In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida at the Museum of Fine Arts

Last weekend a friend and I saw a fashion exhibit called "Hippie Chic" at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts. I regret not being able to see and report on it earlier during its exhibition time--November 11 was the last day it ran, and I know Go Retro's readers would have dug it. For that, I can only apologize and try to make up for it with my photos and commentary.

Hippie Chic was a collection of 54 ensembles all made during the 1960s and 1970s, ranging from classy old Hollywood-inspired pieces to psychedelic "Summer of Love" outfits and everything in between. Upon entering the exhibit we were immediately transported back in time, helped along by a jukebox loaded with hits from the era, shag rugs, and rotating platforms. Honestly, I could really feel the energy that the 60s evoked the second I entered the room. There were designs by Geoffrey Beane, Ossie Clark, Peter Max, Beverly Johnson, and Yves Saint Laurent. The first outfit we noticed was the very colorful and psychedelic dress above (the press release for the installation calls it a jacket, but it sure looks like a dress to me.) It was designed by Barry and Yosha Finch of the design collaborative "The Fool", who were responsible for much of the clothing that The Beatles sold in their short-lived Apple Boutique in the late 60s. It was by far my favorite outfit in the exhibit and I wish I could have it!

Here's a sampling of what was included in this very fascinating installation...

This long, gorgeous leather vest featuring hand painted detail was made in Guadalajara, Mexico. I was amazed at its condition--it was clean as a whistle and the painted design looked like it had just dried yesterday. I was also enamored with the color paneled leather jacket in the background, as well as the star spangled go-go boots.

A smattering of eye popping, textured hippie maxi dresses, featuring crochet, knitted, beadwork, tapestry, and fur details. 

A gorgeous beaded ruby and gold colored caftan--I wish I had noted who the designer was. 

"It's my bag, baby!" The guys were not ignored in this exhibit. These two suits would definitely be right at home in Austin Powers' closet. 

Before reading the accompanying description, I knew that this umbrella and long skirt was trademark Peter Max. The dress with the fuschia butterflies was sold at the infamous Kings Road boutique Granny Takes a Trip. 

Arnold Scaasi designed this silk dress with gold brocade, which was worn by Barbara Streisand for an awards ceremony in 1970. In the background is a man's caftan. 

For a while in the late 60s, fashion was inspired by the Hollywood styles of the 1930s and 1940s. I loved the graphic black and white dress.

 And this graphic yellow jacket. 

A wonderful dress and hat for a summer day.  

I could have used everything here for a Julie Newmar-inspired Catwoman Halloween costume. The metal chastity belt is by German designer Carl Schimel. 

Beautiful summery colors and pattern.

More eye popping maxi dresses and a pantsuit.  

Hippie Chic was quite the "trip." Hopefully something like this will be coming to a museum near you soon!

1 comment:

  1. Fabulous collection, especially the retro influenced geometric stuff.A period of tremendous adventure in design, and much of it ordered rather than a smash up of paisley.


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