From Dusty Springfield to Hendrix to psychedelic flares and interesting brown (yes, brown) wallpaper, the swinging 60s was definitely an era to remember. 2016 marks the return of retro. From the first ever Rolling Stones exhibition opening at the Saatchi Gallery in London to Retro Tech in the home and dolly birds on the catwalks of London Fashion Week, we cover how to get the look with a 21st Century twist.
Now whether you were a girl or boy, adult or child flares were a staple part of the 60’s wardrobe. The bell-bottom is thought to be originated from American sailors who apparently wore them for practical reasons – easier to hook a man who’s fallen overboard! However, it wasn’t really until the famous duo Sonny and Cher adopted them that they began their fashion adventure.
Why not get creative with a style at home? Sewing bee Sarah from Style Sixties shows us how to go flower power with crimplene fabric, warning “curtain fabric isn’t really suitable for dressmaking as it doesn’t wash well”. Check out her blog for some good sewing patterns too or get the high street look here.
A must read is the beginner’s guide to buying a sewing machine by Dressmaker Tilly and The Buttons (@TillyButtons). She advises “If you’re just getting started sewing and aren’t sure how much use you’re going to get out of a sewing machine, you probably won’t want to spend too much money on it. In which case, you might want to go for a mechanical model – with knobs as opposed to a digital display – as they are usually cheaper than their computerised counterparts”.
Check out the Janome range Tilly recommends and make sure you are prepared with the basic kit – machine, sewing box, needles, pattern and fabric.
Of course the sixties wouldn’t be the sixties without the beehive, so to make sure your hair holds that infamous look without fail, make sure you use a tried and tested hairspray
The Isle of Wight Festival began in 1968 and as the Woodstock rival it was a welcome introduction to the British music calendar. With headliners Jefferson Airplane and a ticket price at just £1.25, trying to capture that magical atmosphere at home is now a possibility thanks to modern technology.
You can now re-discover any old cassette tapes with the Cassette Digitizer that converts the old favourite into a downloadable tune, ready to use on any device.
Go a step further and revisit the Vinyl. Turntables are making a comeback and deemed to be the leading Retro Technology of 2016. Check out the latest range here.
Taking a photo was a little different to today’s methods; there was no point and tap with your smartphone and instant sharing with hundreds of people. The Polaroid was the ‘instant camera’ of the decade, with 1963 seeing the introduction of the coloured film. It was revolutionary, getting to print your photos there and then!
Nowadays we can embrace the history of the Polaroid but with a modern twist. The Polaroid Cube, the latest innovation from GoProm records in full HD video and takes 6mp photos, perfect for embracing a bit of photo history. It’s a full on action camera – weatherproof, shockproof, mountable and built to handle everything you can imagine.
The Mighty Gadget share an straightforward review – “The perfect gadget for kids or teens to go out and record whatever activity they want”
If you’re more of a reader than a do-er, this Cultural history of Polaroid book is sure to quench your thirst for knowledge on this masterful piece of equipment.
The decorative style of the 1960’s was generally more one to be remembered than replicated, but some of the style still lives on in our 21st Century homes. Retro kitsch gadgets are being brought up to date in our kitchens as well as flamboyant designs for wallpapers and accessories. With Andy Warhol and pop art having strong influences in this decade, interiors were also reflecting his vibrant colour clashing style.
When you think of a 60s home the shag pile rug instantly springs to mind; but with these too being modernised, they are now a sought after addition to any home. Team with upcycled furniture – check out our earlier Upcycling post for hints and tips on this handy hobby. You can pick up some great vintage bargains at Vintassion, the vintage fair finder.
For those not so keen on DIY take a look at a retro furnishing range like this Jual TV stand featured below.
To add a swinging sixties statement to any room, try a feature wall. This aptly named ‘trippy’ wallpaper would definitely take you back to the era of peace and love.
Many people relish this fantastic era with some even living their life in the decade; Ursula Forbush has converted her home to a 60s shrine with everything from a record player, Formica tables and crockery.
To try and emulate her look browse the latest designs from brilliant Irish fashion designer, Orla Kiely. Her retro “stem” graphic can be found on everything from mugs to cushions, fabrics, wallpapers and now even cars.
Her advice on attempting brown walls “I actually think brown is a very sophisticated colour; cool and very strong. It’s a great base – if you have brown walls then it’s nice to have colour in other places – a yellow chair or a kingfisher blue sofa. It’s what you put with it.” Check out Pattern by Orla Kiely for more retro interior tips.
Whether it has influenced your home, your style, your music collection or just helped you develop an unhealthy obsession with Mad Men; the 60s have taught us something about everything. Enjoy embracing the psychedelic era and bring the grooviest decade up to date and back on trend.
We’d love to see your retro themed creations. Share them in the comments below or join us on Facebook or Instagram.