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Boston Museum of Fine Arts to showcase ‘hippie culture’

July 15, 2013 (United States Of America)

Paisley, beads, and fringe will adorn the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA) this summer, as the influence of hippie culture in the late 1960s and early ‘70s is celebrated with offerings ranging from groovy fashions to psychedelic music to a trippy online interactive.

Taking visitors back in time to 1967 through 1972, Hippie Chic will showcase the colorful and fun spirit of “hippie” style that informed the beautifully made garments of “chic,” in 54 ensembles, including new acquisitions and loans from other museums and private collections.

On view from July 16 to November 11, 2013, the exhibition will offer an immersive experience with shag rugs, spinning lights, and themed wallpaper throughout the gallery.

Mannequins, (some atop turning platforms) are styled in fashions of the era, complete with far-out hair. Taking center stage will be innovative clothing by young designers and avant-garde boutiques that championed the new counterculture looks, as well as more established designers who drew inspiration from them.

To set the mood for this fun trip down memory lane, a vintage jukebox will play music from the 1960s and ‘70s and visitors will be able show off their free-spirited style with an interactive, virtual makeover, Hippie Chic: Remix. Available on the Museum’s website and Facebook page, fans (of the era) can upload their photo and try on fashions featured in the exhibition (virtually), resulting in a groovy personalized album cover, which can be shared through social media and email.

Hippie Chic is presented with generous support from The Coby Foundation, Ltd. Additional support from the David and Roberta Logie Fund for Textile and Fashion Arts, and the Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Exhibition Fund. The media sponsor is Boston Magazine. The publication Hippie Chic (MFA Publications, 2013) will accompany the exhibition.

As the Woodstock generation challenged the status quo, a cultural revolution was born and the world of fashion felt the reverberations. For the first time, haute couture designers weren’t dictating all the trends; instead, inspiration for many of the latest styles came from hippies and young people on the street.

With their long hair and vibrant mix of ethnic and vintage clothing, hippies created a unique look that trickled up the fashion ladder, even to the runways of the world’s top fashion houses. The fun and colorful fashions that emerged were popularized by iconic rock stars and celebrities of the era: the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, and Cher.

“Hippie Chic revisits a particular moment of the late 1960s and early 1970s, in America and Europe, to trace hippies’ revolutionary influence on fashion,” said Malcolm Rogers, Ann and Graham Gund Director of the MFA.

“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.”

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Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
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