New York in 60s-The Inspiring Story of Bolinder Stockholm
The 1960s can be considered a golden era in the history of New York in terms of fashion and lifestyle. This is the story about this era and how the inspiration to the Bolinder Brand has been so strong.
New York in 60s
There were many ups and downs before and after World War II that brought revolutionary changes till the end of the 1960s. New York City was throbbing with life, and ‘diversity’ was the most prominent feature indeed. The era of the 60s was pulsing with freshest ideas that are still an inspiration to the millennial. When the world was breathing in the new life in 1960, the iconic New York had the energy and vibes more than any other place. In the early years, American fashion was deeply inspired by France and it was evident in many trends and styles of high fashion.
During and after World War II there was a shift of communication and trade from Paris to other parts of the world that gave rise to an aura of American style and trends. John and Jacqueline Kennedy were a true representation of American youth, though depicting some French influences, still floated into the White House with a subtle American style.
Just as the American society broke off from the restrictions of the past in the 1960s, there was a great shift of style and trends too. People intended to break the norms and wear whatever they liked or loved to wear. Jackie Kennedy can be taken as the best example of American fashion as she embraced more revolutionary looks than just a usual contemporary style. There was a rise of appreciation African clothing style and black models could be seen on fashion shows, clearly reflecting the influences of the civil rights movement and how people took pride in embracing the diversity in both the fashion world and in street life.
Various impacts of art and youth movements could also be viewed in the fashion trends and styles created by top brands of the time. The most stunning rise of women empowerment could also be seen in New York in the 60s, as the feminists struggled for breaking the so-called role model of femininity of 1950. There were miniskirts and other break-the-norm types of clothing styles that gained immense popularity.
The 1960s was the time in New York when early LGBT communities started rising up for their rights and gathered at Greenwich Village to fight for it. By the end of the decade, till 1969, the LGBT riots stoop up against society’s oppression and launched the modern gay rights movement as we know it nowadays.
Upper East Side
The Upper East Side is also abbreviated as UES, and is located near to borough of Manhattan in New York City. It is and has always been the epicenter of youthful energy, and the ultimate haven for the jet-setting crowd of New York. From the young and glamorous to the elegant socialites and activists of the thriving feminist movement, Upper East Side was an adventurous abode back in the 60s.
The streets of Manhattan were graced by beautiful women flaunting plastic cutout dresses and mini knitwear, on their way to the hippest discotheque of the season. New York fashion has always been dominated by trendsetters and It girls from the Upper East Side, and the 60s were a glorious time characterized by the bold cocktail culture and rising feminist movements.
Women were feeling increasingly liberated and eager to shed away the petticoats and swirls of skirts that had always shrouded their curves. Upper East Siders led the fashion revolution that encouraged women to wear smartly tailored suits, skirts, jackets and pants. Gone was the ladylike grace of twirling skirts as women were eager to flaunt their curves and rejoice the glamour of the cocktail trends.
In the mid-60s, New York emerged as the capital of cocktails, and the cultural and fashion norms of Manhattan revolved around fashionable cocktail lounges, and fashionable luncheons at the Plaza Hotel. The Upper East Side ladies emerged as a class of their own, clad in the finest designer gear that the trend radar had to offer. From their exquisite pearls and form-fitted dresses, to their beautifully structured tote bags and fine accessories. These ladies commanded attention in the hot and humid climate of Manhattan.
The 60s were a time of great invention and trend-setters from the US took centre-stage as the European fashion capitals, including Paris and Milan, ceased to churn out trends and styles for a long time. The American fashion scene was dominated by the glitzy streets of Manhattan and New York. For decades, the fashion scene was dominated the worldly elegant and metaphoric designs of the iconic designer, Normal Norell.
During the World War II, Norell supplied the New York ladies with an abundance of dresses and couture marked with sophistication, and blended with a wholesome American fervor. During the 1920s and 40s, when the couture houses of Paris were no longer functional due to the war, Norell took the city of New York by the storm with her designs and fine fabrics. In the 60s, Norell gave rise to a number of exciting trends, including the Tissue of Diamonds, which she designed for Lauren Bacall, a delicate sheath to glorify Bacall’s curves with a signature mermaid-style train.
Manhattan: Trendsetters & Jetsetters
Manhattan and the Upper East Side were the ultimate havens for the jet-setting and trend-setting It girls of the fashion world. From Elizabeth Taylor and Barbara Streisand to European celebrities like Brigitte Bardot and many others. The fashion scene was dominated by European settlers, wealthy socialites, Hollywood divas, and the iconic Mary Quant.
Needless to say, the 60s were the most stylish and glamorous decade in the history of New York, and if you’d like to explore the glamour first-hand, start watching iconic TV shows, such as Mad Men and Masters of Sex. It was a decade that gave strong emphasis on couture, wardrobe, and furniture, and infused creativity in all realms of style and décor.
The House of Dior made an iconic comeback into the 1950s fashion, but the swinging 60s were characterized by an exciting lack of rules and rigidity. Designers were forced to condemn the sartorial rule book and adapt to the cocktail culture that dominated the establishments of Manhattan and New York City. The 1960s were an age that urged every woman and fashion icon to cultivate her own signature style and individualize her style. For Brigitte Bardot, it was her spontaneous beehive, for Elizabeth Taylor her chunky diamonds and fur coats, and for Mary Quant, it was the eclectic charm of her geometric prints.
The 1960s were indeed a powerful decade for the feminist movement, allowing feminist role models and inspirations to penetrate the realm of fashion. Women felt more and more empowered by the idea to flaunt their own signature style and do away with the trends that made them feel suffocated. The generation was inspired to break free from traditions and move towards bold and audacious looks that dripped with glamour.
Fine leather handbags quickly became a powerful symbol of opulence and worldly sophistication, and in the 1960s, Hermes’ Kelly and Birkin bags were the ultimate tokens of grace and elegance. Dior penetrated the fashion industry with a dynamic feminist revival of Edie Sedgwick’s Factory Girl style, another lasting influence of the swinging sixties.
The rebellion was indeed the most powerful catalyst that transformed the fashion industry and the attitudes of women towards styles and everyday looks. Eager to break away from the monotonous norms of cinched waistlines, exquisite hairdos, and voluminous skirts, It girls and trendsetters took inspiration from the dynamic political and social changes that took place throughout the 60s.
It Girls & Divas
The 60s was a glorious age dominated by high beehives, daringly short skirts, sassy culottes, eclectic geometric prints, and boxy dresses. It was the decade that invented the street style, allowing women to take to the streets with a bold and audacious statement that allowed them to feel unshackled and transformed.
Edie Sedgwick, a wealthy socialite, pioneer of New York’s artist community and the most inspiring muse for Andy Warhol, was one of the original It girls who left behind a lasting and powerful influence on the fashion industry. Her good-girl-gone-bad appeal continues to dominate fashion houses and designers to this day, and back in the 60s, she was one of the pioneers of the fashion revolution that urged women to flaunt mini dresses with sheer black tights, bold platinum hair, chunky chandelier earrings, and messy black eyeliner.
The 1960s were also the age of the pixie crop, an intensely bold and liberating hairdo that allowed women to channel their femininity with a powerful masculine sensuality. Introduced by Twiggy, whose real name was Lesley Hornby, this glamorous trend continues to inspire all those who seek to transform their look with a bold aura. Supermodel Twiggy is also accredited for other bold trends, such as thick eyelashes, quirky eye shadows, and a lot more.
The 1960s were also the decade when the fashion industry was fused with the eclectic image of the rock chic, courtesy of Anita Pallenberg and her notorious flings with members of the iconic band, Rolling Stone. It was Anita who introduced designers and It girls to the idea of the rock chic-a statement characterized by bold thigh-high boots, form-fitted dresses, fringes, quirky prints and heaps of accessories. The rock chick invasion was indeed the most colorful fusion of streetwear trends and high-society fashion, allowing women to feel more liberated and unique in their personal sense of style.
Mary Quant is indeed the most dynamic influence on the fashion trends back in the 60s. This iconic designer was a true fashion icon, and she introduced womankind to some of the most splendid fashion trends of her era. She is accredited for the ragingly hot miniskirts, form-fitted pants, colorful and vibrant tights, sheer fabrics, plastic macs and much more. Mary Quant was a pioneer in transforming the fashion scene of the swinging sixties, and her influence is still very much alive on the streets of New York.
Amidst all the Marilyn Monroes and supermodels of the swinging sixties, one woman dominated the fashion scene with her worldly sophistication and timeless elegance. That woman was none other than the iconic first lady: Jackie Kennedy Onassis. Despite the tragedies that engulfed her life, Jackie dominated the White House and American fashion scene with her exquisite statements and elaborate styles.
As the most fashionable First Lady, Jackie is remembered for her pillbox hats, chunky sunglasses, and elaborately structured skirt suits. Even Jackie’s contemporary streetwear looks and trench coats continue to inspire It-girls through the decades. The blush pink suit that she wore on the day her husband, John F. Kennedy was assassinated made history with its ladylike sophistication.
Another prominent influencer who set the style tones of the swinging sixties and continues to inspire fashionistas with her timeless elegance is Audrey Hepburn. From her endless strings of pearls to the chicness of her little black dresses from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Audrey Hepburn was the ultimate inspiration for effortless charm and sophistication. Her off-duty style statements were characterized with voguish capri pants, ballet pumps and movie star shades.
Jean Shrimpton, the fashion-savvy British model was another prime influence that liberated women’s fashion. The 1950s were dominated by voluptuous and curvy models, but the 1960s were all about shapely long legs and petite waists. With her gorgeously slender waist and her free-spirited aura, Jean Shrimpton dominated the grunge trend, paving the way for the fashion aesthetics later dominated by Penelope Tree and Kate Moss.
Needless to say, the swinging sixties were a time of rebirth and reconsideration, as designers and It girls decided to flood the industry with a plethora of new trends that would transform the fashion scene, liberating women from petticoats and voluminous skirts.
Now, let’s take a look at how the liberating and transformative fashion scene of the swinging sixties-inspired one of the most iconic modern-day luxury brands: Bolinder Stockholm
The Birth of Bolinder Stockholm
Bolinder Stockholm denotes the tasteful fusion of Upper East Side glamour with Swedish grace to create a statement that is understated and voguishly chic. Its iconic creations are lovingly handcrafted with fine quality napa leather, and characterized by brilliant artisanal creativity. Blended with timeless sophistication and modern functionality, each accessory they design is a piece of art, resilient and bold in its personality.
But, how did Bolinder Stockholm and its innovative approach towards traditional handcrafting come to be? The story begins in the Upper East Side, marinated in the glamour and street style inspiration that defined Manhattan for decades.
The brainchild of the talented designer, Ulrika Bolinder, Bolinder Stockholm is inspired by the style-savvy socialites and It girls of the Upper East Side. Ulrika’s passion for finely crafted leather handbags began as a child, back when she would play around with her mother’s designer handbags as a little girl.
Her mother, Monica Ekman, was a promising actress and one of the hippest It Girls associated with the most celebrated modeling agency executive, Eileen Ford. Monica was a gorgeous Swedish blonde who epitomized the elegance and chicness of the Upper East Side ladies with her tastefully tailored Pucci attire and finely crafted leather accessories.
To many, Monica Ekman personified the perfect fusion of the American dream with her effortless Scandinavian charm. From her gorgeously decorated apartment on the Upper East Side, Monica thrived at the heart of Manhattan’s fashion revolution and navigated through the social scene with elaborate dresses, cocktail statements, and contemporary streetwear looks.
Growing up with a glamorous mother, Ulrika’s life was nothing short of a glitzy adventure. She would accompany her gorgeous mother to epic photoshoots, movie sets and even their life at home was filled with jazzy evenings, elegant soirees and an abundance of vibrant couture.
Ulrika’s childhood revolved around sledding in Central Park, charming doll carriages, and the bewitching attire that her mother picked up from iconic couture houses and celebrated designers. She would spend hours going through her mother’s wardrobe and peeping into the glamorous world of grownups with their coveted luxury brands and elegant trinkets.
The seeds of fashion were sown deep into her heart, and as Ulrika grew into a talented young woman, her passion for designing contemporary and functional handbags continued to be dominated by her mother’s charming wardrobe. Her mother’s treasure trove of vibrant colors and fine textures continue to serve as the strongest inspiration for her designs. She dedicated her first bag, titled Grace, to her mother’s effortless elegance and charming style.
Ulrika’s passion or handbags and luxury is characterized by her desire to provide exquisitely handcrafted accessories to ladies who have an intellectual approach towards style and seek to stand out with their own personalized sense of fashion. Bolinder handbags symbolize marriage between luxury and elegance, allowing women to infuse their wardrobes with a timeless versatility that is appropriate for all occasions.
The brand continues to take its inspiration from the urban cityscape of Manhattan, and the glitzy socialites of the Upper East Side.