INCREDIBLE images have revealed London in full swing as the sixties hit the capital with a bang.
The stunning pictures, as revealed by the website Retronaut, show live models being used in shop windows with only signage protecting some women’s modesty, crowds gathering round to grab a peek and a notice explaining the police had suspended the venture.
Other striking shots show three models and their bicycles being led away by police, other women and men smiling as they enjoy their newfound fashion freedom and one woman picking out her next dress.
In the mid to late 1960s the phenomenon known as the Swinging Sixties took over Britain. It was a youth driven cultural explosion encompassing, music, fashion and art.
The capital became known as Swinging London and the places to be were Carnaby Street, the King’s Road and Kensington.
The post war baby-boomers had come of age and with the end of National Service in 1960 and a post-war economic recovery they had more freedom and disposable income than their parents. The contraceptive pill had also arrived in Britain at the beginning of the 1960s fuelling a sexual revolution.
All manner of creative people flocked to London turning the gloomy, grey post-war city into a colourful, stylish city full of optimism.
Mary Quant led the fashion revolution, with the mini skirt, publicised in magazines, worn by the models Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton.
The successful boutique Biba opened its first shop in 1964 after being a mail order store. The Beatles opened the short lived Apple Boutique in December 1967.
Music was provided by the Rolling Stones, The Who, The Kinks and the Beatles amongst others. Time magazine’s 15 April 1966 issue featured London: the Swinging City, cementing its reputation.