone wearing anything like this, but it reflects the drama of the time, when we were no longer interested in Peter Pan collars, ankle sox and surf shorts but in being “in your face” with what we wore. The other side of the fashion continuum from the Beach Boys.

The exhibit itself had much more than fashion and I’ll be showing you more in the coming weeks. But for me, fashion is art and helped bring back so many memories of that time.  I’d love your thoughts.

44 comments on “Summer of Love fashions
  1. I can’t tell you how much I love these! I will always be a flower child at heart!

  2. Haralee says:

    What a great show. You know I never did like those clogs of tooled leather but they were the rage. Yes you went there about bat wings!

  3. Ellen Dolgen says:

    This was a wonderful trip down memory lane. Some of these fashions are “In” today. They just call it boho chic. I love fringe! I have a black leather jacket with fringe that I wear all the time. I have a purse with fringe, too. Today, I think anything goes. There are no rules anymore…………..I even wear white after Labor Day! (My Mom might be turning in her grave……sorry Mom.)

  4. robin rue says:

    What a super cool exhibit! I love all the old hippie clothes 🙂

  5. That exhibit is the coolest! I wish the 60’s style would come back around again. I really love the look of it.

  6. This is real fashion, so colorful and bold. I love every piece of it!

  7. This is so cool. I would definitely go to fashion show of these clothes.

  8. The pics are great. I remember wearing them. I had a Nehru mini I wore in San Francisco.

  9. What a cool and awesome fashion exhibit. I’ve seen photos of my mom in 60s fashion. I like the bright colors and fun trends during that era.The denim and wedges are my favorite pieces,

  10. The hippie generation was a little before my time but I like the nostalgia. I love all those prints and bellbottoms.

  11. I have some memories of people dressing like this…mostly from the nightly news or The Mod Squad, The Partridge Family, or the Brady Bunch! I mostly missed the sixties, I was too young to be a flower child, but I would’ve been, I’m sure! Loved the post!

  12. Jen Temcio says:

    I absolutely love this post and all the fun fashion pics. As a child I remember my mom wearing clogs every day with designs burnt into the leather. The jeans from the very first photo…I would totally wear those right now!

  13. Ruth I. says:

    I love to see different style/fashion from the past and this exhibit is interesting. Thank you for providing pictures. Those dress and clothes are so pretty.

  14. Ora Lee Gurr says:

    I am always on the lookout for bell bottoms and colorful tops. Comfort is a wonderful thing. It was fun to travel through the exhibition via your photographs and commentary.

  15. Liz Mays says:

    It’s so cool seeing these styles again. Sometimes you can see the influence of this fashion in modern clothes but not too often.

  16. I was totally into a lot of these pieces. Wonderful

  17. Julie says:

    I read this post this morning on my phone and marveled at the clothes. Looking at them on the big screen of my home computer really makes the colors pop. I remember these fashions from childhood, and might just wear some of them today. Boho fashion means “everything old is new again.”

  18. I was born in the early sixties, although I always felt part of the “The 60’s” due to my parents raising my older cousins. I always wanted to be like them. These photo’s are beautiful and quite the throw back. I made a tunic in home ec with big wide arms in a very close design to the one a few pics up.

  19. I was born in the 60s and grew up in the 70s so I recall seeing many of those styles. They do say that everything comes back around again eventually.

  20. It’s a beautiful exhibition and it definitely takes you back in time. How awesome it would be to see this in person. I wasn’t really part of that decade but it’s definitely iconic. It’s also evident in our old family photos.

  21. Jennifer says:

    I had a pair of those striped pants! I loved them.

  22. I have always been fascinated with the 60s and 70s. The music, the movements, the clothes, I have always been drawn to that era. When I was a kid, I went through my mom’s old clothes, and I would wear stuff like this that she did in the 60s. So many funky looks. I love looking at all these clothes.

  23. It’s a beautiful exhibit! I love looking at fashion throughout the years! It’s just so fascinating and it makes you appreciate clothes more too.

  24. Risa says:

    Loved seeing this exhibit in SF! That pair of bell bottom jeans with the skinny vertical tucks? I had a pair of those– but in the late ’70s! The first time I’d seen an article of clothing I once wore in a museum!! Sheesh! Fun post, Carol!

  25. Julie Syl says:

    Such a great exhibit. I love the Loose, free and easy. Like the 60s and the pair of shoe clogs. They say that everything comes back around.

  26. Wendy Polisi says:

    What a time to be alive! The seventies were just amazing. I miss them…

  27. Annemarie LeBlanc says:

    I remember my mom wearing clothes like that. I was “forced” to wear something similar so we could have a mother-daughter matching outfit.

  28. Our Family World says:

    What an awesome museum to go to! I have not seen anything like this and I wish I could be there in person to marvel at these fantastic display. It sure looks like the 60s fashion never went out of style, it was just “tweaked” to adapt to today’s lifestyle.

  29. I love, love, love this. I love being able to see how clothes have changed over the years and this show is amazing. My mom had a lot of these fashions. Over the years she has finally let go of a lot of them 😉

  30. Ashley Grant says:

    Wait! Does this mean that fringe is cool again? I hope so because I have some items I want to wear again!

  31. Kelly Reci says:

    What a great collection. Some of this are in-today for fashion like boho chic. It definitely looks like the 60’s fashion never went out of our lifestyle.

  32. tiffany says:

    So many differnet looks and styles! I love the prints and the free flowing looks.

  33. Claire says:

    These clothes are awesome! They are super unique and I always love trying out new styles! I love a good bold look.

  34. Rosey says:

    Your aha moment on clothes being vintage now that you like is my take on most everything these days, lol. I am now the ‘older generation.’ How did that even happen??? 🙂

  35. Dogvills says:

    I have not been to a fashion museum before but it does look like an interesting place to visit. These clothes from the 60s and 70s are pretty and I can still see the influence of this style in current fashion!

  36. Chei Pangan says:

    Oh my! I would love to see this fashion exhibit. I have never seen this kind of fashions.

  37. Thanks for the memories, Carol – as the song goes! I’m a paisley fan from way back! I also wore clogs with hotpants I was really fashion forward then LOL:) Thanks for sharing with us at #overthemoon link party and have a beautiful day.

  38. Amy Desrosiers says:

    I love the colors and styles of these fashions. Sometimes I wish I could go back in time to try out these clothes.

  39. You know this is right up my alley! And as they always say, styles come around again!! I was just saying how one of the fall trends is the flare sleeves!!
    Gotta love it!

  40. Hello Carol, wow! All the outfits are looking so trendy and unique. I always want to wear these type of clothes as they give additional beauty for our personality. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful blog. Keep posting!

  41. Ella Lopez says:

    Hi Carol, Thanks for sharing this collection with us. All the outfits are very beautiful. I can’t tell you how much I like these dresses. Nice exhibit.

  42. guccihunter says:

    I love this post and all the fun fashion photos. When I was a child, I remember that my mother wore everyday clogs with burnt leather designs. The jeans in the first photo … I would use them totally now!
    By the way, While searching, I reached a brand called”mirror Gucci.” It is assumed that luxury does not charge according to cost, but replicas do. By buying a replica, you can enjoy a luxurious life in a less expensive way. However, it will be better to contact the supplier before placing the order, especially online orders, as the price, quality and service vary greatly. Finding a reliable seller will not be easy, but in the end it will be worth it when you reach one. Not all replicas are supposed to be equally cheap, but it was proven that buying the best Gucci replica is the best option all the time for any purpose.

1 Pings/Trackbacks for "Summer of Love fashions"
  1. […] Ok, music, maybe, and there was some of that, too. But come on over and see the many photos I took at the exhibit. Here are Summer of Love Fashions. […]

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