London and the Sixties: hard to think about them separately.
Without a doubt, the ‘swinging’ London (with its innovative fashion, music and lifestyle) represented the beating heart of the Sixties, a decade that left a deep mark in the collective imagination and completely changed the world.
Swinging London was a youth-oriented phenomenon, a period of optimism and cultural revolution. Unlike their fathers and grandfathers, teenagers in 1964 were not facing the prospect of a world war, and the economic prosperity allowed them lo live serenely.
The first great revolution came from music: in January 1964 was launched a new music show on the BBC, Top of the Pops. The year before, the Beatles made their first appearance, upsetting half of the world.
In the fashion business the “Twiggy Mania” would have brought to the light a new idea of female beauty, far from the stereotypes of the previous decade. Mary Quant introduced the miniskirt. Society became more and more consumerist.
Simon Rycroft once wrote: “Whilst it is important to acknowledge the exclusivity and the dissenting voices, it does not lessen the importance of Swinging London as a powerful moment of image making with very real material effect.”