As the Council of Fashion Designers of America gathers on Monday for its annual fashion awards, it will be an occasion to praise those whose contributions to the world of style has been outstanding this year. But to find out whether their achievements will make a mark on fashion history, we’ll have to wait a while.
When it comes to American clothing of the 1960s and 1970s, however, the verdict is already in. Those decades made their indelible mark on the way the nation dresses, from big-picture changes (the general move toward more casual dress, for example) to the smallest details (monokinis: still a thing.)
But, as these covers show, the fashions of the ’60s and ’70s were hardly monolithic. From mod maxi dresses and matching trouser suits to minidresses and 1950s nostalgia, the look of LIFE was ever-changing.