Bonnie J Brown
Bell bottoms, baby doll tops, maxi dresses and psychedelic tie dye; the 1960’s are calling and they want their fashions back. This August marked the 40th anniversary of Woodstock, a three day concert that encapsulated the hippie movement of peace, love and music. And wouldn’t you know it? – the summer of 2009 has celebrities and fashionistas alike commemorating the anniversary by wearing fashions as if in honor of the festival and the times. But unlike the hippies from the 60’s whose favorite stores included the Salvation Army, their local resale shop and material and craft stores, today’s hippies are nabbing their looks straight from the runway.
Like most fashion movements that begin on the streets, hippies from the sixties were openly boycotting the conventional. Most were against the Vietnam War, some adopted Eastern philosophies and religions (including Yoga) and others embraced the Native American ideals which included the love of the earth, not to mention their beautiful jewelry and bead work. The hippies’ lifestyle also embraced sex, drugs and rock and roll. These characteristics brought together created a unique look for all and what once was a small group of individuals quickly expanded into an international lifestyle and mainstream fashion movement. Women wore their hair down, often wearing flowers in it; loose flowing dresses of vibrant colors, usually self tie dyed; jeans, since they were more than likely bought second hand were shabby and tattered and dresses, too, were loose and flowing for optimal comfort.
While today’s hippies are a bit more chic (think popular clothing line Haute Hippie) some of their ideals are still the same. Most are conscious of the earth, recycle and may even be vegetarian. Some wear organic fabrics and even more are wearing the clothes that made the first wave of hippies so popular. Designer Tracy Feith’s spring/summer 2009 collection featured maxi dresses full of color in psychedelic, almost tie dyed patterns and loose flowing dresses ideal for summer days spent outdoors for concert and festival goers. Nicole Richie seems to embody the look perfectly with her long hair, equally long dresses, chunky jewelry, and flat leather sandals.
While the look is ideal for summer, we won’t be seeing the end of these hippie fashions as we near fall, since designers like Matthew Williams have created dresses and separates that include Native American motifs and beadings. And maybe with the continuation of these fashions more people will take on the lifestyle and think it’s cool to save the earth, adopt healthy eating habits and plant a tree. It certainly wouldn’t be the worst thing, and hey, they could even look good while they were at it!
1. Tracy Feith Spring/Summer 2009 Shamen Dress $1430
2. Haute Hippie Spring/Summer 2009 $165
3. Tracy Feith Spring/Summer 2009 Spirit Dress $1100
4. Matthew Williamsom RTW Fall 2009
5. Matthew Williamsom RTW Fall 2009
6. Nicole Richie Summer 2009
7. 1960’s Hippies
8. Woodstock Dress
9. Janis Joplin
10. Haute Hippie Spring/Summer 2009 Draped Fringe Halter Top and Sequin Silk Miniskirt $185, $295
Image Layout: Khyra Cooper