The Return of The 60s

Throughout fashion history, trends have often reflected the pop culture and media movement of that era. Whether it be the shag haircuts of the 70s, playing into the rock n roll theme of that time, or the 90s grunge look inspired by the new grunge wave of music, or the 60s psychedelia depicted from band posters. In recent months, both makeup and clothing styles- mod dresses, purity collars, midi cuts- have made their recurrence. Who can this comeback be credited to, and what does this new-old wave of fashion look like?

In the 19th century, famous jurist Rudolph von Jhering invented a new idea christened the trickle-down effect, before Mirana Priestly (Meryl Streep) iconically rebranded it in the 2006 film, The Devil Wears Prada. The trickle-down effect in the 1800s was simply the upper-class fashion trickling down to the lower class.

The Devil Wears Prada (3/5) Movie CLIP – Stuff (2006) HD

Now, however, high fashion filters down to fast fashion. Brands like Prada and Gucci affect what, in time, stores like H&M and Forever 21 will be placing on their racks. This effect is only so valid due to the need for one to conform to society and to feel like they have some form of money. Wearing clothing derivative of higher fashion can present a person with a feeling of wealth and stability, while also using the clothing as a form of expressive individualism. 

This trickle-down theory can then be applied to the current 60s fashion recurrence, as designer ‘Moschino’ had their 60s inspired collection with a modern-like vintage twist. Moschino had their Fall 2018 Ready to Wear collection full of midi skirts, mod dresses, large buttons, and pea coats with those same swooping sixties hairstyles, however, they added in y2k-like tiny sunglasses and mini handbags, inspired by the return of 90s and early 2000s fashion.

Since the collection, the trickle-down effect has fallen into place, leaving people worldwide to fall in love with the 60s all over again. H&M has started selling more colorful pea coats, Forever 21 has dived into the mod dress, and makeup fiends everywhere have dabbled in the ‘Twiggy’ makeup style, named after 60s supermodel Twiggy, herself. 

Additionally, the 20-year-rule comes into play. The 20-year rule is a concept that determines it takes roughly 20 years for fashion trends to die and then become popular again, prime examples being the skinny jeans of the late 70s and their early 2000s revival, mom jeans of the mid-90s and their mid-2010s renewal, and most notably as of recent, low waisted-jeans, baby tees, and cargo pants of the y2k era. Slowly, however, we have outgrown a lot of the y2k style, making room for a new era: the sixties. But, how does the 60s apply to the 20-year-rule, if it’s been 50 years since the end of the sixties? In the 80s they had their 20-year recurrence of the 60s, through jumpsuits, large buttons, shirtwaist dress, and of course, loud patterns and colors. In the early 2000s, we saw that 60s recurrence again with 80s influence, found in Clueless with Cher’s plaid skirt suit and her best friend, Dionne Davenport’s, flamboyant 60s-like hats. We once again saw the rise of the mod dress with the iconic Lorelei Gilmore season 3 premiere outfit; a classic flower power pattern paired with a white cloche hat.

Gilmore Girls season 3, episode 1: Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days Timestamp: 8:27

All signs lead to another 60s recurrence with our modern flare, as we have once again hit the 20-year mark; now, the only question is what modern additions will we have this time? In the 80s they added shoulder pads to the 60s dresses, in the early 2000s we saw more modern accessories added to the vintage outfits, such as the previously mentioned tiny sunglasses and mini handbags. To predict what will be changed in this new sixties wave, we need to look at what we’re wearing now.

Currently, when analyzing the state of fashion today, two things stick out: 1) most clothing is oversized or baggy, whether it be coats, pants, dresses, or skirts. 2) boy, do we love the 2000s. We’re still having our 20-year 2000s recurrence, and even though we’ve exhausted the Paris Hilton, velvet tracksuit and the preppy plaid Mean Girls look, there are still so many facets of that era to explore. Mini vests, chunky belts, and denim mini skirts are only now making themselves present and will no doubt play a part in the modernization 60s. Pea coats, knee-high boots, and headbands, will all be present, but making those pea coats a little more oversized with a denim mini skirt underneath, those mod dresses with a chunky belt for cinching or a mini vest added, the knee-high boots with a little more platform and the patterns more modern and less (for lack of a better word) grandma-curtains-ish. 

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