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The swinging 60s is an era few of us here at university have actually lived through. Yet as removed from it as we might feel our style is still to this day influenced by the style icons of that era. From Audrey Hepburn to Brigitte Bardot, the Kennedys to James Dean, their ‘look’ reappears year after year on our runways, filtering right down to the high street and eventually our wardrobes.
Below I’ve picked out several icons whose ‘look’ you’ve probably channelled at some point in your life, whether you realise it or not!
Audrey Hepburn is always remembered for her classic, timeless style, most notable in ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ which not only shot her to fame but also established the little black dress as a staple, go-to piece in every girls wardrobe. It isn’t just her effortless, feminine style that continues to influence but also her short, pixie cut too which is imitated and admired to this day. If you need to know how to dress like a lady, Hepburn is your girl!
On the other side of the spectrum is Brigitte Bardot who was known as the sex-bomb of the 60s and credited with boosting the popularity of the bikini, a summer essential! Her sultry appearance amassed her swarms of admirers all attempting to recreate the bombshell’s beehive, a hairstyle that became her signature look decades before Amy Winehouse ever came along.
The ‘face’ of 60s London, Twiggy is arguably the era’s most recognised icon of the era with her androgynous hair, ‘twig’ like figure, huge eyes and long eyelashes she epitomised youth and fun. A muse of Mary Quant’s, Twiggy bought patterned tights and miniskirts to the masses. So thank Twiggy, each time you apply a pair of falsies or slip on a skirt for a night out.
Before David Beckham, there was George Best, Manchester United’s 1960 football sensation. Like Beckham, he went through some phases, from channelling his inner Mod with crisp lines and suits to big collars and lapels in the 70s. If he taught people anything it was that women love a torso hugging vest.
James Dean was a Hollywood actor but also an everyman. Whilst others dressed up, Dean dressed down in jeans, fitted white tees and leather jackets. In fact the popularity of denim can be credited to him as he rejected tailored trousers and opted for jeans instead in an act of rebellion. His style was simple but cool, effortless, affordable and oozing masculinity. An image, celebrities such as James Franco, still try to emulate today.
It might seem a surprise to see the Kennedys name under the title ‘style icons’ but you would be surprised how many trends they set back in the day. Jackie-O is perhaps the most famous First Lady to have graced the White House and yet despite a spotlight following her each and every day she never once failed to bring a little elegance to the scene. Remembered for her impeccable style and grooming, boosting the sales of suits and pillbox hats, she was the epitome of class.
The ultimate power couple, Jackie-O was always accompanied by husband John Kennedy whose style was equally as classic and conservative. With a fondness for tweed jackets and Oxford shirts Kennedy always looked the part with a simplicity that is often imitated by designers looking to create that pedigree look.