Come On, Get Hippie

By Sharon Mosley

March 6, 2009 4 min read


Peace guides the runways as love hits the stores

Sharon Mosley

Creators News Service

Each time the fashion world enters another Age of Aquarius, the signs of the times are usually much the same as they were decades ago when peace was guiding the planets and love was steering the stars -- we see flowers in all their power, feathers flying, colors tripping and beads flowing.

This year, the moon is rising over a whole new generation who are letting the sun shine in with updated takes on old favorites.

"There's a whole new mood out there," said Colleen Sherin, fashion market director at Saks Fifth Avenue. The store is celebrating the bohemian fashion influences of the late '60s and early '70s in its spring contemporary collection with the theme, "Worn to be Wild."

"We felt strongly about this trend," she said, citing the revival of the musical "Hair" and the strong feelings surrounding the presidential election. "It all feels very similar to what was happening back then."

But Sherin is quick to point out that these are not your mama's and papa's bellbottoms we're talking about. "The new styles do not look retro," she said. "They're very new and modern. Very upbeat. Very optimistic."

It's time to give peace a chance and put on your headbands. Here are just a few things you can add to your wardrobe no matter what your age:

* Floral prints: One of the major trends of the spring and summer season this year, flowers bloom on short dresses, long gowns, jewelry and even shoes. And we're not talking ringing in the new fashion year with tiny little posies. These were major statements of flower power.

* Tie-dye anything: The popular swirling print of psychedelic colors is also making a splash on the contemporary fashion scene. This spring and summer tie-dye is updated with ombre prints. Forget the old T-shirt and wear this head-to-toe in a fabulous dress.

* Flowing fringe and feathers: We haven't seen so many feathers flying since Woodstock. Both hippie-era favorites, fringe and feathers once again drip from handbags, ethnic-inspired vests, jackets, skirts and dresses.

* High platforms: You may remember falling off a few of these back in the day, but the heels are higher than ever this spring in wooden wedges, cork slides, Swedish clogs and woven leather Tatoosh sandals.

* Romantic dresses: From short minis to the long maxis, dresses in all their not-so-faded glory are back this season in floaty florals, bright stripes or folk-art embroidery.

* Distressed denim: Some things don't change. The more ragged the bottom of your blue jeans were back then, the better. This year, the holey ones are back in wide leg jeans or good old cut-off shorts.

* Peasant tunics - Perfect to wear over jeans or as a cover-up for the beach, the tunics this spring are a versatile wardrobe addition in colorful solids or graphic prints and often feature kimono sleeves.

* Earthy accessories: Chunky beads, slouchy leather handbags, big bangles, oversized hoop earrings -- all have a hand-crafted appeal inspired by a new global awareness with influences from all over the world.

* Hot pants: Yes, these shortest of shorts were all over the spring runways, but they are only for the very svelte and very young at heart. In other words, if you wore them years ago, then this is definitely one trend you don't want to repeat.

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