. . and influencers of Sixties fashion
- Pantsuits, catsuits, string dresses and see-through minis.
Designed clothes for 'The Avengers' Diana Rigg (right). Formed
company Jean Varon in 1964 with a wide range of fashions including
some of the shortest minis of the Sixties.
- (inset) Op-art artist and designer whose work was widely
used in dress and fabric designs
Pierre Cardin -
Futuristic fashions, space-age catsuits and bodystockings,
Beatle suits and cut-out dresses. Moved into menswear in 1961.
Used brightly coloured and patterned garments. High buttoned
and collar-less jackets and zippered smock styles in lieu
of jackets. His customers included The Beatles. Launched his
space-age collection in 1964, some made entirely of metal
and plastic. His female models were dressed in shiny vinyl,
skin-tight catsuits, high-legged leather boots and even space
helmets. Collars, when used, were typically oversized and
cut-outs were very revealing. He designed the high-necked
lace blouses for the 1965 film 'Viva Maria' which led to a
revival in the Edwardian look.
- Born Samuel
Albert Bozeman Jr, he his first design job was at Teal Traina, where he
stayed until 1963, leaving to launch his own label. Beene's 'signature'
designs included elaborate seams, architectural construction, graphic black
and white motifs and clinging silhouettes cut on the bias and were an immediate
success. US Vogue featured Jean Shrimpton wearing a dress from his first
collection and within four years he had an annual turnover of $4 million.
"What I'm trying to do are clothes that look effortless without any degree
of calculation on the part of the wearer, but plenty of calculation on my
Defying fashion conventions, he shocked the fashion world in 1966 with his
use of grey flannel and wool jersey in evening wear. The following year
he designed the wedding dress of Lynda Bird Johnson, eldest daughter of
President Lyndon B. Johnson. Also that year, Beene became the first American
designer to show in Milan and the first to open a manufacturing outlet in
Europe, selling couture clothes and sportswear both there and in the Far
East. Noted for men's and women's wear in soft, easy care fabrics, sequinned
fabrics, chiffon and taffeta. One of the first designers to mix patterns
and textures. Generally preferred dark and neutral colours
Bonnie Cashin -
designer specialising in Chinese styles, Leather,
canvas and suede with ethnic influences, best
known for popularising the 'poncho'.
Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel
- Classic Paris high fashion and the tailored 'Chanel suit'. Also a range
of sports style fashions and the famous 'Chanel No5' perfume.
- Youth fashions influenced by op-art. Hot pants, Maxi Coats, Gypsy
dresses, motorcycle jackets, metallic leather and snakeskin. Later
in the decade, flowing romantic evening wear and Latin-inspired fashions.
Clark had designed for the Woodlands 21 boutique, having his fashions
featured in Vogue. He started his own company, Quorum, in 1965 with
partner Alice Pollock which was to become one of Chelsea's most successful
boutiques. Quorum was bought by Radley in 1968 but Clark continued
to design for the new company, later specialising in crepe, satin,
jersey and chiffon.
Andre Courreges - Miniskirts, pantsuits and see-through
space-age designs. He opened his own fashion house in 1961 after 12 years
designing for Balenciaga. Like Mary Quant, he has some claim to having
pioneered the introduction of the mini skirt in 1962. His most famous
designs were the 'Space-Age' collection of Spring 1964 which strongly
featured silver and white PVCs with bonded seams. The collection included
silver PVC 'moongirl' pants, white catsuits and monochrome striped mini
skirts and dresses. He is also famous for his use of the mid-calf length,
flat-heeled 'Courreges' boot - an iconographic symbol of Sixties fashion.
A more reasonably priced ready-to-wear collection was produced in 1965.
Marc Bohan (
Design director - Christian Dior ) - Paris high fashion elegance. Marc
took over the reigns at Dior in 1960 after the departure of Yves Saint
- Miniskirts and
general youth fashion. Italian shoe designer who exported many Sixties
London fashions to Italy, opening a store in Milan, 1967, specially for
Anne Fogarty -
One of the first U.S. designers to produce bikinis and launcher of the
'Paper Doll' dress, with high waist, low neck, short-sleeved bodice and
Rudi Gernreich -
Sports and swimwear, revealing designs. Rudi designed ready-to-wear clothes
for Los Angeles boutique JAX until 1964 when he started his own company,
striving to provide a range of clothes which allowed complete freedom
of movement. He is credited with introducing the topless swimsuit in 1964,
which consisted of a high waist held up by thin straps which passed between
the bare breasts. He gave up the company in about 1967 to concentrate
on freelance designing and to devote more time to his passion - dance
Hubert de Givenchy -
Cocktail and evening dresses. Most famous for the clothes he designed
for Audrey Hepburn, particularly her wardrobe in the 1961 film 'Breakfast
At Tiffanys'. He is generally known for sack dresses, low-cut cocktail
dresses with matching boleros, duster coats and coloured gloves.
Ben Sherman in 1963 in Brighton, recognising the potential for Oxford
button down shirts, designing and creating styles like those he had seen
during his time in the USA.
Keith and Alan
founded Brutus in London in 1966, making one style of jumper before extending
the range to include shirts, jeans and t-shirts. The name came from the
brothers’ favourite after shave – Brut 33. The Brutus brand was probably
best known for their jeans and shirts particularly the Brutus Trimfit
an update of the original Ivy League shirt with a sewn-in box pleat and
figure-hugging style – the shirt of choice for mods, skinheads and suedeheads
in the late 60s and early 70s.
- London born designer who worked in Zurich until
the late Sixties when she returned to London and marketed her products
through Fenwick stores.
- Pantsuits, miniskirts and t-shirt dresses
- One of the designers credited with the introduction of the bikini. Owned
a chain of boutiques selling sportswear between 1946 and 1966.
Emanuelle Khanh - lacy, frilled dresses and blouses,
long collared jackets
Emilio Pucci -
Sportswear and psychedelic skirts, dresses and pantsuit
Quant - Miniskirts,
tights, skinny-rib sweaters and wet-look PVC. She produced designs
for Butterick Patterns ( paper patterns ) in 1964 to enable her styles
to reach a larger market amongst the less well-off. Mary is largely
responsible for establishing London as the Sixties centre of fashion,
particularly the King's Road area of Chelsea.
- Plastic and metal discs, day-glo space-age designs. Between 1964 and
1966 Paco designed fashion accessories on a freelance basis for Balenciaga,
Givenchy and Dior. He launched his body jewellery in the Spring of 1966
on forming his own company. Generally known for clothing in chain-mail
style, made from plastic and metal tiles or discs, held together with
wire. By 1968/9 his designs included ostrich feather dresses with aluminium
bodices and others made in paper and silver leather.
evening fashions in vivid colours and bizarre patterns. Printed and
painted silk and chiffon garments with art-deco motifs, zig-zags etc.
Prior to forming her own fashion house in 1968, she had already designed
a paper wedding dress which sold for less than two shillings ( ten
pence ) during the brief period of popularity enjoyed by disposable
- Space-age and wet look designs
Vivienne Westwood -
Opened a shop in the Kings Road in the late 60s with Malcolm McLaren (
of Sex Pistols fame ). Better known for 70s 'Punk' and 80s 'New Romantic'
Oscar de la Reuta - Designer for
major fashion houses, working for Balenciaga, Lanvin-Castillo, Elizabeth
Arden and Jane Derby. Started his own business in 1965 specialising in
extravagant, opulent designs. Mainly elaborately-trimmed evening wear,
particularly gypsy-style designs.
Alberto Fabiani -
Married rival designer Simonetta in 1953 and opened a Paris house
together in the 60s. Couturiers and accessory designers, tailored
suits and evening dresses, evening culottes.
John Stephen -
Suede waistcoats, kaftan jackets, velvet flares, 'groovy' wigs
Terence Conran -
( right ) The major force in raising design awareness during the
Sixties. He opened his first 'Habitat' store at 77 Fulham Road in
May 1964, concentrating on modern furniture and accessories.
- Beatles' suits and men's fashion.
- Worked as a designer with Nino Cerruti from 1961 to 1974
her business by mail-order in 1963 with her husband, Stephen Fitz-Simon.
Due to a phenomenal response to their newspaper advertising, they opened
their first 'Biba' boutique in 1964, selling mini smock-dresses, mix'n'match
fashions, rubberised raincoats, floppy hats and lengthened and dyed rugby
shirts which were worn as mini-dresses, many of which were decorated with
op-art designs. Their favoured colours were muted purples, dull reds,
sepias, blues, greys and pinks. They moved to larger premises in 1965
and again in 1969 when they opened a department store in Kensington High
Street, selling men's, women's and children's wear ( even purple nappies!
). They also sold a variety of foods and household goods but the expansion
of the range seemed to be the start of Biba's fall from youth popularity,
eventually closing down in 1975. (Bill
Harry's Sixties - Biba)
Roberto Capucci - Flamboyant use of Mediterranean
colours and sculptural forms. He famously produced garments made of sealed
plastic filled with coloured water.
- Highly fashionable in the fifties, the house of Balenciaga carried on
through the Sixties with famous name designers producing loosely tailored
suits and sculptural evening wear. Balenciaga retired in 1968.
Laura Ashley -
Country style clothing and furnishing fabrics. Laura started with a cotton
drill apron in 1961 - almost an anti-fashion house featuring inexpensive
tucked and frilled dresses in coarse cotton and lacy shirts with leg o'mutton
sleeves. She opened her first shop in Kensington in 1968.
Anthony Price - Glamorous evening wear and the
designer of the clothes for The Rolling Stones' 'Gimme Shelter' tour of
1967, while working as a designer for Stirling Cooper producing fashions
for Miss Selfridge. He also later designed for Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music.
- Decorative evening
wear and tailored day wear. While still a student, he won a prestigious
prize for fashion design by the International Wool Secretariat (an award
also won later by both Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld). This led
to his being employed by Jean Desses in 1950. Valentino assisted Desses
for five years before moving to work for Guy Laroche, a former chief illustrator
at Desses. He launched his first salon on the Via Condotti in Rome in
1960. When he showed his first collection that year, he gained huge recognition
for his sophisticated, Hollywood-style evening wear. He also drew regard
for his full-length skirts ( despite the popularity of mini skirts) his
penchant for simple contrasts of black and white and his signature 'Valentino
red'. His success resulted in a Paris boutique and the launch of the famous
'V' label. In 1967, he won the coveted Neiman Marcus Prize and presented
a 'No Colour' collection produced entirely in creams, buffs and whites,
in contrast to the highly fashionable psychedelic colouring of the period.
By 1969 he was producing designs heavily influenced by op-art and, in
1970, launched his first ready-to-wear line, with more boutiques following
in Rome and New York. For over 40 years, known simply as 'Valentino',
he has been one of fashion's most prominent names, designing some of the
world's most elegant evening wear and classic creations.
- Brightly-coloured suede and leather shoes. He also designed for
leading fashion houses including Dior and Cardin.
Calvin Klein - Klein taught himself how to
sew and sketch as a boy, earning a place at New York's High School
of Art and Design and the Fashion Institute of Technology. He finally
launched his own label in 1968, in partnership with childhood friend
Barry Schwartz. Noted for peajackets, turtleneck sweaters and long-line
Karl Lagerfeld - Flamboyant evening wear and
furs. He worked for Patou until 1964, later designing on a freelance
basis for Chloe and Krizia. He also designed shoes for Charles Jourdan
and furs for Fendi from 1967.
and fluid matte jersey womenswear. Regarded by many as 'The Greatest
British Fashion Designer', Jean started at Jaeger from 1956 to 1961
when she left to produce her own range of fashions under the 'Jane
and Jane' label. This became part of the Susan Small organisation,
later to be owned by Courtaulds. She opened her own company in 1966
producing comfortable and elegant women's wear including smocks,
peasant dresses, shawls, draw-string waist dresses and two-piece
For more information, click
here to see the great site dedicated to Jean and her work hosted
by her nephew, Robin Norton.
The Bobby Fuller
Four in mod 'sharkskin'
- Evening and
haute couture shoes, also freelance footwear design for fashion houses.
- American sportswear and traditional designs with
softened lines. Use of ruffles in 60s designs
- Luxurious evening pants and voluminous pyjamas,
chemises, unadorned dresses, trimmed coats and stoles.
- Leather fashion specialist
- Worked with Mary Quant in the early days and started
up her own business in 1963. Mini skirts in cotton and flannel, tunics,
pants and, later, long flowing fashions.
Clive ( Clive Evans )
- Opened his own boutique in 1961, specialising
in haute couture and ready-to-wear daywear.
Sybil Connolly -
Hand woven woollens, tweeds and mohairs. Evening and daywear.
Saint Laurent - Safari and
pea jackets, smocks, pantsuits, see-through designs. He opened his
own fashion house with Pierre Bergé in 1962, having had to leave his
previous position at Dior in 1960 to fight in the Algerian war. He
launched the 'Mondrian' look in 1965 and a collection that was inspired
by pop-art in 1966, establishing his chain of 'Rive Gauche' boutiques
which provided new fashion ideals for the richer youth of the period.
Also in 1966, he introduced 'le smoking', his legendary smoking suit,
which prompted the consequent androgynous revolution. He is now credited
with a range of other innovations including the reefer jacket (1962),
the sheer blouse (1966), and the jumpsuit (1968), as well as ready-to-wear
culture as a whole.
Bis - Opened a boutique in 1962 with
Elie & Jacqueline Jacobson-designed 'adult' versions of young girls
clothes. Knee socks, peaked caps, cut-out dresses, trouser suits and crocheted
sweaters and dresses.
- U.S. West Coast designer specialising in glamorous
Marion Foale and Sally Tuffin
- Formed Tuffin & Foale in 1962, designing for
the young, ready-to-wear market which was bought extensively by London
store Woollands. Best known for lace dresses with cut-outs under the arms.
- Milliner who opened his own business in the mid-60s, designing hats
for Hardy Amies, John Bates and the royal family.
- Jewellery designer who opened a business in Jermyn
Street in 1966
- Ralph Lauren's empire was founded in 1967, after
he opened his first ever tie shop, with no formal design training. Noted
for 'Ivy League' styles and expensive neckwear, including 'kipper' ties.
- Milliner who designed for Dior, Saint-Laurent
and Hartnell, including hats for the royals.
- Milliner who designed for Amies, Creed, Morton
Tommy Hilfiger -
Made his first moves into the fashion industry in 1969, while still in
high school, with $150 and 20 pairs of bell-bottom jeans which he sold
out of his Volkswagen to New York campus kids.
- Creator of unique designs for pop legends such as Jimmy Page and Jimi
Hendrix. Founded the 'Sam Pig In Love' label with
partner Pete Sutch and, in 1967 started making the kaftans with
Nehru collars and half-belts at the back much loved by George Harrison
and Mick Jagger that became a major fashion trend.