Paula Douglas, also known as Gretchen Fetchen, was one of the early participants in the San Francisco Acid Test happenings organized by Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters in the mid-1960s. The events were designed as gatherings to promote consciousness expansion and creativity through the use of LSD, which was legal at the time.
Gretchen Fetchen’s Acid Test Dress (1965) and painted Orange Leather Boots reflects the Merry Pranksters’ rejection of norms of appearance through the embracing of exuberant Day-Glo colors. The garment also features a star, together with red, white and blue stripes — symbols of the Merry Pranksters.
Acid Test Dress and Boots Installation View. Photographed as Part of the Counter Couture Exhibit, Up Though August 20th, 2017 at the Museum of Arts and Design in NYC