Iconic wedding dresses of the ’60s
Instead of producing one singular style, the ’60s much like the ’70s brought with it a range of new trends. It wasn’t the fashion houses setting the trends but rather the ‘it girls’ and their unique styles – we’re talking the likes of Bridgette Bardot, Audrey Hepburn and Twiggy.
The ’60s saw the rise of baby doll dresses, off the shoulder tops, clashing prints, and most notably the mini skirt. The hemlines were no longer that of the ’50s, miniskirts were becoming shorter and shorter. Dresses too, started to change, the pencil dress of the ’50s become the shapeless shift dress of the ’60s.
Fashion become youthful, fun and daring, dresses were shorter, colours were bolder and mod prints were all the rage. Oversized collars, bows, fringe and lace started to make an appearance. Women increasingly started to favour playful fashion.
Colours and prints were inspired by pop art and modern movements. Stripes, polka dots, and blocks of colour were all prevalent in the changing face of fashion. Bolder colours later settled into soft pastels, pique fabrics and gingham print, notoriously popularised by Bardot’s wedding dress.
The colour craze spread to tights and shoes. The shorter hems called for a revamp of previous stockings. Tights came in a range of colours to match the bold outfits, whether purple, green or yellow. Heel length was changing, the knee-high white midi boot became the iconic shoe of the decade. Kitten heels also took off, pointed styles were especially favoured and women were increasingly choosing flats.
It’s natural then that the ’60s ushered in a crucial change in bridal fashion, with the appearance of the new trends. Gone were the tight-fitting hourglass gowns that the ’50s were renowned for, and in came super-short minis and high-waisted empire silhouettes.
By the mid-to-late ’60s, the miniskirt had become so popular that very short wedding dresses were perfectly acceptable and popular choices for brides. These skimpy dresses were often teamed with brightly coloured tights, with long voluminous sleeves were the height of fashion.
Accessories included pillbox hats, bouffant veils or large brimmed hats, courtesy of the ever-fabulous Audrey Hepburn. Those who opted for the veil disregarded the long trains of the past and chose to don their shorter counterparts. Bridal dresses also featured a lot of metallic embellishments, due of course to the space craze of the era.
Silvie Vartan, 1965 [below]
Steering away from tradition, Silvie’s statement hood was fastened with an oversized bow; scarves or hoods were often worn as an alternative to the obligatory wedding veil.
Sharon Tate, 1968 [below]
A prime example of the miniskirt’s popularity, American actress Sharon Tate married film director Roman Polanski wearing this daring short mini featuring exaggerated puffball sleeves.
Cilla Black, 1968 [below]
In England, Cilla Black discarded tradition and sported a short crimson velvet mini-dress in a similar style to Sharon Tate. Lorra Lorra Legs!
Lulu, 1969 [below]
When Lulu married the Bee Gees’ Maurice Gibb in 1969 she wore this A-line ankle-length fur-trimmed coat topped with an exaggerated hood similar to Silvie Vartan.