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Art Education

1960s Fashion

1960s Fashion

During the 1960’s a variety of different trends emerged that broke many of the fashion traditions of the time. The early part of the decade reflected the elegance Americans perceived in First Lady Jackie Kennedy, suits, full skirted evening gowns, close fitting waists, and simple geometric dresses were the designs of the time. While the early part of the decade still reflected the conservative style of the decade before, the later part of the decade would come to mirror the social movements of the time with bright colors, mismatched patterns and psychedelic prints becoming popular.

Visit the pages listed below and study the designs of the early sixties. Select three designs that you will work to illustrate in your sketchbook. Consider the following questions as you study the fashions of this time;

What does the term distinguishing characteristics mean?
What are the some of the distinguishing characteristics of the dress designs from the early 1960s?
What colors were popular during this time?
What is texture, and what textures are evident within the designs?
What patterns are evident within the designs, how would you describe them, how are they applied?
Who where some of the major designers of the early 60′s?
Who and what were some of the influences of the time?

Project Early 1960’s

Directions: Use the images featured here and develop a series of sketches in your sketchbook to create 3 figures wearing original 1960’s designs. Trace or redraw the finished sketches onto large marker paper with darkened the lines. Scan the line drawing prior to coloring it to be able to print it out again if needed.

Color the sketches very lightly and shade darker to show shadow and highlight to create form in the work. Add any textures, patterns and details to your sketches as well.

Label your sketches with any information about the garment from source site. Include swatches of color, sketches of pattern, and texture along the side of your sketches and the notes to highlight those elements of the design. Peruse the featured images on this site as well images from the links provided.

In Review

1. Create 3 sketches of 1960’s Designs on a fashion croquis (figurers). Include hair, facial features, swatches, patterns, textures.

2. Scan the pencil drawing before coloring it in so you can print the line drawing if necessary.

3. Color the printed scan using markers, colored pencils, or a combination of both.

4. Scan all works and Insert the images into your Google Portfolio.


Links to Additional Images


Love_To_KnowGuide to 1960s’ Fashion: From tie-dyes to mini skirts, there were many fads and wardrobe staples that made up 60s fashion. The 60s are known as one of the most fashion conscious times in history.



Fashion Era 1960’s Fashion History Costume History Drawings. This page has a mixture of style elements evident in female clothing between 1962-1966.



Fashion_1960_VintageEverydayVintage Every Day Fashion Advertisements in 1960 from “Seventeen” Magazine




Vintage Everyday Fashion Advertisements in 1960 from “Seventeen” Magazine


Late 1960’s

The second half of the decade was a turbulent time for America, grappling with the fallout of war in Vietnam, the advance of Civil Rights movement, and the rise and tragic demise of several prominent political figures. In the early 1960’s many Americans felt the nation was on the verge of a golden era ushered in by the victory of World War II. By the end of the decade however, Americas youth would drastically change the cultural fabric of the nation, and along with it change the fabric of fashion. To understand fashion design in the late 1960’s and early seventies it’s important to understand the counter culture that was prominent at the time.

Use the links below to answer questions about various social issues surrounding the 1960s. Create a slide in your Google Portfolio that addresses the questions, work to compose complete sentences from the information you gather, exemplar work would feature the research in at least 2 complete paragraphs.


Image_logoWhat are the Major Political and Cultural Issues of the 1960’s? by Nicole Vulcan
An article about the Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam War, youth culture
and other major issues facing the nation at the time.


  1. The author describes the 1960s as an “especially-tumultuous decade”, what evidence or reason does she gives for that perspective?
  2. Who are the marginalized people at the time, why was the decade an “era of breakthroughs for them”?
  3. What where many woman fighting for during this time, what helped motivate them?
  4. What was the reaction of many young people to the war in Viet Nam and the draft? What events occurred?
  5. How did young people in the 60s differ from their parents, why would this effect fashion design?
  6. How did young people change fashion design, how where things different from the decade before?


quant-vidal-sassoonMary Quan was the premier fashion designer of London in the 1960s designing fashions for the youth with her simple shapes and bright colors. Along with the mini skirt, she brought fashions  particularly designed for London’s young people. Op Art in Fashion And Design, and the Fashion Revolution of the 1960s.


  1. According to the article, what contributed to the fashion revolution of the 60s
  2. What was the Mod Look about, what were the hallmarks of the style?
  3. Why did young people like Mary Quant’s designs, why where they so popular?
  4. What are Pop Art and Op Art Patterns?
  5. As Op Art faded from fashion, what kinds of patterns would replace it?














Millie Motts Vintage dress patterns from the 1960’s


















Vintage Everyday Fashion advertisements from the 1960s




The Rusty Zipper Vintage clothing

60’s Fashion Illustrations

Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2013 A collection of 60’s inspired designs.

Ellicson’s Fashion Blog


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