Sixties fashion



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SIXTIES FASHION

‘Swinging London’ fashion on display at the V&A

6 June 2006 – 25 February 2007

Sponsored by Miss Selfridge


40 years after Time Magazine's famous 1966 'Swinging London' cover, the V&A explores the Swinging Sixties. Sixties Fashion will feature designs by Mary Quant, Ossie Clark, Pierre Cardin and Paco Rabanne among others. The display will explore the role of fashion in fixing the idea of London as the ‘swinging’ city in the popular imagination from the mid 1950s (when Mary Quant established her first boutique) to the early 1970s.
Through the display of around 60 garments, Sixties Fashion will show how a series of key ‘looks’ evolved in London, the influence of King’s Road and Carnaby Street and their impact on international trends.
The display will look at different themes and designers, and the ‘rise and fall’ of the swinging look. The era started in the mid 1950s with the opposing influences of traditional couture and Mary Quant, it closed with the decadent allure of Biba in the early 1970s.


  • Mayfair Elegance & Chelsea Rebellion – showcases Incorporated Society of London Fashion Designers, including Norman Hartnell and Hardy Amies, alongside more radical Mary Quant pieces.

  • Piccadilly Peacocks – focuses on the tailors who ‘broke the stuffed shirt barrier’ in menswear, including pioneers Mr. Fish and Rupert Lycett Green.

  • Knightsbridge Chic – the response of middle-market designers and department stores to the new fashions; new talent influenced by Quant and other trend setters.

  • Carnaby Street and the King’s Road – examines the quintessential swinging designers and entrepreneurs at the heart of Swinging London such as John Stephen, Michael Rainey, Foale & Tuffin and Ossie Clark.

  • Kensington Haze – the exploration of London ends with the shift from clean mid 60s cool to the escapism and nostalgia typified by Thea Porter and Biba.

  • Out of London – establishes parallel themes and influences beyond the UK, looking at designers working in Paris and New York, such as Pierre Cardin and Yves St Laurent.

Sixties Fashion will look at the central role played by the boutique and street style in bringing the phenomenon to the world’s attention. The display will bring together items from the V&A and other museums’ dress collections and show them alongside previously unseen garments from private lenders. Archive films of fashion shows and shopping in the most fashionable boutiques will also be on show.


Swinging Sixties edited by Christopher Breward, David Gilbert and Jenny Lister (£24.99 pb) will be published by V&A Publications to accompany the display. Containing lively contributions from prominent authors and stunning new shots of key pieces from the V&A's dress collection, it looks at the role played by designers, retail entrepreneurs, journalists, photographers and film-makers in promoting a new way of dressing that reverberated far beyond the British capital. It also explores the interaction of the fashion scene with the worlds of art, education, journalism, music, the beauty industry and new social and political climate.

Ends

Notes to Editors

Entry to Sixties Fashion is FREE, as is entry to the V&A.
Sixties Fashion is complemented by Sixties Graphics (6 June - 12 November 2006) in the Museum’ s 20th Century gallery. The explosion of graphic talent in the ‘60s will be celebrated in this display of posters, magazines, record sleeves, photographs and badges from 1965 to 1972. On show will be psychedelic posters and now rare work for magazines like Oz.
For public enquiries: 020 7942 2000 or www.vam.ac.uk.
For further PRESS information please contact Rebecca Ward for the V&A Press Office on 020 7613 3306 or email HREF="mailto:press@rebeccaward.co.uk" MACROBUTTON HtmlResAnchor press@rebeccaward.co.uk. Images can be downloaded at HREF="http://www.image.net/" MACROBUTTON HtmlResAnchor www.image.net.

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