A groovy new exhibition — “Fashion as Experiment: The ’60s” — will open at the Allentown Art Museum on Saturday. It will run through Sept. 24.
The exhibition features more than 100 1960s-era garments and accessories from the museum’s collection that illustrate the tumultuous mood of the decade, ranging from hippie looks to bold ready-to-wear designs by André Courrèges, Vera Neumann, and more. This fun and colorful exhibition shows how 1960s youth used fashion to express new views and values and spark a wave of social and political change in America.
“Fashion as Experiment: The ’60s” presents styles such as Mod and Pop along with psychedelic looks that capture the decade’s exuberant and irreverent attitude. Shown are men’s and women’s clothing that blur gender boundaries, and miniskirts and hot pants that reflect the era’s sexual revolution. These styles set the stage for counter cultural fashions of the late 1960s and early 1970s, including globally inspired designs as well as thrifted and handmade garments.
The museum put out a call to the community for vintage family photos showing ’60s styles, and a selection of those are included on a digital display in the exhibition.
The exhibit will be supplemented by ’60s-themed programs, including a series of upcycling workshops that kick off on opening day, when there will be tie-dying on the museum lawn from noon until 3 p.m.
There will be artmaking at the new Fashion Maker Station, which will open for the first time from noon until 3:30 p.m. in Art Ways Interactive Family Gallery.
There also will be guided tours of the exhibition led by curator Claire McRee at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
Admission to the museum is free. Hours are 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. Thursday through Sunday and 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Third Thursdays.