Fashion Over Reason: "C'était l'année de l'amour, l'année de l'expo."

Friday, June 22, 2007

"C'était l'année de l'amour, l'année de l'expo."

While everyone is talking about the big return of boho for the summer (i personally think it never really left..), i'd like to set the time machine just a little further, right into 1967. That year is of extreme importance to montrealers who were alive to live it. It was the year of the 1967 exhibition, known here as expo 67. Basically it was the first big international rendez-vous where all different nations came together to represent themselves. To host this mega event, which lasted from april 1967 through october of the same year, the city had to get ready - big time. We spent so much money building for this damn thing: buildings, domes, spaces, amusement park (tidbit: it was erected with the help of none other than Mr Walt Disney himself!), a whole island, you name it! It better had been a great success, and what a great success it was! I believe it brought roughly 500 million dollars of profit (back then, the canadian dollar was worth much more than the american one!) and attracted an exhorbitant amount of tourists (around 52 million!). Basically it was one of the most successful events known today. Why am i talking about this in a fashion blog, you may be aking yourself?

As someone who is very inspired by the 60's in my style, not only the fashion, but the culture as well, i find the 40th anniversary of expo 67 very exciting. The 60's were an era where the fashion world was booming and many new things were brewing. The discovery of really thin models, the miniskirt, bold prints, the mainstream diffusion of denim, the discovery of synthetics, the beggeining of fast fashion, all the while being greatly influenced by the music of the times. The Beatles and the British invasion pretty much dictated everything in pop culture. The girls who represented this expo 67 embodied perfectly the modern young lady thanks to our very own local talent. The young designer Michel Robichaud, who dressed the likes of Mme Drapeau (the mayor's wife) was commissioned for the conceptualization of the uniforms of 11 different clans. He was to dress these lovely hostesses. He had previously designed the Air Candada uniforms of 1964 and attributes his assignement to this experience. The girls of the expo were long talked about because they were able to give a visual identity to the whole event. The rules were the following: no jewelry, pink lipstick, gloves and hosiery with no obvious stitching. The rest was up to the designer.

Anyway, this whole moment in history really put Quebec on the map in the world of fashion: Mr Robichaud (my grandmother left behind a few of his perfectly cut suits!)caught the eye of Rolex, and he appeared in ads world wide for the brand. After the event, college girls started showing up in class in bold colored knits, patent leather trenches, mini skirts, hosiery... and that is how Montreal was pegged with the reputation of the most beautiful girls!

Happy birthday, expo 67! (click on the pictures to enlarge)

1 comment:

my empty closet said...

that's so interesting! i can't believe i live here and did't even know that....i always thaught we were pegged the most beautiful girls because we were pretty haha