Film, Fashion, and the 1960s

Film, Fashion, and the 1960s

Film, Fashion, and the 1960s

Film, Fashion, and the 1960s


A fascinating look at one of the most experimental, volatile, and influential decades, Film, Fashion, and the 1960s, examines the numerous ways in which film and fashion intersected and affected identity expression during the era. From A Hard Day's Night to Breakfast at Tiffany's, from the works of Ingmar Bergman to Blake Edwards, the groundbreaking cinema of the 1960s often used fashion as the ultimate expression for urbanity, youth, and political (un)awareness. Crumbling hierarchies brought together previously separate cultural domains, and these blurred boundaries could be seen in unisex fashions and roles played out on the silver screen. As this volume amply demonstrates, fashion in films from Italy, France, England, Sweden, India, and the United States helped portray the rapidly changing faces of this cultural avant-gardism. This blending of fashion and film ultimately created a new aesthetic that continues to influence the fashion and media of today.


Eugenia Paulicelli and Louise Wallenberg

Thomas, the photographer in Michelangelo Antonioni’s film Blow-up, played by David Hemmings, epitomizes the spirit of the 1960s. He wears narrow white jeans and a tight shirt as he wanders restlessly through London parks or streets documenting the lives of homeless people, while also working on a fashion shoot in his studio with the glamorous real-life model Veruschka. By blurring the boundaries of photographic genres with other arts and ways of seeing, as well as engaging with the way fashion and youth culture revolutionized social, personal, and political hierarchies, Blow-up remains the film of the period of transformations in society, culture, and media that was the 1960s. Indeed, it was in the 1960s that, against the background of political unrest and protest, the youth became a new protagonist of social change.

The decade of the 1960s was marked by the culmination of the Marshall Plan, also known as the European Recovery Program, a program that provided aid to a continent wreaked by the havoc of World War ii. This plan for economic aid, proposed by the us Secretary of State, General George C. Marshall, contributed massively to the reconstruction of Europe’s economies and brought with it a more general Americanization and hybridization of European societies. Against such a background of political change and unrest, this volume seeks to explore some of the important cultural phenomena that impacted film, music, fashion, and other manifestations of culture in the 1960s, especially the shift in boundaries between popular and high cultures. the blurring of boundaries was apparent not only in a number of institutions, including the family, schools, the workplace, but also in gender relations. This cultural shift was also borne out through the emergence of industries that catered to the new tastes of the era, such as readyto-wear clothing and street styles. These changes in fashion were often linked to the youth rebellions, protest movements, and pop music of the 1960s and are now considered iconic markers of the period.

At the core of this volume is the question of how and why the year 1960 was so foundational for Western and Eastern aesthetics, politics, and culture. the groundbreaking films of the decade—such as La Dolce Vita, À bout de souffle, L’Avventura, Persona, Cléo de 5 à 7, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and Psycho— brought with them a revolution in cinematic language and representation that . . .

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