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ALLENTOWN, Pa. – The Allentown Art Museum’s “Fashion as Experiment: The 60’s” is a trip back in time to an era that transformed what was happening in American culture into wearable ideologies.

“Young people, protesting against racism and sexism in their society, young people who enjoy the ecological movement, and more. Generally, this desire for greater freedom and authenticity and daily life,” said Claire McRee, the museum’s Assistant Curator.

The exhibit is broken into two components. The first focuses on disruptive youth styles with bold colors, oh-so-high hemlines, hot pants, and the pop art influence of Warhol’s Campbell soup cans.

But it didn’t limit itself to the ladies.

“We also see the influence of what’s called the peacock revolution on menswear. By the mid to late 60s young men in particular were beginning to experiment with clothing that was in styles conventionally considered to be feminine in western fashion,” said MRee.

These disruptive styles lay the groundwork for the items in the second part of the exhibition, the hippie movement, the idea of clothing being a means of protest and how it could connect us with our heritage.

“With garments like the dashiki, which is something adopted by many young African Americans in this era, along with natural hair as a way of celebrating heritage and celebrating difference,” said McRee.

As part of the exhibition, the Allentown Art Museum is asking the community to share pictures of their families and their fashion from the 60’s to show how these trends and political movements were interpreted in the Lehigh Valley.

The exhibition runs through Sept. 24. Admission is free.

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