Our Ten Best: Fashion Icons of the ’60s

Clothing styles have always mirrored the prevailing attitudes of the times. This is certainly true of fashion in the 1960s. The Cultural Revolution during the hippy era affected not only mainstream politics, but also brought changes into fashion industry. The development of new trends and styles from Europe, and incorporation of bright colors into the daily outfits mirrored the free lifestyle of people.

However, there were some people who affected fashion industry in more significant ways than others. Sweeping social changes and the domination of youth culture marked the decade – baby boomers grew up and demanded their own fashion style.

Clothing broke with social traditions that dictated what could be worn when and by whom. Some women, who were in fashion industry  built up not only fashion trends for the next decade, but also created an image of the whole generation.

10: Janis Joplin: Joplin’s style was the signature of the hippy generation. She was known for her unconventional style. She was always seen wearing excessive amount of fur, leather gloves and oversized bright-colored scarves. Joplin was emotionally attached to psychedelic rock and her passion found a reflection in the way she dressed and behaved.

9:  Francoise Hardy: Singer, actress and astrologer—Hardy was also an iconic figure in fashion, music and style. She inspired some of the greatest artists ever known, such as Bob Dylan, Cristobal Balenciaga and Nicolas Ghesquiere.

8: Catherine Deneuve: Her image represented the national symbol of France in 1985. She was the face of Chanel No. 5 and caused sales of the perfume to soar in the United States – so much so that the American press, captivated by her charm, nominated her as the world’s most elegant woman. She considered the muse of designer Yves Saint Laurent.

7: Jane Birkin: She is best known as the muse of Serge Gainsbourg, who wrote several of her albums. Birkin is also responsible for the idea of the “Birkin bag.” It was hard for her to find a leather weekend bag she liked. In 1984, Gainsbourg created a black supple leather bag for his muse, based on an 1892 design. She used the bag only for a while. Nevertheless, the bag has since become an icon.

6: Talitha Getty: Her look seemed stylishly to typify the hippie fashion and became a model for what, more recently, has been referred to as “hippie chic,” “boho-chic,” and even “Talitha Getty chic.” Couturier Yves Saint Laurent labeled her as one of the”beautiful people.” In one of his novels, Scott Fitzgerald created an image of Getty and portrayed her as “beautiful and damned.” She wasn’t well known by the public, but Getty’s presence in the London scene and abundance of famous friends like Mick Jagger and Yves Saint Laurent made her an icon.

5: Brigitte Bardot: French screen siren Bardot caught everyone’s eye with her cat eye makeup, bombshell blonde hair and perfect Parisian style. The Bardot neckline, a wide-open neck that exposed both shoulders, was named after her. She is recognized for popularizing bikini swimwear and she also brought into fashion the choucroute hairstyle, a sort of beehive hairstyle and gingham clothes.

4: Edie Sedgwick: Minis or tunic with black tights? It could seem like a dilemma, but there was only one person who was capable of solving it. Or, so to say, breaking the fashion standards of ‘60s and shaping a new trend, stuck to Sedgwick forever. She promoted fun and spirited fashion-miniskirts and jumpsuits and was named a “Youthquaker” by Vogue magazine. Sedgwick was constantly on magazine covers and was one of “It Girls,” the elite of the show business who possessed as physical attraction as intellectual.

3: Twiggy (Lesley Hornby): A stick-thin figure, boyish haircut, pale complexion, big dark lashes and short black dress. No, this is not the main character of a new horror film. It’s a super petit British model, who brought an epidemic of wearing a feminine minis with combination of masculine characteristics. The extreme combination of two hot trends leaded to creation of androgynous style. The New Yorker devoted nearly 100 pages to her persona. Editors of Vogue described her as an “extravaganza that makes the look of the sixties.”

2: Jacqueline Kennedy: Former First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy, influenced the style with her clean suits, A-line dresses, above-the-elbow gloves cardigan suits, pearl necklaces and pillbox hat. She knew how to rock and combine together unmixable shades, remaining elegant at the same time. Her style was recognized as the “Jackie” look all over the world. During her husband’s presidency, she spent $45,446 on fashion out of the $100,000 annual salary her husband earned.

1: Audrey Hepburn: As a former ballerina, her poise and confidence made whatever she wore classy and elegant. The Hepburn’s look was feminine and beautiful—she wore flat shoes, three-quarter length pants, and plain black shift dresses. She was the innovator of her own style and made black turtle necks sexy and chic. However, the range of colors was limited in her wardrobe- back and white predominantly. She appeared on the covers of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, where Hepburn stuck with the look that suited her—clean lines, minimalist palette. She was voted “the most beautiful woman of all time” by Evian.

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