ARS: Research Proposal

For my ongoing research I would ultimately like to gain greater understanding of both the social climate of the time and how this was related to changes in dress and fashion in the late part of the decade. Specifically I feel I would like to examine the ways in which social changes of the time and a climate of change and instability was reflected in grassroots dress. Dress could be cited as a symptom of many different protest movements of the late sixties from the black power movement to the student movement, the beginnings of the women’s lib movement or anti-war motion young women were becoming more active and vocal and this was reflected in a different youthful and often playful quality reflected in garments. This could be seen in terms of use of color and in silhouette. Garments of the time often featured brighter more saturated hues that were far  less demure than the often muted or classic tones of the 50’s. Additionally,many garments featured shorter hems with the advent of the mini skirts and flat boots and shoes like those which are featured in the work of Mary Quant or Andres Courreges. There was a new value placed on youth and exuberance that seemed to mirror the social changed that were occurring. To be in style one must be apt for change and with the times. I would therefore like to further investigate that relationship and perhaps examine direct correlations between iconic garments and this societal and historical era. Also, I hope to learn more about development of colors that were used during the tie and how these very distinct palates were chosen or brought about. This era has been referenced within many other decades and seems to return time and time again, I feel now that we continue to face many of the same societal issues that began to be challenged nearly 60 years later. Therefore I feel that perhaps my interest in the late 60s has come both from my upbringing and from current events or ongoing issues that have been plaguing our country since I was young and first hearing and becoming conscious of world events. This marks a severe relevance of past events because I think that perhaps this kind of reaction in fashion is necessary in this era as well. Though it does not have to appear identically as that of the late 60’s it must vnsteadmimic the sense of modernity that these elements stood for. I will seek to examine how and why the social relevance of the 60’s has affected grassroots dress as well as high fashion and the important correlation between developments of fashion during the era and their relation to the societal unrest of the time.

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