A celebration of the emerging Australian fashion industry of the 1960s and 1970s, along with its personalities, trends and influences.

Fashion in the National Archives
The National Archives’ extensive photographic collection allows us to take a glimpse at Australian society during the revolutionary period spanning the 1960s and 1970s.
Counter-culture
This was an era marked by sweeping social change in Australia. The post-World War II baby boom had created millions of teenagers. Many became actively involved in the fashion, fads, music, art and politics of the period.
Colour
Musical tastes and styles of dress were especially linked. The 1960s London pop scene ushered in an attitude of ‘anything goes’ and this transformed the shape of clothes. Colour played a big role in defining the new look. The pastel palette and formal fashion of the 1950s gave way to a more casual look with bright, bold colours, checks, prints and geometric patterns.
Shopping
The fashion boutique emerged in the 1960s, bringing with it mass-produced ready-to-wear designs and high turnover. This suited young people who were not concerned about unemployment or inflation and had money in their pockets to spend.
Flower Power
By the late 1960s a new style emerged: the hippy look. Spurred on by a reaction against mass production and materialism, this was a time when fashion designers experimented with colours, patterns and textures borrowed from non-Western cultures.
Local style
Inspired by the Australian landscape and lifestyle, young Australian designers were starting to make their mark on the world fashion map, establishing the beginnings of a distinct Australian style.
Photography
Taken mostly by anonymous government photographers travelling around Australia for the Australian News and Information Bureau, the photographs in this exhibition record not only the clothes we wore but also how this period’s cultural and social changes influenced our fashion choices.
Credits: Story

This exhibit is from 'Strike a Pose', a larger exhibition developed by the National Archives of Australia in 2008, drawing on the vast and varied government photographic collections held in the Archives. The exhibition toured Australia until 2012.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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