The term ‘hippie’ derived from the word ‘hipster’ was used to describe the beatniks who had moved into the Greenwich Village in New York City or the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco. The fundamental ethos included harmony with nature and artistic experimentation which translates into their fashion.
The hippies donned loose fitting tops made from natural materials such as cotton, often these were tie-dyed with bright or earthy colours. Other popular choices of tops include bardot style tops or loose, long-sleeved blouses. Layered over the top were vests/waistcoats, often suede and fringed.
A staple item in any hippie’s wardrobe, male or female, is the bell bottoms or flared trouser made from with denim, corduroy or a psychedelic patterned fabric - these would often be embroiled with peace-sign motifs. Some women, however, opted for long, flow maxi skirts or loose-fitting dresses.
In regards to footwear, Birkenstocks sandals with cork soles and leather upper material are often associated with hippies. Moccasins with tassels or bead detailing were also favoured.
To add to the hippie aesthetic, shells and feathers were used to embellish clothing pieces. They were also worn as jewellery items along with natural stones, long beaded necklaces, peace charms and ankle bells.
The words ‘outlandish’ and ‘anomalous’ spring to mind when describing the fashion and style of the hippies as their dress sense alone made such a statement and the movement impossible to ignore.
The hippie trend of the Seventies has reemerged almost half a century later into contemporary fashion. Designers often revisit this era for inspiration and this season it has been particularly popular for Chloé, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Pucci. The success on the catwalk has led to mass marketers incorporating the seventies spirit into fast fashion and helping it to become the latest fad to conquer the highstreet this Spring/Summer.