The Summer Of Love
Over 50 years ago, music, flowers and peace harmoniously combined to ignite a cultural revolution, the impact of which we can still feel today. Throughout the early 60s, a new generation was developing across the United States and as the decade continued, the hippie culture gained significant traction. At the nucleus of this youth-driven movement was the Haight-Ashbury district in San Francisco and due to growing media coverage, it radiated outwards and the Summer of Love began.
The emerging hippie culture centred around collective living, environmental consciousness, civil rights, anti-conservative politics and several other political agendas, with an alternative youth experimenting with drugs and seeking to break traditional values for carnal endeavours. Essentially the movement rejected many aspects of the long-established traditions and values which dominated the 60s, and broke free from what many of them saw as a conformist and materialistic society.
The music scene also evolved radically as this hippie “counterculture” flourished. Rock subgenres, such as psychedelic rock and The British Invasion, grew abundantly, inspired by artists such as Pink Floyd, The Beatles and The Who. As a consequence, the music gained international attention and recognition, advancing and diffusing the hippie culture worldwide.
The era of flower power was also subjected to a whole new creative domain. As technicolor emerged, design and fashion followed suit. Bright colours became more common and principally drew their inspirations from festival scenes. Due to the environmental agenda of the movement, natural and earthen colours also wove their way into designs throughout this period; we have featured reds, soft purples, light blues and dark browns in our SS19 collection, taking inspiration from the telluric palette of the 1960s.
In the textile industry, linen was in high abundance during this period. Technically, linen is a fabric made out of vegetables, echoing the environmental awareness that resonated throughout this movement. It also worked as a good material against the Californian sun, due to its lightweight properties and loose fit. It was therefore nothing short of essential for Les Deux to adopt the material for our SS19 collection, introducing our very own linen look, inspired by the era.
Artwork and Design also underwent significant changes during this memorable moment. Psychedelic music inspired a design of garments in a particular way, with its explosive vibrance stamped onto the patterns and colours of finished pieces; clothes were dyed in multiple colours to create abnormal shapes and prints that reflected social rebellion. Protest signs also heavily featured in artwork, due to the growing numbers of protests than rose against the values of the traditional establishment. It is the charming originality of hand drawn art which has encouraged us to create designs of our own, inspired by this individual creativity. Checkered apparel also seized its moment, gaining the support of the hippies as well as common folk. We know that checkered designs are a signature trend, surfacing across multiple seasons, and have therefore created our own Les Deux-enhanced check to recognise its 60s beginnings.