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Hippie Chic

The 1960s saw a revolution in fashion that was born, like most things new and hip in that era, of youth rebellion in the streets. Hippies expressed a personal style with clothing that went against everything about the previous generations notion of matching suits or ladylike ensembles mandated by social class or profession. For the first time, high-end designers didn't dictate the trends. Instead, the latest looks trickled up into the top fashion houses, Halston and Yves Saint Laurent among them, by way of bohemian boutiques, avant-garde labels, and musicians like the Beatles, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. This book provides a fascinating introduction to the widespread hippie chic trend, with five chapters dedicated to its incarnations: Trippy Hippie psychedelic patterns and textures, Fantasy Hippie visions of gypsy maidens and ruffled dandies, Retro Hippie tributes to the glamour of the 1920s and 30s, Ethnic Hippie celebrations of non-Western and indigenous cultures, and Craft Hippie do-it-yourself impulses. Sumptuous photography, dynamic design, and far-out images from the era take Hippie Chic beyond peace signs and patchouli to unearth how hippies forever changed the way fashion functions.
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For some, hippie style is the opposite of chic, associated with messiness, the rejection of high fashion ideals, and over-the-top combinations of colors and fabrics. But in this companion book to an exhibition of the same name, Boston Museum of Fine Arts curator Whitley makes a compelling case for hippie chic. The book focuses on the work of big-name and lesser-known designers who translated the ideals and aesthetics of the hippie movement into delightfully wild fashion. Whitley's analysis relies on primary sources such as photographs, copy from fashion magazines, newspaper articles, and the garments themselves to get to the heart of what hippie fashion really meant in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The author identifies five key concepts and gives each its own chapter: "Trippy Hippie" (psychedelic fashion); "Fantasy Hippie" (looks inspired by the distant past); "Retro Hippie" (1920s-40s influence); "Ethnic Hippie" (fascination with non-Western cultures); and "Craft Hippie" (interest in homemade and handmade techniques). The result is informative and visually enchanting. The book includes a catalogue checklist with details on all the garments included in the exhibition. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and above; general readers.--C.E. Berg "CHOICE "

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