Saturday, April 24, 2010

Hippie Clothing - Back to Nature and Then Some

By Everett Dylan J Velasqu

You could say that music, rock, the Beatles, and 'Swinging London' influenced the hippie clothes of the 1960's. The word hippie was coined from the word 'hipster' which was a London slang word for someone who was cool.

After the restrictive '50's, teenagers were a force to be reckoned with and with the influence of the Beatles, they all wanted to go back to nature, be free, wear flowers in their hair, and loose flowing natural products made from cotton and hemp were very popular for hippie clothing. The Sergeant Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Album made a big statement with hippies in the '60's. It made you feel free and floating on air, and it fired up one's imagination.

Most clothing designers were catering only to the very wealthy who could afford to have clothing especially designed for them. Pret a Porter meaning off the rack, became popular during the sixties to cater for the sheer amount of teenagers who wanted new and novel clothing, not the stuffy clothes their parents made them wear.

Never before had fashion been so influenced, and with such a strong impact as the hippie movement of the '60's. Young people, teenagers, and even pre-teens were all influenced and finding their own style. The hippie clothes were mainly individualistic in that teenagers took an idea, added their version of something hand-made to that idea, and loved it, calling themselves free thinkers, free of the establishment rules, one with nature.

Yet is was a confusing time too, as there were so many conflicting influences that nobody really knew in which direction anything was going. It was a time of 'finding yourself', and music was the one sure thing that teenagers had to follow, so they were extremely influenced by groups like the Beatles, the Doors, the Rolling Stones, the Animals, Jerry and the Pacemakers, Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, Elvis Presley, Cliff Richard, Cilla Black, Petula Clark, The Hollies, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and a million more '60's groups and singers.

Yet it was also an exciting time. Colorful, relaxed, tied-dyed clothing was very popular and long flowing dresses and tops of gorgeous colors were worn over hip hugging bell bottoms, with strings of beads around the neck, plus a peace sign on a leather thong among the beads, a head-band around your forehead made of leather with silver stars and moons on it. Flowers in your hair, and raffia sandals hand-made with a flower between the toes, and two pieces of raffia tied around your ankle, no soles to these home-made sandals.

It was a time of free love, peace signs, back to nature, where anything in clothing that was hand-made was 'in'. Mary Quant, who made the mini-skirt famous was a small designer working out of her London boutique. She was a very big influence on the fashions of the sixties. In make-up, clothing, especially the op-art look, which was all black and white squares, circles, and geometric shapes.

These were very fashionable then, I should know, I wore them in the sixties. Leslie Hornby (Twiggy) the famous '60's first really skinny model, had enormous eyes, lined with kohl, ultra short hair and all teenagers wanted to look like her. Jean Shrimpton was another famous '60's model more natural looking than Twiggy. While Twiggy was at one end of the spectrum of fashion, Jean Shrimpton was at the other, and she influenced the natural look.

Everett Velasqu is and will always be a hippie at heart. It's influence can be seen through his hippie clothes website were you can read about hippie dresses, hippie purses, culture and clothes. Visit now!

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