There’s no way we can conceal our glee — Mad Men has returned. After a harrowing 17 months off the air, one of the best shows on T.V. (if not THE best), has returned to the small screen. When the show first made a splash some 6 years ago, costume designer Janie Bryant was lauded for her authentic, and yet decidedly influential, touch. So much so that she was brought on board with retailer Banana Republic to organize a 60’s themed collection with them. Now, even in spite of it’s absence, the show seems destined to remain a fashion trailblazer (personal biases notwithstanding). And what better time to create a fashion homage to the swinging 60’s, then at the height of spring, when the weather begs for the era’s signature mini skirts and boldly patterned swimwear? In other words, there’s no better time to honor the past than the present.
Shift dresses were all the rage in the 60’s once the A-line silhouette of the circle skirt was deemed old-fashioned. The youthful, rebellious generation of the decade decided they wanted their skirts high and and their patterns modern, or “mod”. These bold, geometric prints lasted the test of time and are still showing up on runways today, as evidenced by last season’s Pringle of Scotland show. The loosely tailored shape and sleeveless cut are as essential to a flirty spring wardrobe now as they were then. And not every option needs to break the bank since BCBGMAXAZRIA, always adept at knowing what what the hip kids like, makes a perfectly pretty lace option with fresh lavender piping.
In the 60’s, if you weren’t tapped into the British Invasion and using Twiggy as your fashion icon, you may have been strumming along to Janis and wearing flowers in your hair. And if that was the case, your daily uniform probably required a maxi dress. Free flowing, floral and fabulous, the maxi dress exemplified the liberties women asserted during the era, is in some cases for the first time. Stacey Bendet of Alice + Olivia included the stylish staple in her 60’s-themed garden party presentation last season, and we absolutely fell in love. The bold bouquets of flowers are universally forgiving, as is the loose draping of the fabric. Although maxi dresses have made a huge comeback lately in all shapes and sizes, we’re particularly find of this printed version from Topshop and plan to wear it from the first beach day to the first frost.
Speaking of beach days, they are around the corner. With eye-popping, graphic prints akin to the mod trend, swimwear from the 60’s was flashy, fleshy and great way to self-express. Though boy shorts and cover-ups kept the looks modest, everything from polka dots to paisleys were introduced as necessities for a day at the shore, barring the plain and solid colored suits from decades before. The trend has evolved throughout the decades, the most modern version of which includes digital printing on fabric. VPL, an oft-trendsetting name in swimwear, presented graphic pieces on their spring runway that called to mind a 60’s pattern icon. And who could we possibly pull for the everyday look than a piece by the icon himself, Emilio Pucci. A household name during the pattern boom of the 60’s, Pucci proves that even after all this time, it’s best to go straight to the source.
A final look that can trace it’s roots from the 60’s style revolution is quite possibly on of the biggest trends on runways and in the streets today: color-blocking. As technicolor took over televisions during the 60’s, people everywhere began to celebrate the endless options of color. This exploration included the very Mark Rothko-esque pairings of two or more solid colors next to each other, even if they didn’t quite match. The expression was artistic, unique and again, a sign of the rebellious nature of the era. And thank goodness they did it because color-blocking has become one of the most fun ways to play with color to this day. Jill Stuart, a source of sophistication and femininity, decided to spotlight the trend on her spring runways, joining two different shades of one crisp color. And though monotone look is probably a more modern version of the trend, don’t be afraid to amp it up a notch and choose two different colors altogether, like this eye-catching number by Laundry by Shelli Segal. You may just find you’re the coolest kid on the color-block!
As fun as it is to tune into Mad Men each week and drool over the 60’s themed costumes, it’s even better to shop the updated versions of these classic looks and keep these timeless trends alive!
1. Shift Dress
Runway: Pringle of Scotland Spring 2012 RTW
Real Way: BCBGMAXAZRIA Andreea Blocked Lace Shift Dress, $288
2. Floral Maxi Dress
Runway: Alice + Olivia Spring 2012 RTW
Real Way: TOPSHOP Petite Floral Maxi Dress, $110
3. Psychedelic Swimwear
Runway: VPL Spring 2012 RTW
Real Way: Emilio Pucci Beach Graphic Print Bikini, $439
4. Color Block Mini Dress
Runway: Jill Stuart Spring 2012 RTW
Real Way: Laundry by Shelli Segal Split Sleeve Color Block Dress, $195
Runway Photos: NYMag
Image Layout: Second City StyleSee the Top Ten Summer 2016 Trends for Women Over 40
Tags: Alice + Olivia Spring 2012 RTW Real Way: TOPSHOP Petite Floral Maxi Dress, BCBGMAXAZRIA Andreea Blocked Lace Shift Dress, Color Block Mini Dress, Emilio Pucci Beach Graphic Print Bikini, Floral Maxi Dress, Jill Suart Spring 2012 RTW, Laundry by Shelli Segal Split Sleeve Color Block Dress, Pringle of Scotland Spring 2012 RTW, Psychadelic Swimwear, VPL Spring 2012 RTW