MOD '60s

The sporty look of the early 1960s was reflected in the clean lines of accessories. Visual simplicity of their forms achieved by spare use of textured details and vibrant colors was in the center of the '60s design, which replaced the razzle-dazzle of the New Look. Martin Van Schaak along with other designers interpreted its logical geometry in his marvelous evening wear collections. Daytime handbags proved to be as big and bold as hats, in classic black or deep jewel tones, to accent rather than to blend. For the affluent, both alligator and crocodile were still the most prized luxury possession. The '60s were defined by the reign of an American icon, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. Fresh, young and elegant, her classic style captivated the world. Millions of women across the globe copied her through the '60s, and some of her influence lives on to this day. She loved jewels and accessories, and wore a subtle alligator bag with almost every outfit created for her by Oleg Cassini. A French designer of Russian aristocratic heritage, he designed for Hollywood stars. Together, they revolutionized fashion by bringing it forward as an important part of international affairs. A dramatic note was struck in accessories: bold hats worked well with clean, uncluttered clothes; and still important gloves were produced in a great variety of lengths, for all occasions. The handbag shapes echoed the trend to present the gloved hand in the best light. In the meantime, the status of crocodile was at its highest ever. A daytime shopper with double handles remained roomy - and expensive. With time, while hats grew larger in proportions, the handbags gradually diminished in size. Several styles were devoted strictly to teenagers. Thick, low shoe heels prevailed; and handbags were selling especially well in stores with shoe departments enabling a thorough coordination of accessories in style and color. It became clear that as long as short skirts were here to stay, pint-sized bags would swing along with them. There were very few frame bags. Instead, the envelopes, swaggers and shoulder bags with very little hardware became extraordinarily popular. The trend was moving toward commercialism, and most designers started opening boutiques in order to reach a mass market of young customers, including Chanel, Yves St. Laurent, Pierre Cardin, Givenchy, and Emanuel Ungaro. A trend for individuality has been established for years to come. 



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