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The Comeback of the 1960s - SS 2022

A deep dive into the recent runway looks of SS 2022 around the world & the resurgence of 60's cuts and prints

Not often do you have the pleasure of saying "The 60's are back!". Again and again, we hear about the flares of the 70's or the glam of the disco 80's, but the underrated and revolutionary fashion of the 1960's has somehow never been given the praise it deserves, until now...

A-line mini dresses and go-go boots have made their comeback this fashion week season and we are most definitely here for the 'Maximum impact, despite mini proportions' as Sarah Jessica Parker notes on the 1960's -Vogue by the Decade. From New York to Paris, it seems as though designers around the globe made a collective executive decision to showcase a rocket ship trip into the past. Today, F&F magazine will summarise the decade, taking you through the history, right until the present runways.

A Step Back

The 1960s - age of space and discovery, the landing of the first man on the moon and the age of buzzing music sensations like The Beatles and The Supremes, left the population eager to rediscover themselves. The 60s was a period where fashion and music intertwined to inform each other in this revolutionary era. Known as the decade of the "generation gap", simply defined as the division of beliefs and behaviours of two different generations, also gradually paved the way for a new generation of dressing. As Pierre Cardin suggested, 'We are entering the world of tomorrow' and women evidenced this with shorter hemlines, glossy go-go boots, and psychedelic prints which were welcomed as the 70s approached.

With designers like André Courrèges and his space-age vinyl topped designs in France, and Mary Quant in the UK, who was credited in making 'the mini skirt', supposedly naming it after her favourite car, The Mini-Cooper, the fashion world was beaming with fresh outlooks on women's dressing. Women started going out more, entertaining themselves in disco clubs like never before, giving way to a new culture of go-go dancing and youth liberation. It was a time of cultural revolution for women, much like the craze of the flapper girls of the roaring 1920s, which then was deemed unacceptable behaviour. Conversely, today mini lengths are omnipresent in the fashion scene and it seems as though they will remain a staple for a long time to come.

Looks from New York Fashion Week, September 2021

Scrapping the draping and soft lines of the past decades, designers like André Courrèges, Paco Rabanne, and Pierre Cardin rather sought inspiration from strong architectural structures. In the context of an era deemed the Space Age, after the launch of Sputnik - 1, the vinyl material came into liking due to its futuristic shine and texture, reminiscent of space technology. Popular characteristics of 60s fashion lie in simple A-line cut mini dresses and skirts that were almost always paired with vinyl trenches and mid-calf glossy boots. For example, the infamous Courrèges 'astronaut' go-go boots as seen reinvented in this year's show, or the triangular headscarves brought back on the Versace runway.

Courrèges SS 2022

The Mini-Mini Dress

The key to noticing 60s fashion is not necessarily the utilisation of materials like vinyl, but rather the cut and length of these past week's designs. Missoni, Versace, Tod's, Dior and more, showcased a plethora of pattern and textures, yet they all kept A-line square cuts and necklines the focal point of the look. Scroll through our selection of this season's most space-age mini dresses.

Looks from Paris, London, Milan, and NYC, September 2021

The Co-ord & Tunic Suit

When it comes to sets, the 60s were most famous for the mini matchy-matchy sets or tunic-pant suits. Designers created sets with women in the workplace in mind, allowing them to portray themselves as elegant, fun, yet organised and put-together manner, which one instantly feels when top and bottom are complemented.

Looks from Paris, London, Milan, and NYC, September 2021

The 60's Prints

The colourful patterns we closely associate with the 70s were actually introduced little by little a decade earlier, where feminine geometric floral prints were paired with short and swinging cuts. With brands like Etro recurrently bringing ethnic designs and cuts on the runway, this season, Veronica Etro decided to lift the colour palette from their classic burgundy paisley to a brighter and more retro collection. Similarly, Giorgio Armani displayed a row of models suited in funkier and ethereal prints than usual for the label.

The Then and Now

Although classic floral prints were synonymous with the decade, a polar opposite design element to women's fashion rose quickly in style in the mid-60s. Defined as 'flash geometry', the trend played with shapes and negative space on clothes, most often illustrated in black & white or primary colours, influenced by the pop art movement and optical illusions.

The Mini Waist Cutout

Hand in hand, came the cutout element which paired automatically with the idea of female liberation and also the design elements brought by André Courrèges. Cutouts came in large sizes and were often placed symmetrically on dresses, but also all around if material like crochet was utilised. This fashion week season, a noticeable characteristic has been the waist cutout, a new way to show a little more, especially in evening wear.

Mini waist cutout trend SS 2022

The Maxi Waist Cutout

Maxi waist cutout trend SS 2022

I hope you enjoyed this brief summary on this fashion week season's trends. I forecast the 1960s to continue exhibiting itself in designs in season's to come. What do you think will be the next trend? Comment below your thoughts.


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