Each decade of the 20th century is prone to being defined by its fashions; and for each of those decades is a cycle of revival inevitable.
Some decades are revived in distinctive fits and starts, like the 80s returning in a burst of irony that made good on its promise; others, like the 60s, linger never too far out of reach. So while tousling up your sexiest bed hair and pulling on your teeniest mini may always be an option there’s no better time than 2011 and 2012 to inject even more of that swinging 60s vibe into your wardrobe.
Mod 60s revival dress at Burberry Prorsum AW11
The fall 2011 runways, when they fit to a particular decade, strutted mostly down a glamorous 1970s path. The 1930s were also fairly well represented. And then, amidst it all, a few key designers of influence were marching to the ’60s drum.
Burberry Prorsum’s bright block coloured coats and structured short-hemmed dresses hit a swinging London note. Miuccia Prada worked together flapper chic and 60s mod into graphic pleated tunics and Mary-Jane heels. Yves Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, and Marni also dabbled in the trend.
Prada’s AW11 campaign
While the sixties fashion themes took root in fall 2011, don’t think they’ll be dead and buried by spring. Having found their way into numerous editorials already, we then saw the trend filter onto the spring 2012 runways. So expect to see the ’60s continue as a spring 2012 fashion trend.
’60s fashion for spring: Alice & Olivia SS12
For the purpose of inspiring a ’60s look as best fitted to right now, and without getting too pedantic on historical accuracy, we’ll break up the era into three key looks.
A ’60s Karlie Kloss in Vogue Japan
’60s mod fashion
Who could forget the long legs and short hems of Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton? Or the iconic designs of Mary Quant? Look to these icons for an update on a mod look, with elements like:
- Wide eyes curtained by big false lashes (top and bottom).
- Bright block colours.
- Graphic prints and colourful abstract geometric patterns.
- Short, boyish hairstyles.
- Masculine flat shoes like penny loafers.
- For fall, swing coats and capes.
60s-inspired outerwear at Burberry Prorsum AW11
’60s folk fashion
Softer and sexier than a mod look, a folkish sixties look is free spirited with a Parisian twist. The icons? Look to the likes of Jane Birkin and Francois Hardy for inspiration.
- Anything made out of lace, especially structured heavier lace pieces.
- Peter-pan collars.
- Ultra-short hemlines. Low-slung belts.
- Monochrome instead of colour: plenty of white, cream, black.
- Effortless sexiness with unfussy hair and winged-out eyeliner.
Lace soft sixties-style dress at Valentino, Resort ’12
’60s sex kitten
The opposite of the androgynous mod, the sex kitten is another ’60s era cliche that has come back into play. Think any of the era’s stunning screen stars: Catherine Deneuve, Brigitte Bardot, Ann Margaret, Raquel Welch, Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor. Try:
- Cuts that draw in the waist, accentuating the bust and hips. It’s all about the curves.
- Full circle skirts or slim pencil skirts, or cropped pants with high waists.
- Bed hair. Try a softer, modern update on Brigitte Bardot hair, or go all out bouffant. Just make it count.
- A sultry pout; long lashes and plenty of eyeliner.
Jayson Brunsdon 60s spring dress