Style tribes: 1960s revival
The sixties are often credited as an important era for fashion, music and political movements, as the decade saw an evolution of youth culture and the emergence of influential subcultures.
As a generation of young adults came of age at time so far ruled by conservatism, materialism and social norms, groups began to break away in the late 1950s and early 1960s to challenge class systems, mainstream political views and gender roles. A wider sense of freedom and international influences meant that jazz clubs, dance clubs and coffee shops became the new normal social hangouts.
The 1960s still maintains a strong cultural significance today, continuing to influence style, art, music and film. We’re taking a closer look at some of the most significant fashion milestones.
WOMEN’S STYLE AND ANDROGYNOUS THEMES
Women’s fashion particularly began to reflect social change and a new sense of liberalism, with more playful styles, boxy shapes and, of course, the invention of the iconic miniskirt. With a greater sense of empowerment to challenge gender roles, many women embraced typically masculine looks, such as the first pant suit for women by Yves Saint Laurent, comfortable silhouettes that allowed for better movement and not forgetting the influential pixie cut modelled by the likes of Jean Seberg and Twiggy.
As artists continued to influence throughout the decade, with the likes of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Doors and Bob Dylan adopting more gender-fluid styles, men grew out their hair, experimented with makeup and took to heeled boots or bohemian blouses.
A greater sense of autonomy and available jobs meant young people had more disposable income and could enjoy combining brands and clothing to reflect their own style. This saw the rise of a sharply-dressed mod subculture, a style tribe we’ve previously covered on the blog. Another group distinctly personified by music and a desire for individuality, the cropped hair and short skirts fronted by Twiggy were adopted by female Mods, whilst men chose slim-fitting suits, polo shirts and anoraks, as modelled by the likes of The Beatles and The Who. Some of the most notable brands throughout this time (and continuing today) include Fred Perry and its iconic laurel wreath, as well as the original G.H. Bass & Co. Weejuns.
Inspired by the early Beatnik movement in the late fifties and hinting at a predecessor to hippy culture, waves of young adults influenced by literature and politics emerged across university campuses as an anti-establishment, yet intellectual, force. Simplistic silhouettes, Breton stripes, all black ensembles and berets were staple items for a group centred around minimalistic needs and creative focus, which all the while created a timeless trend we still love today.
One of the most notable figures for this effortless approach was Audrey Hepburn, who was also known for wearing our very own Weejuns.
STANDING THE TEST OF TIME
The reason much of 1960s fashion stands the test of time today is for the ideals represented, whether that comes down to the mod appreciation for good craftsmanship or the Beat penchant for timeless simplicity. As some of the core values for what makes a G.H. Bass & Co. loafer, it can be no surprise to see the iconic Weejuns crop up time and time again throughout history.
WE’VE GOT SOMETHING SPECIAL COMING…
At G.H. Bass & Co., we love to celebrate the heritage and craftsmanship of fellow, long-standing brands in fashion and footwear, which is why we’re thrilled to say we have something very exciting dropping soon.
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