SEQUIN FASHION FROM THE 60s AND 70s
EXPERIMENTAL FASHION IN THE 60s
Sequin fashion from the 60s is a shiny sliver of an overall experimental fashion scene that really took off around 1964. Our Top 10 grooviest flight attendant uniforms highlights, even in professional settings, fashion designers were pushing the limits of style by experimenting with alternative materials.
“…As progress in technology introduced the world to synthetics such as plastic and vinyl. Inspired by these as well as the other technological advancements of the age including the space race, innovative fashion designers like Paco Rabanne, André Courrèges and Pierre Cardin started making clothes out of all kinds of materials including plastic, vinyl, metal and even paper!” –Women’s Fashion Transformation: The 60s.
A perfect example of experimental 60s fashion is Paco Rabanne. In 1966, Rabanne made a lasting impact on contemporary fashion with, “12 Experimental and Unwearable Dresses in Contemporary Materials.” Rabanne’s iconic metallic chainmail designs started as an avant-garde collection and ended up as super famous movie costumes for characters like Jane Fonda’s “Barbarella.”
Paco Rabanne’s metal disc designs linked by metal rings closely resembles sequins in the traditional sense. The origination of sequins dates back to the earliest days of fashion. Before mass produced modern materials like sequin fabric made from plastics were readily available, traditional sequins were metal discs sewn on garments as a decorative symbol of status and wealth.
SEQUINS IN SHOW BUSINESS
The 60s celebrated a shift in consciousness. Fashion was a source and reflection of change in popular culture and society at large. During the 60s and 70s, sequin fashion shifted in context as sequins went from a symbol of status to a design feature for creating opulence in media. Technological advancements and increased accessibility to color TV programming set a new stage for sequin fashion during the 60s and 70s. With shows such as “The Ed Sullivan Show” featuring guest performers, there was a ton of public interest in dance and music TV programs where sequin fashion sparkled under stage lights for all to see.
SUPREME SEQUINS IN THE 60s
“The Supremes” sequin fashion bridged the gap between the more classic mood of early 1960s glamour and exciting pops of color. No one did sequin glamour like “The Supremes.” The Supremes’ sequin fashion from the 60s and 70s is a dreamy hallmark style that inspires contemporary artists to this day.
TWIGGY & THE SEQUIN MINI
Here’s a popular video of Twiggy dancing in a sequin mini-dress in 1968. Mini-dresses and mini skirts rose to popularity in the 60s fashion scene starting around 1964 to 1966. Read more about the mini here: Mini skirts FOREVER!
Also, check out our “sequin mini-dress appreciation post” by clicking on the image of Nancy.
It’s worth noting that fashion icons and entertainment superstars like Twiggy and Nancy Sinatra rising to global fame coincided with the origination of modern day paparazzi.
Fun fact: Federico Felleni coined the phrase paparazzi when he named a news photographer movie character Paparazzo in “La Dolce Vita.” Paparazzo was named after Tazio Secchiaroli who is credited with taking the first behind the scenes or real life candid picture of King Farouk with two women who were not his wife in 1958.
SEQUINS IN THE 70s
Bodysuits, two-piece sets, glamourous maxi-dresses, and bell-bottoms, baby! One can’t cover sequin fashion from the 60s and 70s without mentioning legendary designer, Bob Mackie. Mackie was behind many of the most iconic Oscar gowns, show-stopping stage ensembles, and tour costumes for Cher, Tina Turner, Diana Ross, Mitzi Gaynor, and more. Click here to read our “Best of Bob Mackie” post. The slinky, glamorous maxi dress is one of Bob Mackie’s signature designs. In general, sequin fashion from the 70s featured looser, breezy, lengthy silhouettes as both dresses and body/jumpsuits.
We don’t want to cheat the 70s in any way BUT this is getting quite lengthy. We’ll exit stage left with a look at some show-stopping sequin fashion from the 70s. Glam on babes!