Italian fashion from the *60s to the 90s

Italian fashion
from the ‘60s to
the 90s
The 60s
In the '60s lots of things changed in Italy: these are the
years of social protest and a new industrial revival. Clothes
started to become important as a manifestation of their time.
New models were created to dress women elegantly and
cheaply all over the world. This brought to the affirmation of
the international "made in Italy", with the triumphant prêt-àporter (presized clothing ready to wear) of the seventies and
eighties and the designation of Milan as the pole of attraction
for the fashion world.
The legendary sixties are still a reference for contemporary
fashion: the 60s were marked by the miniskirt, the Beatles,
high boots just above the knee, blue jeans.
The ‘60s were famous especially for the miniskirt.
Its appearance in 1965 responded to the growing needs for
adolescents and young people to express themselves freely, and it
caused a sensation: legs had never been so exposed! The mini was
immediately considered indecent and many people expressed their
indignation but lots of women continued to wear it.
Mini skirts and bare waists soon paved the way to transparency,
which was helped by the use of new materials like plastic and
synthetic fibers.
In the 60s the boundaries between art and fashion became
Artists like Christo, of Bulgarian origin, and the American Mimi
Smith created clothes as if they were works of art.
The op art (or optical art) became an important fashion trend both
on canvas and on fabric: the clever use of shapes such as circles,
squares and spirals gave the illusion of movement.
HAIR STYLE in the 60s
In the '60s the volume of backcombing undoubtedly reached its
climax, often supported by huge quantities of hair spray.
The ‘70s
Born from the innovative ideas that spread in the late sixties,
fashion in the seventies took the form of a real movement. The
Hippies wore loose shirts and long transparent tunics, flared
trousers, bright colours, gaudy flowers, jewellery of all types and
exotic garments. Hair became more and more a tangle of unkempt
curls. This new ragged look, clearly beyond the official fashion,
became a real symbol of freedom.
In these years also the feminist movement was identified with long
skirts, clogs and clothes bought for very little money at flea
Elio Fiorucci was the first in Italy to understand and take
advantage of this fashion made of rags. In a few years in Milan he
created a large store-bazaar, where you could find everything from
badly finished clothes to dangerous and wedge-heeled shoes,
sweatshirts, jeans and very colorful gadgets. He was responsible of
the introduction of stretch fabric in fashion, which allowed him to
invent tight-fitting clothing suitable for the disco-dance.
Among the innovations, just at the very beginning of the 70s, there
were the Hot Pants, a kind of shorts much shorter than skirts that
left the legs entirely uncovered.
HAIR STYLE in the 70s
As far as hair style is concerned, people continued to backcomb
their hair although they opted for more natural curls. Often,
flowers, ribbons and small bands were used to look prettier. Men
had short or long hair according to their political ideas.
It’s important to remember that middle-aged and old people rarely
changed their style.
The 80s
In the eighties fashion designers redefined their profession and
their roles in the world of fashion.
The fashion of the eighties was characterized by the worship of
success and efficiency together with the birth of lots of important
In order to have a complete picture, it’s also important to mention
the unruly punks and other groups of urban youth culture who had
their own transgressive style.
In the ‘80s fitness became very trendy and popular so that casual
clothing was created from sportswear.
Fashion was also linked to political ideas: the teenagers who, first
in Milan then all over Italy, wore designer jeans, Ray Ban
sunglasses, Timberland shoes, were later defined "paninari" and
considered politically right-winged. People belonging to the left
wing used torn jeans, wore sunglasses bought for little money,
baggy shirts and sweaters, and bags made of leather .
In this period Italian fashion became international.
The success of the so-called Made in Italy was also due to
skillful marketing strategies. Milan snatched the palm of
the fashion from capitals like Turin, Florence and Rome.
Giorgio Armani, Missoni, Gianfranco Ferre, Gianni Versace,
Dolce & Gabbana and Krizia became worldwide famous. D &
G's success was due to the pop star Madonna, so
enthusiastic about their shabby chic clothes, black
stockings and underwear to show.
The ideal of feminine beauty was inspired by the sporty
woman, slender, muscular and ambitious, successful both
in the private and the public, thanks to the fact that she
is always dressed appropriately. Madonna personified this
HAIR STYLE in the 80S
As for the hair-style, permanent wave spread among women to
increase the volume of their hair, but backcombing and voluminous
hairdos were still very fashionable.
The ‘90s
During the 90s revolutionary changes took place: a much
wider range of styles became available. Magazines not only
suggested the dominant trend for the following season but
also emphasized the variety of themes, shapes and materials
proposed by the designers.
It’s also important to underline the fact thanks to the
Internet every fashion group created its own website in
order to show their collections and sell directly on line.
In the ‘90s fashion resumed the '60s and '70s styles (skirts,
flared trousers, hippy clothing, wedged-heeled shoes and
punk style). There was a growing number of new trends,
from cyberpunk to eco-fashion, from ethnic to grunge style.
Punk Fashion
To analyze the fashion of the 90s we’ll show you
some pictures of the most popular TV series
broadcast in those years (Beverly Hills 90210
and Friends) and a famous female group (The
Spice Girls) that describe in a perfect way the
fashion and the hair style of the time.
Beverly Hills 90210
Hair Style in the ’90
The tendency in these years was to
create a very natural style.

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