Politics has always had an impact on fashion throughout the ages – from ancient times where class empowerment was of import to modern times where regulation has played an important role. Take for example how Michelle Obama’s position and authority has swayed the achievements of different designers on a global level. The political environment of the 1960’s has possibly had the greatest effect on fashion that can still be clearly identified in modern trends in a variety of different ways from those that were created from inner reflection to a culture that is defined by clothing inspired by the youth from that era.
According to http://dressific.com, The precedent of politics affecting fashion in the 60’s may first be attribute to Jacqueline Kennedy, the then wife of President John F Kennedy who was assassinated in 1963. Perhaps the most famous impact that she had on fashion at the time was the introduction of the pillbox hat that engendered a sense of freedom in women moving away from traditional headgear as well as sunglasses that were not widely worn at the time. Richard Nixon, who was sworn in as President after the assassination also had his influence, popularizing Parisian trends such as those of Oleg Cassini and artistic textiles from American industry.
The Civil Rights movement also played a crucial role in advancing an African-American distinction during the 60’s. The most identifiable trends that the movement brought to fashion at the time was the now popular Kente cloth as well as the Dashiki shirt according to the Greenwood Encyclopedia. Hairstyles were also influenced with the popularity of cornrow braids rising. In contradiction to these black empowerment movements, the Muslim society influenced fashion to promote the morals and ethics of both dignity and division in the form that dresses, suits and bow ties took.
Hip style (better known as Hippie fashion) as well as the impact of a more demonstrative gay society both influenced fashion on a large scale with a point on acceptance and freedom of fashion in the 1960’s. This created a culture with many subcultures where the fashion statement went against what was generally acceptable in societal uniformity and conformity which could at the time have been classified as a war on what was acceptable street wear. While individuality was the mainstay of this fashion revolution, it also created a counterculture of conformity which can be mainly epitomized by the growing popularity of the T-shirt and the denim jean. This trend has since become a cliche and a mainstay in modern day fashion although there have been many different evolutionary directions taken – for example, the combination is both popluar in hip-hop culture and functional in military wear.
The main fashion revolution that spun off from the political environment of 60’s is that clothing became a means of expression, particularly where it is related to freedom of speech. Perhaps the huge uprising against the Vietnam War at the time had the greatest effect in this respect using fashion symbols as a means to disagree with government actions. Black clothing and armbands became a means of expression for students who were forced to fight in the War.