Groovy, baby: Kelsey Anne Carter and Erin Schmidt model clothing by Charles Josef, Kristina Benshoff and Hip Replacements Clothing and hair and makeup by Amy Day Dougherty, Joanne Bolet Cafaro and Nicole Franklin of Aabani Biltmore Salon. Photo by Morgan Ford Photography
It’s a mod, mod, mod, mod world when the Asheville Affiliates take over the Renaissance Asheville Hotel for the Product of the ’60s Fashion Show.
A dozen local designers and businesses are preparing looks for the Friday, Feb. 28 event that will conjure up images of Twiggy, Jimi Hendrix, Don Draper, Peggy Olson and Jackie O. It’s hard to turn on the television or open the pages of a style magazine without seeing clothes that harken back to the era, a tumultuous time in which the Western world lost much of its innocence.
“We did the Product of the ’80s Fashion Show last year and had so much fun that we decided to do a different era this time,” says Sarah Merrell, an Asheville-based model and event planner who organized both shows for the Affiliates. “So much of fashion right now is inspired by the ’60s.”
The event begins with a cocktail hour at 7 p.m., followed by the fashion show at 8 p.m. “We hope that everyone who attends will wear something from the ’60s,” Merrell says. “They don’t have to, but it’s a fun thing to do.”
The Product of the ’60s Fashion Show features local stylists and clothing purveyors, including designers Charles Josef, Kristina Benshoff, Simone Berhardt, Aurora Moulin, Rhetorical Factory and Danielle Miller of Royal Peasantry, as well Hip Replacements, Honeypot and The Costume Shoppe.
Hair design will be provided by Amy Day Dougherty (Abani Salon), Katie Mansell (Ananda Salon), Lala Essex (Realta Salon) and Taleese Morrill (Lola Salon). Among those listed to do makeup are Nicole Franklin (Abani), Heather Smith (Adorn) and Kayce M. Young (About the Face Make Up Artistry).
The Affiliates is a group of young professionals who put on fundraising events for local nonprofits. This year’s fundraisers benefit Colburn Earth Science Museum, Friends of Connect Buncombe, Blue Ridge Food Ventures and a People’s Choice recipient still to be named. The Affiliates raised about $500 last year during the Product of the ’80s Fashion show.
If the 1980s were about excess, the ’60s were about transition. Clothes morphed from the straight, severe lines of the ’50s into the revolutionary threads that garbed pop and political stars like Angela Davis, Janis Joplin, The Supremes, The Monkees and Sonny and Cher.
In a world turned upside down, women cut their hair short, while men started wearing theirs long. Bridgitte Bardot in a see-through blouse and Nancy Sinatra’s boots made for walking represented women’s emancipation from the ’50s, while Mick Jagger in a ruffled shirt and crushed velvet jacket smoothed the way for a softer and more sensitive view of masculinity that resonates today. Popular also were the paper dresses designed and created in 1966 by Mars Manufacturing Co. of Asheville.
The Who, The Kinks and Small Faces lent a British soundtrack to the change that swept across the world. (Think the Beatles and the swinging London of Carnaby Street.) Flared trousers, bellbottoms and Jimi Hendrix’s keening guitar rang in more trenchant times that were characterized by war, riots, assassinations and political unrest. Wearing an Army jacket became a popular, polarizing political statement. Merrell says that designers Charles Josef and Kristina Benshoff are producing London mod looks for the show, while Hip Replacement is going for a more sophisticated look popularized by the retro TV show, Mad Men.
“Fashion tends to make swings from one end to another,” says Merrell. Designers such as Jason Wu, Ralph Lauren, rag & bone and Marc by Marc Jacobs recently trotted out signature ’60s looks, such as shift dresses and boxy color-blocked jackets.
“In the early 1900s, fashion was really buttoned up — long skirts, high necklines, severe hairstyles,” says Merrell. “It made a swing in the other direction in the 1920s, to where skirts got a lot shorter and necklines got lower and women bobbed their hair. It got more sophisticated in the 1930s, and it did again in the 1960s.” Take a look at a movie like The Help, she says, where apparel was classy and had refinement. And then, as the world burned, the out-on-the-fringes hippie look took hold.
Merrell says, “It seemed that whatever is going on in the world, whether economic or political, has an impact on what people want to wear.”
what: Product of the ’60s Fashion Show
where: Renaissance Asheville Hotel
when: Friday, Feb. 28, 7-10 p.m., $10.