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Colours of the 1960s


After the post war 1950s oatmeal, cream and strong clear pastels inspired by the new plastics fashion was all about bouffant hair, stiletto heeled shoes, Jackie Kennedy and Elvis Presley and a few intellectual types who were Beatniks and then very quickly swung over (Swinging 60s) to a decade of radical change, rebellion, vibrancy and a desire for freedom – of any sort.

Young people were called teenagers – either style conscious Mods or leather clad Rockers and Rock and Roll music, the Twist, the Limbo & Go Go dances, TV changed from black and white to colour and the Beatles were the epitome of a ‘happening’ world. Skirt lengths were either mini or maxi length, young girls wore white French inspired boots.

PVC and plastic in bright colours was used extensively, laminated furniture, wallpapers moved from Anaglypta, low impact off white textured papers and grass paper to mirror reflective foils, velvet flock, and large swirling multi coloured patterns and very optic geometrics featuring black and white. Fabrics and flooring embraced psychedelic patterns and followed where wallpaper led.

As the era advanced to its end, longer hair for men was the norm, chemical substances were investigated socially and women ironed their long hair and burnt their bras and society embraced anti-war, Ban the Bomb and anti segregation and an ethnic Indian influence in embroidered muslin clothes, love beads, paisley patterns, mystic religion and meditation in a Hippy sub culture.

Bright colours of the era were (from the BS2660 (101) colour range):

Resene Midnight
Resene Midnight
Resene Grape
Resene Grape
Resene Bordeaux
Resene Bordeaux
Resene Red Berry
Resene Red Berry
Resene Bronze
Resene Bronze
Resene Carnaby Tan
Resene Carnaby Tan
Resene Tango
Resene Tango
 
Resene Teal Blue
Resene Teal Blue
Resene Ming
Resene Ming
Resene Jewel
Resene Jewel
 
Resene Chelsea Cucumber
Resene Chelsea Cucumber
Resene Celery
Resene Celery
Resene Lime
Resene Lime
 
Resene Confetti
Resene Confetti
Resene Wild Rice
Resene Wild Rice
   

Neutrals were minimal in their impact – often as an adjunct to the bolder colours. Typical neutrals were:

Resene Cameo
Resene Cameo
Resene Raffia
Resene Raffia
Resene Spanish White
Resene Spanish White
Resene Dutch White
Resene Dutch White

Muted colours were used on the exteriors of houses often just to highlight doors or window sills, such as:

Resene Coffee
Resene Coffee
Resene Grey Olive
Resene Grey Olive
Resene Coral
Resene Coral
Resene Sage
Resene Sage
Resene Pewter
Resene Pewter
Resene Heather
Resene Heather
Resene Oyster Pink
Resene Oyster Pink
 

Information thanks to Carolyn Atkinson.

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