Wednesday, April 11, 2012 • 11:50 AM •
Mad Men Flashback- Welcome to the 60s!
After an unbearably long 17 month hiatus, Mad Men is finally back to bring an end to our grief stricken television and computer screens. In addition to anticipating Don Draper’s much missed dry humour (if one can call it that), our nostalgia for 60s fashion can once again be pandered to every week for approximately 47 minute… but who’s counting?! The year on the show is now 1966. The Vietnam war reaches it’s halfway point, John Lenon claims the Beatles are bigger than Jesus, and the miniskirt introduced by Mary Quant (or André Courreges depending on the source) in 1964 is now worn by every teenage girl with a pair of legs.
Montreal’s own Jessica Paré performs the 1960s Gillian Hills hit ‘Zou Bisou Bisou’ in a black mini dress with pleated silk chiffon sleeves and rhinestone embellishments at the neck. Paré’s fashion forward character gives viewers a glance at the soon to be hippie style of the end of the decade.
The show has me considering the entire decade though, which started off in pastel coloured boxy suits and ended with paisley prints and bellbottoms. Fashion icons included First Lady Jackie Kennedy who popularized the pillbox hat, and Twiggy who popularized malnourishment.
There are numerous versions of the story of how the Birkin bag came into existence, but the one detail that remains undebatable is that 1960s fashion icon Jane Birkin was the muse. The version i’ve decided is the right one says this- In 1981 Jean-Louis Dumas (Hermes chairman 1978-2006) sits next to Jane on a flight from Paris to London. After all the contents of Jane’s straw bag fall to the ground she complains to Dumas that she was unable to find a suitable weekend leather bag she liked. In 1984 he creates the Bikin bag. Perhaps I enjoy this version because it suggests that if I complain enough I will have something named after me.
So back to the 60s…
I stumbled on this photo of 60s model Donyale Luna and was immediately enthralled. She is absolutely gorgeous! She’s also the first African American model to grace the covers of British Vogue (March 1966). I am now in the process of pinteresting every single photo of her I can find. I take my obsessions very seriously.
While i’m not exactly a fan of the beehive hairdo for myself, I think Gladys Horton pulls it off well, and the Marvelettes here look quite marvelous (bad pun fully intended). They look even better in this live performance of ‘Please Mr. Postman’ with their sequined tops and black pencil skirts. If you can’t appreciate the outfit, you can at least enjoy the music.
My interest in this fashion era lies mostly in the fact that people took care in the way that they looked. At least that’s how it seems. I doubt anyone in those days would ever dare leave their house in pajama pants or with a severe case of bed hair- things we’ve witnessed far too many times in our day. I wouldn’t go so far as to wear heels and makeup while completing household chores, but I think we could all learn a few fashions tips from the 60s!