Museum of Fine Arts

Hippie Chic: A Revolutionary Journey Through Color

Saida Santana

Take a stroll down memory lane, or discover for the first time the colorful aesthetics of the revolutionary 1960s, with Hippie Chic.


If you want to travel back in time and have a full-fledged hippie experience, you have the perfect place to do so: the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, from July 16 through November 11.

A new exhibit titled Hippie Chic will take you back to the years between 1967 and 1972. This colorful display captures the brazen aesthetics of the era, and how the hippie movement influenced what we consider chic. The revolutionary spirit of the 1960s is well represented in 54 ensembles, set in an immersive experience of shag rugs, spinning lights and themed wallpaper throughout the space.

Hippie Chic
Hippie Chic.

MFA Director, Malcolm Rogers explains: “Clothing became a canvas for personal expression. As a student at Oxford, I vividly recall being surrounded and inspired by the energy and cultural creativity of the hippie movement. The installation – with its rotating platforms, shag rugs and jukebox – transports our visitors back to this nostalgic era, so they can relive this unique period or experience it for the first time”.

As was to be expected, fashion echoed the values of the social revolution. Trends were no longer limited to haute couture. In fact street fashion moved up the ladder to inform the creations of the era’s couturiers. Pretty soon the most celebrated music idols of the time, such as the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Jimmy Hendrix and Cher, embraced and popularized the new look.

Patrick Litchfield Wearing Mr. Fish / Tommy Nutter
1. Patrick Litchfield Wearing Mr. Fish.
2. Tommy Nutter.

Hippie Chic does a good job of pairing the work of young designers and avant-garde boutiques (Ossie Clark, Betsey Johnson and Granny Takes a Trip) with pieces from established designers of the time like Geoffrey Beene, Arnold Scaasi and Yves Saint Laurent.

So go ahead, go to Huntington Ave, let your hair loose and allow let the wind to caress you; turn on your Ipod, wear your helmet and listen to Let It Be; smile at the people around you, enter Gallery 184 of MAF, and immerse yourself in the fascinating staging. After all, Hippie Chic is an invitation to travel back in time.


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