Threads Logo Threads Logo Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram Favorite Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon
Inspiration

The “New Bohemia” Fashion Trend of the 1960s

Take a look at some "New Bohemia" fashions from the 1960s as featured in a NYC museum exhibition.

Nov 10, 2017
Article Image
Designs from a New York exhibition are among the examples that show how politics, art, and society influenced fashion in the 1960s.

As part of the fashion revolution of the 1960s, a New Bohemia trend emerged between 1967 and 1969. The stately women’s fashions in the early ’60s started to transform into bold, exotic and, yes, even hippie psychedelic looks.

It was a sign of the times. A new wave of political and societal trends influenced the way women dressed. The Vietnam war, women’s lib, and Civil Rights created a cultural upheaval that touched every aspect of American life— even fashion.

A new exhibition, Mod New York : Fashion Takes a Trip, premiering November 22, 2017, at the Museum of the City of New York, doesn’t just focus on fashion design like so many other fashion exhibitions. It digs deeper into how fashion design evolved through the 1960s by examining the political, social, and cultural changes that influenced fashion design. During this time, Americans became more politically cynical and challenging of government. Their feelings and mood essentially rewrote the rules of fashion.

As Claire Shaeffer writes in the latest issue of Threads magazine #194  (Dec. 2017/Jan. 2018), a New Bohemia fashion emerged in 1967:

Anything was in. Exotic ethnic designs, surface patterns, military and American western and praire looks, Middle Eastern embroideries, and caftans became popular. Bright silk-screened prints from Marimekko and silver-and-white space-age fashion from Courreges appeared.

Yves Saint Laurent, James Galanos, and other designers elevated pantsuits to high fashion. Thea Porter produced expensive, luxurious caftan dresses. Fabrics ran the gamut from psychedelic prints and flamboyant stripes to muted cottons and pin-striped wools, and from spandex to chiffon, suede, PVC, and embroidered leathers.

 

This colorful pantsuit by James Galanos combines a tailored silhouette with a bold, ethnic-inspired fabric. Embroidered with straw, the pattern matches at the front opening and the patch pockets.

 

 

 

 

 

This couture dress, designed by Marc Bohan for Dior, exhibits a whimsical design that belies the traditional couture techniques used to make it. The dress has a center-back zipper with no visible stitches (see Threads #174, Aug./Sept. 2014, for instructions), a complete underlining of plain-weave silk, and overcast edges on the seams and darts. The plastic flowers are hand-sewn along the hem.

 

 

 

Thea Porter, the daughter of Christian missionaries, grew up in Lebanon. For this chiffon gown, she used exquisite Middle Eastern shawls and scarves trimmed with antique lace and braid to create a rich hippie look. This sheer fabric evening dress is fabricated in silk chiffon with a gilt metallic paisley pattern and trimmed with soutache braid. Porter’s sewing knowledge was limited, so trims and button loops were often hand-sewn.

 

Shaeffer’s article “Fashion Revolution, 1960 to 1973” in Threads #194 gives a comprehensive look at what the exhibition covers. She writes about First Lady Fashion from 1960 to 1963, Youthquake from 1964 to 1965, New Bohemia from 1967 to 1969, and New Nonchalance, from 1970 to 1973.

Become a Threads Insider member to read the entire Fashion Revolution, 1960 to 1973 article online in Threads #194.

Or, subscribe for a print subscription. A magazine subscription also makes a perfect holiday gift.

Sign up for the Threads Eletter

Get the latest from Threads delivered straight to your inbox.

×
Discuss

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, patterns and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Subscribe to Threads today

Save up to 37% and get a free gift

Subscribe

Discuss

  1. User avater BurzireSheman November 16th

    Love It

  2. doreet November 15th

    I would LOVE THAT SUIT!!!--AND THE LONG COLORFUL DRESS--I only found short hems,during the 60's,but I found a knee-length black/white check knit SUIT, with a matching bill cap of the era, and people in that store looked at me--it was a SUCH a, fab suit,even in cheap knit, ALL in black/white check!!! Fortunately, I was in college, then, I could wear it..AWW,to be fab in the 6o's again!!My mom sewed me striped shifts, bright, and a green-blue ocean-wave shift, I have never forgotten them!! That suit sounds weird,but it was a KILLER.--some long legged girl should wear it now.--stuff like that never dies!!!(anyone for "Nehru jackets"?)

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

More From Threads

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All

Highlights

  • Sign up for the Threads Eletter

    Get the latest from Threads delivered straight to your inbox.

  • SewStylish

    SewStylish

    Take a look inside the pages of SewStylish Spring 2017.

  • CraftStylish

    CraftStylish

    Expert craft tutorials, news, and tips for sewing, knitting, crochet, quilting, paper crafts, embroidery, jewelry making, and more!