summer of love

are you going to San Francisco? be sure to wear some flowers in your hair

image courtesy of scenicreflections

To round off our psychedelic Friday, we thought we would look into the amazing history of the 60's hippie movement.. 

The Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco is widely regarded as the epicenter of the hippie movement in the 60's. Bohemian beat poets began to move to the North Beach area, around 4 miles away. The remaining groups settled in Haight, due to the cheap cost of living. This meant that hippie-friendly cafes, bars and shops began to open - and the more that opened, the more people flocked to this area. Influential psychedelic bands such as The Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane came straight out of Haight. 

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Haight - photo taken by Kat

The area enjoyed a huge influx of visitors during the Summer of Love in '67 following mass media coverage due to the centralized hippie movement and the wide presence of LSD and cannabis in San Francisco at the time. During that summer, free food, free drugs and free 'love' could be found at Golden Gate Park. When those 100,000-odd 'Flower Children' returned home, they spread the word and the fashion - psychedelia was not over yet.

The psychedelic era spanned the 60's, though many maintain that it was most prevalent around 1967.  It was a time when the youth wanted to rebel against formal society; but not in the aggressive manner of the punks of the 70's. Hippies were hugely against the war in Vietnam and were gentle advocators of peace and free love.

1967 Summer of Love

In 1963, Butch Kardum - an artist from San Francisco - painted the exterior of his Victorian home in vivid blues and greens. Soon, neighbors began painting their homes in the rich, exciting and sometimes wild colors that San Francisco is now famous for. With a group of other artists, Butch went about creating The Painted Ladies - a series of brightly colored homes around San Francisco that are now famous tourist destinations.

Painted Ladies - photo taken by Em

The rebelliously carefree attitude of the 60's also had obvious effects on fashion. Men no longer had to be extremely masculine - they could grow their hair, wear flowers, show off acid pink bell-bottoms and colorful tie-dye shirts. Women also became more rebellious in their dress sense and not only wore overly-casual floor-length skirts; but also mini and micro dresses. It was a decade of self-expression, non-conformation and free-thinking. The flower became a symbol of that notion of peace and love and is now synonymous with the era.

In terms of accessories and jewelry - headbands became popular, due to the need to dress-up the purposeful lack of extreme haircuts. Peace signs worn around the neck were hugely popular, as was music-related jewelry. Ankle bracelets were popular, due to the amount of hippies walking around barefoot in the warm climate of California. 

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It has been said that the 60's is one of those decades that has never quite left the fashion world. The bohemian look was reinterpreted during the 70's, 80's and 90's. The modern indie and hipster scenes borrow elements of hippie fashion; such as headbands, crossbody bags and long, relaxed jewelry. One thing is for certain - it's a time that we'll never tire of.

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