The 1960’s were greatly transitional. The decade opened with a continuation of the 1950’s silhouette but then years later, the look was the virtual opposite.
In the USA in 1961 John F. Kennedy took office as president, bringing with him a beautiful, young wife and fashion inspiring First Lady. Jackie Kennedy innate sense of style and dress soon made her ‘Queen’ of American fashion. The American designed short-jacketed suits captured her passion for French couture style.
Teens (Baby boom of the fifties) dominated the fashion scene an in time adults adopted some of the looks of their offspring. The French ‘Baby doll’ look personified by Brigitte Bardot comprised shorter skirts and big hair. Eventually this gave way to the ‘British Invasion’ movement with teens embracing the free and fun fashion of their London contemporaries. The ‘It’ girl ‘Twiggy’ was seen on the covers of most fashion magazines, slinking about in colourful shifts and space-age prints. This helped convince the majority of women in the mid 60’s to try the new styles.
The movement towards modernity was conscious and international. Italian designers like Pucci created psychedelic palettes of color, transforming wearers of simple silk knit gown into walking works of art. American designers excelled in casual, uncomplicated sportswear chic.
French couture (mostly under the influence of Yves St. Laurent) explored other ideas, one of these borrowed pants and tuxedo jackets from menswear for the hip, liberated fashion-conscious woman.