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1 comment:

  1. Re: Fashion 1969

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane. I, too, adore fashion history and am looking forward to exploring your blog. Although Canadian-born (1950), in 1969 I was living and working in NYC.

    I loved the fashions of the 'sixties. As a young woman, I felt liberated by fashion, able to move quickly in my short skirts and low heels, wearing pantyhose instead of garters, or fishnet tights that didn't run as easily as nylons. Women were newly unencumbered by girdles, crinolines, stiletto heels, and Betty Friedan. New hand-held blow dryers freed us from hair curlers, and tiny pots of lip gloss (Yardley was popular) from our mothers' makeup. The music we listened to set the standard for decades to come; my children listen to it forty+ years later.

    What we didn't see, despite the assassinations within the decade of JFK, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and RFK, was the looming rise of conservatism. The 'sixties gave us so much reason for hope: the Civil Rights Movement and integration, Women's Lib (in the early ‘sixties, Gloria Steinam wrote frequently for Glamour), the booming economy, nearly full employment, and rising wages. Birth control was finally legal, and the Pill was newly available to all women, even the (gasp!) unmarried. Women were entering university and getting jobs at an unprecedented rate. We believed fashion reflected our new freedoms and that a "brave new world" of equality and prosperity was dawning for all, not just the favoured (white, male) few.

    Forty years later, I feel a great sadness for our lost optimism. The U.S. is more polarized than ever. We seem to have spent the past fifteen years undoing the gains of the first seven decades of the XXth c. regarding labour standards, racial prejudice, and income equality. While it’s happening faster in U.S. than here in Canada, a reactionary conservatism is slowly trying to send us back to a mythic 'fifties world of "Leave it to Beaver," "Father Knows Best," and "Ozzie and Harriet."

    Despite many gains, women still don't "have it all." Too many couples are trying to raise children while exhausted from ten-hour work days, increasing job responsibilities, lower pay, longer commutes, doing more with less, etc., etc., all the dehumanizing stressors that make up modern life. We are no longer considered citizens; we're merely consumers and producers, despised if we aren’t becoming ever more productive and economically valuable to our employers and the government. There are no statsemen. Politicians are expected to lie; no one is even surprised when they do. Trust is for the gullible; ideals are old-fashioned, but ideology trumps common sense. Heroes have vanished, replaced by ephemeral celebrities, the rich, and those "famous for being famous." Children exist in a vacuum of two or three generations, ignorant of history (no longer required in school), floating in an intrusive sea of electronic games and gadgets that favours virtual reality over real life.

    Sorry, I didn't intend to write a novel, but seeing those magazines reminded me of how much optimism and trust have disappeared from everyday life, and of how much I miss them.



I'd love to know what your thoughts are! I will do my best to visit your blog.
I speak english, french, and a little spanish.

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