The 1960s and ‘70s were divergent and rebellious decades in fashion as well as jewelry. The Youthquake—a term coined by the editor in chief of Vogue, Diana Vreeland—referenced a young generation that challenged the norms of their parents. Both genders broke away from the staid look of the 1950s.
This revolution in fashion began in London. Here, young designers like Mary Quant (b. 1930) began to offer their peers alternatives to the structured and restrained styles of Parisian couturiers. Lines became cleaner, simpler, and more modern. London was an early epicenter of the Swinging Sixties, and French designers soon took notice. Pierre Cardin and André Courrèges are known for their space-age fashions. Paco Rabanne experimented with a wide variety of materials, and the Italian designer, Emilio Pucci, created colorful psychedelic prints. Fashion moved from the streets to the runway, instead of the other way round.
Miniskirts with go-go boots, colored tights, and capri pants gave way in the 1970s to maxi and midi dresses, Edwardian-inspired fashions, peasant blouses, bell-bottomed jeans, and the sophisticated minimalism of Halston’s body-skimming gowns. Men, too, engaged with new styles. The Peacock Revolution brought Nehru and collarless jackets paired with chiffon shirts and furs. Ascots and turtlenecks replaced ties, and men wore more patterns and colors.
Instigated by a desire for youthful freedom, the 1960s and ‘70s were a time of experimentation. Fashion, like jewelry, became a reflection of the times and of the individual personality of the person who wore it. Both fit a new way of living that was freer, faster, and more unconventional.
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