Sixties Fashion From Less is More to Youthquake

Jonathan Walford


In the 1960s, fashion changed dramatically. At the end of the 1950s, Yves Saint Laurent was starting to look for new ways to define the female form; by the 1970s, styles, markets, materials, demographics, inspirations, and the very definition of fashion had been utterly transformed.

Richly illustrated with contemporary imagery, including fashion shots, advertising, and magazine features, this is an essential sourcebook. The story begins with the new internationalism that changed the fashion landscape as New York, San Francisco, Florence, London, Madrid, Rome, and Hong Kong challenged the dominance of Paris haute couture.

The younger generation’s demand for informal but stylish clothes led to an explosion of fast-moving, ready-to-wear styles and a new boutique culture. Diana Vreeland’s coinage for this unprecedented shift in fashion was “Youthquake.” The concept of “less is more” had its ultimate expression in the miniskirt: for the first time in history the hemline traveled far above the knee. An era of self-conscious modernity was inspired by a space-age future that embraced new looks and materials, while counterculture styles—Mexican sandals and sarapes, hand-crafted jewelry, Indian robes—emphasized the natural over the artificial.


A definitive book…Walford …traces the changes that come after fashion comes under the sway of the young, from Mary Quant’s miniskirts to Biba’s disposable fashion to the Sergeant Pepper look and paper dresses.

— Women’s Wear Daily

Shows the overall forward-thinking fervor of this era’s fashionistas while paying proper homage to its subcultures and social complexity.

— Passport Magazine

An analysis of how fashion fits and evolves within a specific time and space.

— Columbia Daily Tribune

This stylishly chic book covers the prevalent trends in clothing and accessories during this time …complemented with opulent illustrations.

— Brilliant Magazine

Sixties Fashion traces the history of that most turbulent decade through its clothes…[Walford] connects the dots between the political and social turmoil of the era and the clothes people chose to ear. It was the end of fashion, he suggests, and the beginning of individual style.

— Red Room

From the miniskirt to space-age wear to flower-power looks, this book weaves a definitive history of the fashion-packed decade.

— San Antonio Express-News


Jonathan Walford


Jonathan Walford was the founding curator of the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto and a founder of the Fashion History Museum in Canada. His previous books include Forties Fashion. He lives in Canada.