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The Month Ahead: The Good, the Bad and the Tasseled

Celebrating “Hippie Chic” at MFA Boston

The Fool at the Beatles’ Apple Boutique, 1967 (wardrobe); Ronald Traeger (photograph) / Courtesy Tessa Traeger and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

The Fool at the Beatles’ Apple Boutique, 1967 (wardrobe); Ronald Traeger (photograph) / Courtesy Tessa Traeger and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

What an important era the late 1960s–early 1970s turned out to be. Never again would we think the same way about politics, art, society and the acceptable width of a person’s pant legs. There’s a temptation to look at the florid fashion of these years with a smirk, but the blinding tie-dye expressed the shifting attitudes of the age as surely as its rallies, love-ins and drug-addled music festivals.

As a fashion movement, hippie chic—which is also the name of a new show at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts—is unique in its ability to combine the inspired and the absurd, often within the same outfit. Certainly, as this exhibition makes clear, there are few things in life as compelling as a pair of enormous sideburns set above a collar that could blanket a family of five. JULY 16

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