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Womens 1960s vintage clothing

August 29, 2015

Most womens 1960s vintage clothing can be easily seen in the dark as it glows, radiates or crinkles with new man-made materials and Pantone colours.

Women’s clothing in the 60s

Silver Space Princesses

Silver and foil were a big deal (in case of nuclear war, emergency moon landing or a really hip party), as were swirling rainbow colours in hypnotic patterns.

Like in the Austin Powers movies, people took a lot of drugs and had swinging parties in their Atomic Age lake cabins, waiting for the aliens or the end of the world.

Veruschka in 1960s

Veruschka in 1960s

 

Courreges' silver boots

Courreges’ silver boots

 

Space Age matching furniture and fashion

Space Age matching furniture and fashion

 

Escape atomic weapons race in your lakeside cabin

Escape the atomic weapons race in your lakeside cabin

Andrè Courrèges launches Space Age Collection in 1964

Inspired by the astronautics science and innovation, Andrè Courrèges launched his Space Age collection in 1964, marking the beginning of Space Age fashions that continued throughout the century.

The silhouette combined the avant-garde geometric shapes of the 20s and 30s with the use of synthetic fibres, PVC and metal.

Elsa Schiaparelli had already used synthetics in some of her designs, but now that the public imagination was taken by the space dream, new materials and clean-lined, sharply tailored clothes had their moment in fashion.

Aliens vs Barbie dolls

Aliens vs Barbie dolls

 

Space Age helmet, 1968

Space Age helmet, 1968

The Introduction of Lunar Pantsuits

With such a futuristic outlook, it comes as a surprise that the general shape of womens 1960s vintage clothing remained much the same.Women continued wearing dresses as they were not admitted in many restaurants and public places wearing trousers; even the shortest of dresses was more acceptable than slacks.

Thankfully for contemporary womens 1960s vintage clothing aficionados, Courrèges introduced tunic pantsuits, which were later followed by jumpsuits and playsuits in shades of lunar white, silver or gold, worn with futuristic Barbarella boots.

Space Age helmet, 1968

Jane Fonda in Barbarella 1968

 

Barbarella

Barbarella

The Barbarella Look

Remember Barbarella? The epic space heroine that fought aliens with the powers of seduction? Holding something that looks like an elaborate hairdryer and wearing plenty of chain mail, Jane Fonda created the vamp icon of the Space Age era of the free world, and then spent the rest of her career fighting the stereotype.

If you’re looking for more substantial garments of womens 1960s vintage clothing, Paco Rabanne created the heaviest (but not necessarily more modest) outfits out of sequins, chain mail, beading and foil which was probably quite cold to wear.

Paco Rabanne's chainmail outfits

Paco Rabanne’s chainmail outfits

Home of the Future

Unless you lived in the Futuro House, in which case you’d be fine. The Futuro House, designed by Matti Suuronen in Janesville, Visconsin in 1968, may look like a flying macaroon from the outside, but has all mod cons on the inside, including Star Trek-like seating in plush covers, a tangerine kitchen and possibly a friendly robot to bring you your slippers.

The Futuro House by Matti Suuronen, 1968

The Futuro House by Matti Suuronen, 1968

 

Nuclear family inside the Futuro House

Nuclear family inside the Futuro House

 

The Futuro neighbourhood

The Futuro neighbourhood

 

Refrigerator from 1965

Refrigerator from 1965

New Materials in womens 1960s vintage clothing

Along with metal and PVC, synthetic fibre was increasingly used in fashion. It was stretchy, more durable than most natural fibres and often stain resistant, and it picked up colours better than natural fibres. Nylon and Modacrylic were known from the 30s and 40s, and after WW2 Acrylic, Polyester, Spandex and Modal changed both fashion and the soft furnishings industry.

Today’s microfibers owe a lot to the boom of synthetics of the 60s, even if we’re more conscious of the fact that they don’t degrade as well.

Jean Shrimpton wearing the Mark 1 Strutter Bubble, Harper's Bazaar April 1965

Jean Shrimpton wearing the Mark 1 Strutter Bubble, Harper’s Bazaar 1965

 

Eero Saarinen Pedestal chair 1967

Eero Saarinen Pedestal chair 1967

 

Plastic was the new black

Plastic was the new black

 

Pierre Cardin and Space Fashion

Pierre Cardin and Space Fashion

 

Veruschka in the 60s nightie

Veruschka in a 60s nightie

 

 

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