Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Hippie Chick Lives On

Where the Punk Show at the Met seems to have gotten it wrong (having us believe the couture they showed was Punk as worn by the People), the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston has a chance to get it right.

The upcoming show "Hippie Chic" (July 16 - November 11, 2013) begins where the Hippie look landed— on the backs of the well-heeled (and soled) who could afford the real deal: caftans from Morocco, embroidered kurtas from India and silk from the Silk Road. Names that come to mind are Yves St. Laurent, Giorgio di SantAngelo, Thea Porter, Talitha Getty, and Verushka in "Vogue".

Oh, Giorgio!

This is not the Hippie of my younger days as I fell somewhere in the middle. We decided against driving up to Woodstock that rainy weekend because we didn't want to get the new Corvette all muddy. Can you imagine?

Love, peace... and mud at Woodstock

Though the fabric of their lives was definitely cotton— that great gauzy stuff from India— the first hippies were having fun with fast fashion and vaguely invoking something spiritual, foreign, creative, comfortable, cheap and rebellious. If you chose to dress that way you were, in fact, showing your colors. We others adapted. I had a couple of long skirts and strands of hippie beads. That look was strictly for weekends. I still wore gloves to work.

The Founding Fathers?

Perhaps the Beatles were the first to take the look and run with it. Who didn't love the Beatles? They had managed to charm young and old. When they began to dress Sergeant Pepper-style it may have become acceptable to more people. I know my staid brother-in-law grew a moustache and sideburns and may have had a Nehru jacket.

Hippie Chic is not going away. The phrase alone evokes thoughts of disposable income and unlimited leisure time— jet planes, exotic islands, eternal youth. That could be why I've never quite gotten up the courage to dispense with my long paisley, crinkle cotton, drawstring waist hippie skirts. After all, they don't take up much room.

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