John Sebastian performing at the Woodstock festival in 1969.

Free spirits

John Sebastian performing at the Woodstock festival in 1969.

Alan Aldridge illustrated the Beatle’s album Revolution, 1968.

Alan Aldridge illustrated the Beatle’s album Revolution, 1968.

With an exhibition in London devoted to the counterculture of the late 1960s, a look at an emblematic garment of the period and enduring symbol of youth: Levi’s jeans.

In the late 1960s, young people in the US and Europe were passionately militating for social change and greater freedom. They took to the streets, but also protested through film, music, graphic arts and fashion. Young people often wore jeans as they chanted slogans and sang protest songs. The rough, sturdy denim of work overalls became the uniform for those rebelling against the status quo. So when the Victoria & Albert Museum looked back at this era to decipher the social and cultural upheavals of the time through posters, photographs and iconic clothing, the Levi’s denim brand inevitably found its place in the exhibition and became a partner in the project.

“Levi’s has always been associated with new ideas and with rebellion, but this has never been more so than in the late 1960s,” says Richard Hurren, Levi’s Vice President for Northern Europe. In 1969, the stage and field at Woodstock were filled with ripped, patched and stained 501 and 505 jeans, symbols of a generation looking to forge a new identity. Levi’s is enshrined as a kind of libertarian brand, an image cultivated ever since the 501’s were launched in 1873. “Levi’s jeans have always been worn by icons who have a rebellious attitude and a certain authenticity,” continues Hurren. “We make a big effort to remain true to our heritage while continuing to innovate, like with the modern version of the 505s, steeped in counterculture while meeting the demands of the younger generation.”

YOU SAY YOU WANT A REVOLUTION? RECORDS AND REBELS 1966-1970

Du 10.10 au 26.02. Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, Londres.
Tél. +44 (0)20 7942 2000.

www.vam.ac.uk

© Henry Diltz/Corbis - Iconic Images, Alan Aldridge

Agenda

YOU SAY YOU WANT A REVOLUTION? RECORDS AND REBELS 1966-1970

Du 10.10 au 26.02. Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, Londres.
Tél. +44 (0)20 7942 2000.

www.vam.ac.uk

Protest over the building of Narita Airport, artist unknown (c. 1969).

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