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Summer of Love: ‘Hippie Chic’ at the Museum of Fine Arts

Colorful dresses created by designer Geoffrey Beene in the 1970s are on display at the MFA’s “Hippie Chic” exhibit.
Colorful dresses created by designer Geoffrey Beene in the 1970s are on display at the MFA’s “Hippie Chic” exhibit.Photos Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts

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There was a cultural war raging in the pages of McCall’s magazine in September 1967. Alongside advertisements for Cool Whip, a page of jokes from Johnny Carson, and fashion spreads featuring crisply-tailored polyester shift dresses that would put a smile on Marlo Thomas’s face, there was a story introducing readers to a revolution happening outside their living room. In a word: hippies.

“I’m not on your trip,” read the headline, describing a “strange new breed with a strange new creed.” The story was accompanied by dozens of pictures of unkempt looking men and women wrapped in wildly patterned, ill-fitting ensembles.

This issue of McCall’s was a seismometer of the international youthquake which had already begun.

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