Do you remember our previous article about the Tie-Dye trend?

This coloring techniques has a long story, as we said before, but the influence in the fashion trend start with the Hippy movement.

Take a look and discover who were the firsts to use this colorful style.


Hippy / Hipster

The Hippy culture was a youth movement, beginning in the U.S.A. in the 60’s and it has spread around the world. The word “Hippy” derives from hipster and was initially used to describe beatniks who had moved into the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco. They had inherited the sub cultural values ​​of the Beat Generation, creating a counterculture with their communities who listened to psychedelic rock, embraced the sexual revolution and they used drugs. The flower children are the members of the hippy movement characterized by lively clothes, decorated with flowers. They sought freedom. This movement touched particularly public opinion, it impressed the films of many directors and the music of many artists.

Janis Joplin in the Performer's Area at Woodstock

The Summer of Love

In 1967, the Human Be-In, a youth rally held in San Francisco popularized hippie culture, opening the way for the legendary Summer of Love in the summer of 1967, on the west coast of the United States, and the Woodstock Festival in ‘summer of 1969, on the east coast. The revolution expanded like wildfire around the globe. The hippy fashion and values had a significant impact on culture, music, television, film, literature and art in general. Since the 60’s, many aspects of hippy culture have become common. From 1965 hippies became a well-defined social group and the movement spread to other countries, before declining in the second half of 70’s.

Hendrix, Jimi

Bohemian and Beatniks

Originally, the hippy movement was composed for the most part by white teenagers and young adults, aged between 15 and 25 years, who had inherited a tradition of dissent from the early Bohemian and beatniks. Hippies rejected the institutions, criticized middle class values​​, opposed nuclear weapons and the Vietnam War, embraced aspects of Eastern philosophy, promoted sexual liberation, were often vegetarian and environmentalists, promoted the use of psychedelic drugs to expand their consciousness, and created intentional communities and municipalities. They used alternative arts, street theater, and folk music as part of their lifestyle and as a way to express their feelings. Hippies opposed political and social orthodoxy, choosing a gentle and non-doctrinaire ideology that favored peace, love, brotherhood and personal freedom.


The hippy movement

After 1965, the hippy ethic has influenced the Beatles and other musical groups in the UK and Europe, and they influenced their American counterparts. Around 1968, hippies had become a significant minority. The hippy culture has spread worldwide through a fusion of rock music, especially in the variant psychedelic, folk and blues version. It is also reflected in literature, dramatic arts, fashion and visual arts. The hippy movement expanded in  the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Mexico, Brazil and many other countries.


Yoga and Organic Food

The hippies were influenced by the thought of Jesus Christ, Hillel the Elder, Buddha, Francis of Assisi, Henry David Thoreau and Gandhi. They rejected the urbanization and dreamed a return to nature. These beliefs were introduced in the United States by the Germans. The composer Eden Ahbez wrote a song called Nature Boy inspired by Robert Bootzin (Gypsy Boots), who helped to spread in the United States yoga, organic food and healthy.


Hippy Style

Stylistic preferences were colored clothes and psychedelic patterns, long-hair, bandanas and blue pants flared. San Francisco were very important for the Hippies. Some of the earliest San Francisco hippies were former students at San Francisco State College who were intrigued by the nascent psychedelic hippie music scene. Young Americans around the country began moving to San Francisco, and by June 1966, around 15,000 hippies had already settled there. They dreamed to achieve the goal of creating a “free city”, with spontaneous street theater, anarchistic and artistic action.


Hippies in Music

In January of 1967, the huge outdoor rally in San Francisco popularized hippie culture across the United States, attracting 20,000 people to Golden Gate Park. In March, Lou Reed, Edie Sedgwick and 10,000 hippies gathered in Manhattan for the Central Park Be-In on Easter Sunday. The Monterey Pop Festival, from June 16 to June 18, the popular rock music of the counterculture, started the “Summer of Love”. Scott McKenzie’s version of the song by John Phillips of the Mamas & the Papas San Francisco, became a huge success in the United States and Europe. Thousands of young people around the world travel to San Francisco, sometimes wearing flowers, earning the name of the flower children. Groups such as the Grateful Dead, Big Brother and the Holding Company with Janis Joplin and Jefferson Airplane continued to live in the Haight, but by the end of summer, the incessant media coverage led the Diggers to declare the “death” of the hippie with a ceremony-show. According to the poet follower Stormi Chambless, the hippies buried an effigy of a hippie in Golden Gate Park to demonstrate the end of his reign.


San Francisco and Woodstock

It is estimated that about 100,000 people will be brought to the San Francisco in the summer of 1967. The media followed them, turning the spotlight on the Haight-Ashbury district and popularizing the hippie costumes. With this increased attention, hippies found support for their ideals of love and peace but were also criticized for their anti-labor and pro-drug, and for their ethics. In August of 1969, at Bethel (New York), took place the Woodstock Music and Art Festival, which for many remains the best example of hippie counterculture. Over 500,000 people went there to listen to the musicians and the bands, including Richie Havens, Joan Baez, Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Carlos Santana, The Who, Jefferson Airplane, and Jimi Hendrix. Since 1972, the spirit that gave rise to the hippie culture seemed to be at sunset.

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Many of the hippy costumes in the early seventies had become widespread. Hippy culture has never disappeared completely: hippies and neo-hippies can still be found in college campuses, in municipalities and musical gatherings. Many embrace the values ​​of peace, love and community, and hippies may still be traced in the bohemian enclave in the world.


Independence and society

The hippies tried to break free from the restrictions of society, choosing their own way and finding a new sense of life. An expression of independence from social norms achieved by the hippies was their unusual way of dressing and self-governing. As well as the Beat movement that preceded it and the punk who came soon after, hippie symbols and iconography showed a low social status, in line with the ideals of poverty and simplicity, with a clothing reflecting a lifestyle messy and often tramp . As in the case of other movements of middle-class white teenagers, deviant behavior of the hippies involved a challenge to the most important gender differences of their time: both males and women wore jeans and long hair, and they both wore sandals or went barefoot. Males often wore beards, while women limited to the minimum or did not use makeup, and many did not wear a bra. Hippies often chose clothes with bright colors and unusual cut, like flared pants, vests, Tie-Dyed clothing, dashiki  or women’s shirts, were also very popular cut clothing and motifs inspired by the patterns of Native Americans, Africans and Latin Americans. Most of these garments was self-produced to counter the culture of the companies, and hippies often purchased their clothes at flea markets. The favorite accessories, for both men and women, consisted of objects of Indian culture, hats, bandanas and long grain necklaces. The houses, vehicles and other objects belonging to the hippies were often decorated with psychedelic patterns.


Hippie travel culture

The journey has been one of the characteristic elements of the hippy culture. Traveling became a way of extending the concept of friendship. School buses similar to Ken Kesey’s Furthur, or the iconic VW, became popular because groups of friends could travel there cheaply. The VW Bus became known as a symbol of the hippy counterculture, and many of these buses were repainted with psychedelic graphics and costumed. The peace symbol often replaced the Volkswagen brand. Many hippies favored hitchhiking, understood as the main mode of transport, because economic, ecological, and a safe way to meet new people. Hippies tended to travel light and always ready to go for something to happen anywhere at any time. The hippies were ready to move in a moment. A hippy was always happy to put a few clothes in a backpack, pull out his thumb and go hitchhiking everywhere. The hippy houses welcomed nightlife guests suddenly. People generally cooperated to meet each other’s needs. This pattern of life is still common in the Rainbow Family groups, new age traveler and house trucker New Zealanders. The large number of young people of the time secured very favorable opportunity to travel to special events. The climax came at the Woodstock Festival.



The most memorable travel experience hippy usually did was the overland journey to India. Bringing with little or no luggage, and with very little money in his pocket, almost all of them followed the same road, traveling across Europe by hitchhiking to Athens or Istanbul, continuing by train through central Turkey to Erzurum, continuing by bus into Iran through Tabriz and Tehran to Mashad, then surpassing the Afghanistan border in Herat, continuing through Kandahar in southern Afghanistan to arrive in Kabul, crossing the Khyber Pass to arrive in Pakistan, and finally touching Rawalpindi and Lahore to the Indian border. Once in India, hippies went to various places, but then gathered in large numbers on the beaches of Goa, or crossed the border with Nepal and spent months in Kathmandu.


Sexual matters

With the hippies unmarried couples feel free to travel and live together without disapproval by society. The issues regarding sexual matters has become the norm, and the rights of homosexuals, hermaphrodites and transsexuals have expanded. The religious and cultural diversity has gained more acceptance. Co-operative business enterprises and creative community with group life are widely accepted. The interest of natural food, herbal remedies and vitamins are very large and hippy healthy food is popular.


Hippies in the 60s

During the sixties, mustaches, beards and long hair became common and the multi-ethnic clothing dominated the world. Since then, a large number of choices regarding personal appearance and style of dress became acceptable to everybody. The hippies inspired many other changes, including  the fall of the tie that was used daily during the fifties and early sixties. They inspired changes in the literature, television. In fact there have been a lot of movies about the hippy community, such as Woodstock, Easy Rider, Hair, The Doors and Crumb. They want to be in harmony with nature and no longer wanted to disrupting the environment. The ethnic clothing dominates throughout and the hippies are the first to take the jackets Afghan lamb overturned, garments suede fringes, the caftans, bandanas and beaded necklaces. The sixties were a period of great revolution of customs in the Western world.


Hippies in the 70s

In the 70’s the fashion is in the streets. The hippie look is beyond the official fashion and becomes a true symbol of freedom: the hair became longer and more often a tangle of curls uncultivated, for clothing and the password is only one: COLOR!
Bright colors and in opposition to one another, striking geometric designs, giant flowers or small children. In addition to flowers recurring motif is a kind of psychedelic design that resembles a drop of water and its related strains, and these abstract designs come from fashion, much in vogue at this time, to make use of hallucinogenic substances.


Hippies in the 80s

In the 80s the philosophy resurfaces and gives life to the current New Age, which becomes a fashion trend in the following decade, posing as an interpretation purged from the political intentions. Charismatic characters such as Mick Jagger and Brian Jones, the legendary Rolling Stones guitarist, was considered the most elegant man in the rock world, he wore flaunt jabot, tights, Musketeer boots, upholstery and underwear fabrics , together with necklaces, earrings and a trick more and more blatant. Rejecting the establishment of the fashion industry, the hippies at the end of the sixties became the true trendsetter imposing its own standards.

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By: Teresa Vitartali