Report was made by Zolotova
Alexandra 10th ‘B”
Today, the fashion world has once again discovered the wonderful styles
from the ’60s. We’ve come full circle and clothes are not the only part
of hippiedom to resurface for the new millennium. It’s a symbol of the
resurgence of hippie values in their culture.
In the ’60s, without warning, hippies turned fashion upside down and
inside out. They brought a tsunami of new styles and colors into fashion
like never before. From the Haight-Ashbury to London to Katmandu, the
hippies took fashion on an eye-popping psychedelic journey.
The fashion rule in the ’60s was that there were no rules. Anything went
as long as it wasn’t based on the drab, conservative styles of the early
’60s. I doubt if fashion designers were able to keep up unless they
dropped acid. The only thing they seemed to be able to influence was the
miniskirt. This is because many of the hippie fashions were based on
traditional designs from India, Nepal, Central America, Bali and
Many new fashions emanated from San Francisco and London to some extent.
The fashion leaders were the icons of our day. Rock ‘n roll stars like
Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles appeared in public and on record albums in
all sorts of colorful costumes.
Of course your average hippie couldn’t afford to shop like a rock star.
Our stores were less like Harrod’s and more like the Salvation Army.
Nevertheless they were able to piece together something from bits of
cloth. It was easy to take an old pair of blue jeans, holes and all, and
just put some bright patches over the holes. If they didn’t fit, you
could open the seams and insert a triangle of something else, thus
giving you flared bellbottoms. A cheap bandanna, an old vest, some beads
and you were the height of fashion.
The elements that went into the hippy wardrobe were only limited by
their psychedelic imaginations. Bellbottoms ruled the day, from striped,
to blue jeans to patchwork, to hip huggers, even leather pants were
popular. Tops ran the gamut from Nehru shirts, to brightly colored
African dashikis and Middle Eastern caftans, to halter tops, tie dyes,
and frilly, silky shirts for men! Women wore saris from India and
sarongs from Bali and Java. Velvet, leather, batik, denim, Indian cotton
and silk were all popular fabrics. Op art, paisleys and psychedelic
designs appeared on clothes, occasionally making themdizzy! Footwear
ranged from the basic sandal and Birkenstocks to zippered boots,
platforms and bright patent leather shoes. Peasant dresses, long skirts
and layering were also very popular.
Then there’s that symbol of women’s sexual freedom (or slavery), the
mini-skirt! It was designed by Mary Quant in 1965, and was responsible
for the huge surge in pantyhose sales. Along with see-through blouses
and braless breasts, it’s no wonder there was a sexual revolution.
Accessories included love beads, bandannas, leather vests, jackets with
frills, and granny glasses. Jewelry, especially if made of silver from
Mexico, India or Morocco was essential. Bangles, rings, earrings, nose
rings, and ankle bracelets were worn, especially for parties or
concerts. Necklaces were adorned with peace symbols, raised fists,
yin-yang symbols, and other eastern esoterica. Hats ran the gamut from
tall Jamiroquai numbers (John Phillips liked them) to small head hugging
Islamic numbers (Richie Havens). Fedora type hats were usually decorated
with feathers, beads or other colorful objects (Hendrix & Dylan liked
It’s amazing how many of these things have come back into fashion over
the years. At the moment we are witnessing a complete resurgence thanks
to so many movies like ‘Austin Powers’ and ‘The ’60s’.
Let’s not forget how they let their Free Flag fly! Men’s long hair was
symbolic of their disdain for convention. Most hippies just let it grow,
perhaps trimming it once in a great while. Blacks, both male and female
wore Afros, using Afro piks (combs) to tease their hair out to the max.
Men grew long side burns, mustaches and beards. Women stopped shaving
their legs and underarms.
It must be added that no self-respecting hippie ever wore a logo of some
corporation. This was heretical to the hippy movement. It’s no wonder so
many kids today, sick of having to conform to corporate ideals of
fashion have instead sought out the Hippy Brand® of non-conformist,
anti-establishment, revolutionary, laid back sportswear! No logos, no
commercials with sports figures, no multi-million dollar endorsements,
no hype. Just cheap, comfortable, easily repaired, second-hand clothes
to give you the look.
There was fashion for the nose as well. Scents filled the air wherever
hippies gathered, and it wasn’t just marijuana. Incense and perfume were
standard accouterments of the day. The flower children had to smell like
flowers, with lavender, rose, gardenia, and other floral scents.
Patchouli was perhaps the most popular since it helped mask the smell of
pot. Sandalwood and musk were popular scents for men.
At home, on college campuses, in crash pads, and on communes hippies
decorated their living space with every sort of poster imaginable. These
were large cheap and colorful and would cover much of the wall space.
Concert posters from the Fillmore, publicity posters or album covers
were the most popular. But some posters also made a statement about the
residents’ political views. These included peace and love posters,
antiwar, black power, feminism, and posters that protested just about
everything. A lot of the posters were just art from other periods,
Beardsley and Maxfield Parrish were two very popular artists. Tibetan
mandalas and yantras were used for decoration as well as meditation.
Most furnishings were imported and hippies fueled the huge boom in
imported goods. These included beaded curtains, large floor pillows,
bean bag chairs, wicker tables and chairs, brass from India, statues of
Indian gods like Shiva, Ganesha, or Buddha, Moroccan carpets and kilims.
Headshops and import stores like Pier One succeeded thanks to hippies.
Prior to the hippies, most homes had maybe one dusty plant in a corner.
With the back to nature movement, hippies filled their homes with life.
Sometimes there were more plants inside than outside, creating a sort of
jungle, often with ferns, vines, and other lush foliage dominating
rooms. Hippies loved to paint their rooms in bright colors and often
added rainbows, stars, even murals on the walls.
An essential part of any hippy household was the stereo. Hippies bought
the best sound systems they could afford. That is because the music of
the era was so important to them. They got stoned to it, they danced,
they partied, they meditated.
In the early sixties music went from monaural (mono) to stereo which in
itself was a psychedelic effect that everyone could appreciate. Then
there was quadrophonic (4 channel) sound. Things went as far as
quintophonic (5 discrete channels) which was popular in movie theaters.
The typical hippy vehicle was a VW bus or van or bug. Small campers and
even schoolbuses were converted into living space for one to a dozen
people. These were often painted (they usually needed a paint job badly)
in bright colors and psychedelic patterns, which sometimes included
flowers, peace signs, mystical symbols, even landscape paintings.
Food is an important part of every culture. Hippies developed their own
cuisine, a mishmash of Indian, American, middle Eastern, Mexican,
Italian and Asian with an emphasis on vegetarian. Cheap meals are the
rule with soups, fresh salads, a hearty main course (with lots of
vegetables) and a dessert. Organic produce, especially from one’s own
garden is always preferred. Fresh fruit juices and smoothies (usually
with yogurt and fresh fruit – similar to Indian Lassies, but improved
upon by hippies) are great tasting, healthy treats.
Hippies helped popularize Indian food, especially curries and chapatis,
dahl and basmati rice. Asian foods like tofu, soybeans, tamari, rice
crackers, miso and tempeh are now part of many healthy American diets.
They buy bulk foods like flour, grains, beans and nuts, sold by the
pound, not prepackaged and left on supermarket shelves for years. Whole
grain bakeries all over the country now offer a variety of multigrain
breads which are far tastier and healthier than the traditional American
white bread. Yogurt, kefir, goat milk, soy milk are all non-traditional
dairy products popularized by hippies.
Health food stores and cooperatives exist now in almost every decent
sized town and city in the U.S. This is directly a result of the Hippy
fondness for health, quality and freshness. Hippies helped promulgate
the laws that regulate organic produce found in many states (California
and Oregon are good examples). Organic farming is now accepted as a
regular practice across the country. Ironic isn’t it, since we’ve had to
educate the brainwashed farmers of America about the dangers of
herbicides, pesticides and chemical fertilizers and teach them how to
grow organically, the way it was done by their grandfathers. People
think hippies are unhealthy, yet we were responsible for the health
craze that swept the country in the ’70s and ’80s.
Holistic medicine, with origins in Asia, Africa, India, and native
cultures around the world are studied, taught and practiced by hippies.
Some of these include herbalogy, homeopathy, acupuncture, massage,
reflexology, shiatsu, and ayurvedic medicine. Other things hippies do to
stay healthy on their own include hiking, Tai Chi, Yoga, meditation,
fasting, sweat lodges, hot springs and Sufi dancing.
Just the act of going barefoot is revolutionary for most people. Shoes
confine more than just our feet. Walking barefoot puts you in direct
touch with the world around you. You’re more sensitive and aware. Your
more vulnerable, but more open.
Hippies, ever concerned about ecology, were the first to promote
biodegradable products, and the use of natural ingredients in everything
from fabrics to shampoo. They made sure that every product ingested by
Americans has a label indicating all its ingredients. They boycotted
those companies: whose products polluted the environment; used animals
for testing; were prowar or very reactionary; or manufactured dangerous
chemicals or weapons.
It must be said that in general most hippies were anti-fashion. That is
they rejected the corporate nature of the fashion industry as well as
the power of individuals to dictate the way others should dress or
conform to a set standard. The fashion industry was seen as part of the
Capitalist propaganda machine that kept us slaving to consume the latest
fashions. This is more true today than ever.
If it’s not clothes, it’s cars, toys, even our lifestyles that are
marketed to us by demographics. And with Internet shopping they can
track our every move. Many hail this as a great innovation, and the
ultimate direct marketing tool. But isn’t it just a more efficient way
to keep us imprisoned in a consumer nightmare? Like a glutton, they are
fed more and more tasty morsels until we are so fat with consumption
that our lives serve no other purpose.
The hippies’ rejection of prevailing fashion led them to explore other
cultures and in doing so they learned and adopted many concepts and
practices alien to Western society. Much of what they pioneered is now
an important part of popular culture and thinking. Hippies influenced
not only clothes but a wide range of ideas and attitudes thus changing
society in the process.
Information was taken from web-site http:/www.hippy.com
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