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Exploring The Hippie Outlook And Fashion

Exploring The Hippie Outlook And FashionMost of us are a part of a generation which had succeeded the hippies. Many of our parents still remember the movement of their lives and still feel what rush it was to be a hippie. Each time I see John Travolta on TV I am forced into the scenario of the 1977 film, none other than ‘Saturday Night Fever’, the ultimate hippie starrer.

This movie immortalized the hippies. The hippies have been, I think, most aptly compared to the early romantics like Wordsworth, who had tried to see the world with a different angle and were concerned about the pain of mankind; the same were observed by the hippies too.

What Are Hippies ??

The hippies were the followers of a worldwide youth movement which originated in United States in the early 1960’s and later spread to other parts of the globe. The basic principles which the hippies followed included harmonizing with the nature, artistic experiments in music, community living and the accepted use of recreational drugs. These principles greatly influenced the lives of the hippies. The hippies had a carefree and a non conformist outlook towards life, politics and love.

Hippies did not believe in rule books and true to the essence of their lives, their clothing was also carefree and consisted of various patterns and styles that they adopted throughout the decade. Their sensibilities were greatly dictated by their taste in music especially rock and roll and by the leading hippie pop stars of the decade. Elvis Presley was one such God who was religiously followed by the hippies.

Hippies were not about the right stand, they were not about judgement and rules and societies. Hippies were a different race- one which believed in making the world a better place for each human to live according to his own rules and fancies. Anyone who adhered to these principles can easily be termed as a hippie superficially today.

What Rocked and Rolled with the hippies

The hippie clothing were made of material which was nature friendly and consisted of free flowing and natural fiber. Crepe was heavily used by the hippie designers. With the introduction of internal heating system in houses, the woolen coats of the 1960’s were replaced by sleek velvet ones. Also were popular the velour jackets of wool, padded and quilted duvets and the like.

Exploring The Hippie Outlook And Fashion

The women were seen sporting free flowing, tie-dye wraps and sarongs, many preferred the peasant skirts too. Exotic tropical printed clothing was in fashion. Men were seen to prefer flared pants of denim, cargoes and jackets of bright colors. The hippies were disgusted with the Vietnam War and its consequences; they propagated a turn toward the nature.

The hippies saw the whole world as their home and in their attempts to embrace this big world; they went on to adopt several foreign designs in order to show their solidarity with certain causes that they strongly believed in. The hippies introduced kimonos, caftans, Nehru jackets and muumuus as they were attracted towards the cultures of Asia and Africa especially India. A hippie’s life was incomplete without a visit to India, they were great followers of the lord Krishna, a Hindu god, and greatly practiced his doctrines.

The Platforms Were Worn

The 1970’s fashion was more about miniskirts and the eternal bell-bottoms, and several popular trends which have immortalized this decade on the lines of popular culture. One such trend was the Platform shoes which were at least 2-4inches high and were a success in 1970’s. Theses shoes were worn by both sexes with the under flared jeans and wide legged trousers. The “disco look” of John Travolta with a three piece suit was later replaced by the punk look. Hot pants which were nothing but extremely tight fitting shorts were a craze in 1970’s.

Both sexes sported trousers and pants which were tight and revealing worn along with ankle length shoes called mules. Glitter was another accessory which was in fashion. Women were seen wearing denims decorated using rhinestones, sequined tops and even turbans. They preferred crop tops worn with halter necks or tied above the midriff in knots. Other fashion included eyelets which were laced, ties, bell and angel sleeves, false bibs and so on.

Hippie Outlook And Fashion

Crochet shawls and waistcoats of Spain were popular so were the ponchos and bikinis of macrame from Greece. Oranges and greens were a preference of many Hippie men. Victorian designs influenced the trends followed in Gypsy blouses and shirts. Along with the platforms the popularity of the clogs also grew. They were generally used for the comfort they provided and the chunky soles. Military styles were also favorable with the hippies. Scarves and gloves and shirts printed with various slogans and mantras were worn by the hippies.

Hippies As They Were

The hippies were not just some group- they were a mood in the history of the world where a group of people refused to be bogged down by the prevailing social, political and economical trends and thinking of the earlier generations and sought to create their own paradise. Their use of recreational drugs, vibrant colors and flamboyant lifestyles were a constant source of speculation.

The hippies as a movement might have faded away and its followers many of whom ended in rehab centers might have died away but what they left back was a youthful energy. The will of the youth to be different and to embrace all did not die with them. Their jest and outlook of life still prevails in many and has been handed down to future generations.

Even today when the world thinks that its fashion and trends are moving and advancing, one look at the hippies can easily pinpoint the origin of today’s skin fit denims and the slight bell bottoms that were in vogue a few years back. The hippies have not actually left the scene. Their sensibilities and thinking are still changing and evolving the outlook of many generations. After all, hippies were all about being different and feeling the difference.

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