Tuesday, August 16, 2011


In the mid sixties when was peace and love was cool, I was a suburban teenager in Sydney Australia, reading Timothy Leary and tie dying all my T shirts purple much to my mother's disgust.  I handpainted my sneakers in colourful psychedelic swirls to match my favourite album cover, Disraeli Gears, by Cream and wore them on the weekends hanging around with the real hippies pretending I was not a school girl. The look my friends and I were going for, was 'gypsy'.

Cool looking hippies fresh from Ashrams and communes would sell trinkets, incense, jewelry, stinky Indian cigarettes and everything else. The girls had beautiful long hair and flowing skirts and the dudes had long hair, beards, headbands and waistcoats. Everyone was called 'man', and there was a genuine sense of hopefulness and change.

Hippy clothing and jewelry stretched those boundaries held tight with suits and ties, short back and sides, button earrings, strings of pearls, little waists with full skirts and cardigans. Hippie fashion embodied sense of freedom and experimentation which matched the developmental stage of most baby boomers around at the time. Being young was a time of experimenting and a time of potentials and looking beyond.

Dangly earrings and anything that was vaguely Asian, particularly Indian was an important part of the look and reflected increasing interest at the time in eastern philsophy and religion. The bigger, the more dangles the better. Enough to toss your head from side to side and to announce your entry if the patchouli oil or the ankle bells hadn't given you away. 


There is genuine sense of freedom when you wear dangly earrings or clanky bangles - I still wear them from time to time,  and I  love the physicality of them and their the sound  as I move. This sound continually reminds me of their presence and it is that sense of playfulness which is so innocent that I still enjoy which is at the heart of the hippie, boho look. I wonder if the current trends in boho and hippy inspired fashion is also means of escape and play for this current generation- I hope so!

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