Tie Dye and its Seventies Origin - PART II

Tie Dye and its Seventies Origin - PART II

With this second part, let's discover a little more in depth the origin of this Hippie universe, the famous Peace'n'Love and of course, the Tie Dye clothing style. For this, we will talk about the Hippie Counter-Culture.

You haven't read the first one yet ? We advice you to begin with it to really appreciate : " Seventies Origin - Tie Dye - PART I ".

The Hippie's Counter-Culture

Refusal to submit to the Authority

Tie Dye Tiedye hippie origin seventies

Hippies challenge the idea of authority.

First of all, there is parental authority and all that flows from it: any domination of one over the other. To the point of establishing different relationships with their own children. Hippies therefore adopted anti-authoritarian pedagogies by building communities where "wild schools" or "parallel schools" appeared.

Then, they also refused borders and violence in general (the word "pigs" was frequently used in front of the Police).

However, hippies did not have the desire to control society, unlike the rebellions of previous generations. Despite this, they were perceived as offering no alternative to society and instead obeyed the watchword "do your own thing and never mind what everyone else thinks".

As Chuck Hollander, a drug expert for the National Student Association in the early 1960s, expose it: "If there was a hippie code, it could be presented like this: do what you want to do, where you want to do it, and when you want to do it. Let go of the society you once knew. Blow the minds of all the rigid people you meet, connect them, if not with drugs, at least with beauty, love, honesty and fun".

Peace and Love : pacifism in the spotlight

Tie Dye Tiedye hippie origin seventies

"Peace and love", is the ultimate expression of the hippie pacifism of the 1960s, also used as an added recognition of the symbol of peace *. Symbol used on many banners but mostly on T-shirts (often Tie Dye style). These are worn by hippies to protest against the Vietnam War, against nuclear weapons or to express their desire for a healthy and pollution-free future.

"Make Love, not War", another motto from the Vietnam War that was taken up by the hippie movement for the same reasons (the expression appeared in 1974 with John Lennon's title "Mind Games").

"Flower Power", is another peaceful expression that originated in the 1967 Summer of Love in San Francisco. The instruction was to wear flowers in your hair, as illustrated by Scott McKenzie's "San Francisco" title: "Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair". As a result, hippies were now commonly referred to as "flower children".

All of these mottos were intended to express opposition to war and violence.

Tie Dye Tiedye hippie origin seventies

 *According to Rex Weyler, journalist and co-founder of Greenpeace International in 1979, the symbol was invented by the British graphic designer Gerald Holtom. It is said to have been invented during a CND demonstration in 1958 against a nuclear weapons factory. It would thus read, in semaphore alphabet (used in the British Navy), an N and a D being the initials of "Nuclear Disarmament". 

Willingness to go back to basics 

Tie Dye Tiedye hippie origin seventies

After the first peaceful protests against pollution in 1968, and their repression, many hippies joined rural communities.

This return to the earth brought the idea of a greater respect for our planet including organic products, use of renewable energy and recycling food, clothing (like an old T-shirt cleaned and dyed in the colors that characterize them so much and will remain used in fashion under the name Tie and Dye).

The hippie movement, considered to be unstructured, carried within it the essence of an upheaval in the postwar years lifestyle. New ideas were emerging such as self-management, ecology and the rejection of traditional religions (an attitude rarely exhibited at that time in America).

It is difficult to assess precisely what influence can be attributed exclusively to hippies, but they are, among others, considered the precursors of ecological communities and cooperatives.

To know more: according to the writer Timothy Leary, hippies are at the origin of the ecological movement in the world.

Sexual Freedom

Tie Dye Tiedye hippie origin seventies

Sexual freedom is an integral part of hippie utopia.

It was during the hippie years that the legalization of the contraceptive pill gradually took place and access to abortion became widespread.

Hippie people lived in communities and had various sexual practices, sometimes inspired by the Hindu Kama Sutra rejecting traditional marriage and, like the utopias of the counter-culture, the institution of the family.

In addition to the freedom expressed in romantic relationships, the first sex shops* open and selling various sex toys (the first being the "Good Vibrations" sign in San Francisco).

Hippies considered same-sex relationships as one experiment among others more than a taboo. It was at this time that the first Gay Pride* took place in New York.

*San Francisco will remain the capital of both trends.


Tie Dye Tiedye hippie origin seventies

From the 60s, it became an ingredient of the hippie movement (other than LSD, cannabis was also massively consumed by hippies). For the hippies, the purpose of this consumption of psychotropic drugs is presented as a wish for open-mindedness and annihilation of mental boundaries.

It is also possible to link many artistic currents to the consumption of psychotropic drugs, both in music (psychedelic rock, acid rock) and in drawing and fashion.

Returning to LSD, it must be understood that it was legal and initially appeared to hold promise in treatments of psychiatric illnesses. So much so that it became popularized as a miraculous treatment by the media in the mid-1950s.
Psychologist Timothy Leary, chemist Augustus Owsley Stanley III and novelist Ken Kesey are among those who have encouraged the use of LSD. At that time, acid was distributed free of charge during the Merry Pranksters' "acid tests”.

To know more: in the novel Junky (1953) it is explained how drugs are a philosophy that leads to open the doors of perception.

At that time, psychedelic aesthetics takes its inspiration from the visions caused by LSD, which induces a distortion of vision (understand where the Tie Dye multicolored spiral pattern T-shirts come from). 

But on October 6, 1966, LSD became illegal in California and in the rest of the world through the decision of the United Nations.

This is understandable when we analyze the devastation on a consumer's physical health.

Tie Dye Tiedye hippie origin seventies

In conclusion, although it has not totally changed society, the hippie's counter-culture has nevertheless left its mark on History. 
Notably through certain taboos (the Sex Shop), equal relationships between men and women (women in jeans), and discrimination of minorities (Gay Pride).
Culturally, hippies have also left an essential legacy in art, via "Pop Art" for example, the fashion clothing or the "Living Theater" but especially in music.
And let's not forget the monumental awareness (ecology) on the state of our home to all of us: the Earth.

Indeed, the hippies will have left an indelible signature in the world and what a signature !

Related Posts

Tie dye and its Japanese Origin
Tie dye and its Japanese Origin
The Hippie community, the seventies and this famous Peace'n'Love, is that what the name Tie Dye makes you think of ? Know that, in reality this textile trend goes back several c...
Read More
Tie Dye and its Seventies Origin - PART I
Tie Dye and its Seventies Origin - PART I
Tie Dye's technique comes from several distant origins. We agree. But the one we know well comes from a more recent past. Perhaps you can see where this is headed, it's an integ...
Read More
Tie Dye and its patterns
Tie Dye and its patterns
The design of  Tie Dye doesn't stop at the famous Hippie's flashy colorful spiral of the 70s. Quite the contrary, there are several patterns with which we can play to match our ...
Read More
Back to top