The sixties, so restless and provocative, have radically changed the morals and way of life in which we are still entrenched. Despite the economic well-being of the time, more and more dense groups of young people put the patriarchal society and consumption under critical scrutiny, suggesting new models. In 1964 the Vietnam War had broken out, and the watchwords of the youth groups were love and peace. Meanwhile, there was the discomfort caused to University of Berkeley by the first student protests. In 1968 unrest broke out in Europe and in May the French divided the protesters was a total rejection to the elite world of fashion: parkas, scarves, torn jeans, baggy sweaters, tennis shoes. Many garments were borrowed from the uniforms of war, including the famous Montgomery, heavy wool jacket closed with frogs of the Royal Navy that General Bernard Law Montgomery always wore, or the t-shirt, invented by the U.S. Navy as a vest for soldiers Young people came to the forefront of the fashion chronicles and saw them, but which also rejected it. But the consumer society has been able to channel the protest and make it marketable.
In California, a small group of young intellectuals, defined as the Beat Generation created a new philosophy of life based on the pursuit of freedom through hard experiences such as the use of drugs and hallucinogens. In England the same phenomenon was interpreted differently: Beat music, represented by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones had the ability to attract millions of teenagers, who copied the clothes of their favorite idols. The Beatles wore tight pants and shorts, skimpy jackets, uniforms influenced by the nineteenth century with straps and ankle boots. The Stones, angriest, preferred satin shirts and pants, necklaces and bracelets, and makeup. Both groups were instrumental with their hair long and unkempt, which was a style for more than a century was forbidden to men – bright colors and shiny replaced the gray civilian suit.
London became a place of pilgrimage for young people: in those years Barbara Hulanicki, Biba said, opened the first boutique for fashionable young people which was oddly furnished. Already skimpy clothes were stained and because the new female stereotypes were never the Hollywood actresses, but the models in fashion magazines: Twiggy, Jean Shrimpton, Veruska. Underweight, with pale skin and huge eyes were photographed by the likes of David Bailey and had a worldwide success. Brigitte Bardot was rather liked for her sensual pout, a ponytail and long shaggy hair. The predominance of Paris on fashion was beginning to waver in England in 1964 Mary Quant launched the mini-skirt, a skirt or a tube dress that revealed plenty of knees. No longer able to make suspenders, they invented the colored tights. Mary Quant launched the fashion of the ribbed knit (skinny rib), which wrapped around the upper body. In France, Andre Courreges, who had been trained as an engineer, was the only one to follow the young fashion, adopting short skirts with high-heeled boots, white tights, geometrical lines, and using massively tight pants, which they entered by force from the sixties in the everyday female wardrobe. Daring and innovative, Courreges launched in 1969 the Fashion Space inspired by the first man landing on the moon. His models, dressed in colorful robes metallic and synthetic wigs were epoch-making.
Other new products launched in France were the metallic dresses by Paco Rabanne, which did not have seams, but platelets hooked together with rings. On the other hand all the time they looked with interest to plastic, including polyvinyl, which could create transparency effects, and acrylic fabrics. Nor was art inspired fashion neglected: Yves Saint Laurent launched the Mondrian collection in 1965, and these were the years of the Optical Art and Pop Art, founded by Victor Vasarely. Andy Warhol in 1962 proposed a suit of tomato soup in paper, printed with the well-known Campbell’s soup cans.
At the end of the period styles overlapped: the Unisex clothes, including the famous Saharan Africa launched by Saint Laurent dresses the Nude transparent look, long and short dresses. The skirt showed no sign of tiring, but we tried to find compromises in the length of the edges. Since 1967, Maxicappotto was launched in the footsteps of the success of the film Doctor Zhivago, complete with a huge fur hat with hair. Mini and Maxi were linked, until it reached a middle ground, the Midi, which were closed in the sixties.