This Twiggy London Girl Dress (1966) was part of a product line by British teenage model Twiggy, so nicknamed due to her skinny, twig-like frame. The short, A-line construction plays on the silhouette that many designers were working with during the 1960s to free wearers from the heavily structured styles of the previous decade.
Twiggy came to embody the increasingly thin, youthful ideal of the ’60s and remains a key reference in debates about body image.
Photographed in the Museum at FIT in Manhattan as part of the Exhibit, The Body: Fashion and Physique, on View Through May 5th, 2018.
In the mid-1960s, affordable, single-use paper clothing enjoyed a burst of widespread popularity when it was introduced to an American market eager for commodities. This Disposable Paper Dress was produced by the North Carolina factory of Mars of Asheville on the occasion of the 1968 presidential election. The surname of Richard Nixon is emblazoned across the garment in red uppercase letters along with alternating blue stars, transforming its wearer into a walking endorsement of the Republican candidate whose tenure as president would encompass the first man on the moon, the withdrawal of US forces from Vietnam, and eventual impeachment and resignation.
Photographed in the Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan.
If you have a young daughter whose heart’s desire is to be a medieval fairy princess for Halloween, you can pick up this very lovely period costume in the gift shop at the Cloisters Museum in Upper Manhattan! Floral Headwreaths are sold separately!
Paco Rabanne presented his first fashion collection in 1966. It was entitled 12 Dresses in Unwearable Materials and included garments made from links of plastic fastened with metal hoops. Rabanne had proven that fabric, needle and thread were not altogether necessary to clothing design, and he quickly gained fame for his defiance of tradition.
Ready-to-wear Dress Circa 1966: Silver and Black Plastic Discs, Metal Hoops. Photographed in the Museum at FIT in Manhattan.
With its petal-like stole, this evening gown, The Tree (1955), transforms the wearer into a flower, giving her a sensual elegance. Couturier Charles James (1906 – 1978) often envisioned his clients as exotic flowers and he believed that fashion should arouse the mating instinct. Ooh!
Psychologist Nancy Etcoff writes, “Flowers are alluring landing strips for pollinating insects: They are the plant worlds sex objects.” Think about that next time you see a flower.
Charles James, Photographed in 1946, By Irving Penn
Photographed as part of the Force of Nature Exhibit, on Through November 18th, 2017 at at The Museum at FIT, Located at the Southwest corner of Seventh Avenue and 27th Street, in NYC.
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
Yves Saint Laurent’s fall 1965 collection was inspired by the paintings of Piet Mondrian. While it became one of Saint Laurent’s most famous collections, other designers had introduced similar designs before him. The Montreal Gazette claimed that color-blocked dresses by Michele Roiser had inspired Saint Laurent to “add a few black lines” to his own creations. View some of the collections here: https://teranicouture.com/collection/evening-dresses-2016-and-2017
YSL dress seen here with a color block design by Lousi Feraud (circa 1967) on the left.