Images from the exhibition
Hand-embroidered and appliqué Army Coat, 1967
”Paisley”: Coat for Sylvia Bennett, c. 1970
Barbara Ramsey’s coat and jeans exemplify the Counterculture’s resourcefulness and need for self-expression. Each small patch bears a story or memory of its own and forms a scrapbook of life experiences – worn by the person who lived them.
In 1971 Ramsey was given a ragged, wool-lined coat that she patched with fabric. As time passed, she sewed layers of patches made from other worn-out clothes onto the coat. Ramsey applied a similar process to a pair of jeans and eventually completed the outfit.
Medical School Outfit, 1971-75
100% Birgitta (Birgitta Bjerke)’s crocheted coats for Roger Daltrey of The Who and his then wife Heather recall the psychedelic visual culture of the 1960s rock-and-roll scene. Displayed flat on the wall, the garments – constructed in fan shapes – vibrate with kaleidoscopic colours that suggest blossoming flowers, Tibetan mandalas, and patterns inspired by Indian textile traditions.
Dancepiece by Leslie Correll, 1971
Hammered brass, Turkish beads, African (Venetian) trade beads mounted on old Indonesia batik fabric
Kaisik Wong’s evening ensembles (above) and Yellow and Green Ray dress and headdress (below) from the ”Seven Ray” series, 1974.
Mama Cass Elliot Dress (below left) c. 1967.
Cass Elliot was a member of The Mamas & the Papas. The panne velvet dress she wore, with its gentle ombré gradient colour, brings to light the dreamy character of her stage presence. Celebrated as a sex symbol and role model for young women of her generation, Elliot donned theatrical styles that showcased her dynamic personality and held the attention of her audiences and fans. The appliqué sunburst on the front of the bodice depicts Virgo, Elliot’s astrological sign, while reflecting the Counterculture’s interest in self-exploration through the study of cosmology.
SAS Colby – Ruffle My Feathers, 1972
Fayette Hauser, Cosmic Gypsy Ensemble, 1970
Gretchen Fetchen (Paula Douglas). Acid Test Dress and Boots, 1965.
Gretchen Fetchen was one of the early participants in the San Francisco Acid Test happenings organized by Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters in the mid-1960s. The events were designed as gatherings to promote consciousness expansion and creativity through the use of LSD which was then legal.
Counter-Couture: Handmade Fashion in an American Counterculture was on show at
The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD)
2, Columbus Circle
New York City
March 12th, 2017