On 15 April, 1966, Time Magazine dubbed London “The Swinging City.” The sixties was an intoxicating, experimental era: chaotic with youthful exuberance, individuality and rapidly rising hemlines. Carnaby Street and The King’s Road in Chelsea defined the time in terms of fashion, with Mary Quant’s boutique, Bazaar opening in 1955, Biba in 1964 and Granny Takes a Trip in 1966. Each embraced the free-spirited, fast-paced and adventurous attitude of the time. Teenage girls spent their weekly wages reinventing themselves – choosing Mary Quant's flared sleeveless shifts in bold colours, saucy pinafores with braces, brightly coloured macs in PVC, trouser suits and mini-skirted gymslips. Whereas fashion had been previously aimed at a wealthy elite, the youth were now being catered for. Saturdays were spent parading down Carnaby Street in the latest styles, examining each other for inspiration – it was essential to have a new outfit weekly. Granny Takes A Trip, by far the most luxurious and radical of the boutiques, was set up by Nigel Waymouth, his girlfriend Sheila Cohen (whose vast collection of vintage made up much of the store) and John Pearse, an ex-mod and Savile Row-trained tailor, and christened “the first psychedelic boutique in Groovy London of the 1960s”. It sold vintage clothes with an emphasis on fine tailoring and a flamboyant and decadent edge. The shop’s changing façade cemented its progressive attitude – in 1966, it featured giant portraits of Native American chiefs Low Dog and Kicking Bear, 1967 saw Hollywood star Jean Harlow's face blown up in giant pop art alongside the quote “she wears fur coats and hats, and old-fashioned jewels.” Customers included The Rolling Stones, who wore clothes from clothes from the store on the cover of their 1967 album Between The Buttons, and The Beatles, who wore Granny Takes a Trip shirts in the photo on the inner sleeve of 'Revolver'.
Embrace the revolutionary spirit of the period and immerse yourself in the frivolous and unapologetic fashions of the decade. Sixties socialite and singer Mairanne Faithfull wore bug-eyed spectacles, over-sized faux fur coats over mini-skirts, and knee-high go-go boots, while Andy Warhol' s muse, Edie Sedgwick preferred large ornate chandelier earrings, mini mod dresses and sheer black tights. Infuse sixties references into your everyday look – short flirty hemlines, skinny ribbed sweaters, knee-high socks or tights in loud colours, geometric or floral patterns and excessive eye liner. If Mary Quant and George Harrison can, so can we.
Photography: Christina Higgins
Vintage print shirt, Om Diva, maroon polo neck, Massimo Dutti, mustard yellow neoprene mini-skirt, H & M, black patterned socks, & Other Stories, white patent tassled brogues, Topshop, silver clutch, Zara.
Red polo neck, Marks & Spencer, cream wool a-line mini-skirt, Zara, pink and maroon sheer socks, & Other Stories, vintage 1960s Mary Janes, Harlequin, copper geometric necklace, Cos, vintage bag.