Hippie Chic at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Recently there seem to have been an explosion of fashion exhibits at museums and we've seen several of them including the McQueen exhibit at the Met, the Balenciaga exhibit in San Francisco, the Haute Couture Exhibit in Paris  (which I blogged about this spring) and most recently the Hippie Chic exhibit at the Museum of FineArts in Boston. Perhaps I'm too cynical, but it seems that this  interest may be spurred by how cost effective such shows are. It reminds me of the same way that theater producers turned to one-man shows when audiences shrank during the recession. While the shows at the Costume Institute at the Met are full installations where the fashion is showcased against incredible backdrops,  the Hippie Chic exhibit and the Balenciaga exhibits were far simpler affairs with mannequins on small raised platforms as you can see below.  I'm not complaining, I enjoyed all of these shows, I'm just wondering if we'll be seeing a lot more of the same in the next few years?
So, onto the Hippie Chic show. The name is fairly self explanatory and many of the pieces came from London boutiques such as Biba. The show looked at a range of hippy styles for both men and women including retro looks, psychedelic style, ethnic influences and eclectic looks such as the one below named,  the chastity belt! 
Here are some more of the "eclectic" looks which blended, ethnic, peasant, cowboy and other influences into a distinctively hippy influenced melange.

Here you can se several of the "Ethnic Hippie" styles influenced by fashion from India, Morocco and the Middle East. Clearly she's saying, "Stop - white girl dresses like and ethnic hippie coming through!"
The exhibit was quite eclectic and I was surprised to see the retro looks below described as part of "Hippie Chic". I wouldn't have thought of these neo-1940's styles as hippie at all. However,  the blurb explained that hippies turned to vintage fashions and that this, in turn influenced high fashion.The fox fur jacket below is Yves St. Laurent's "Chubby Jacket" from his haute couture line for the 1970-1971 season. It was apparently controversial because it, "not only reminded viewers of the painful years of French Occupation, but suggested the louche attire of prostitutes." This is why we need museum curators who else gets to use the word louche anymore? The louche are now merely the infamous and as reality television has taught us infamy is now fame.
This nostalgic trend for historically inspired looks was also represented in  the "Fantasy Hippie" section with a series of Botticelli inspired floral dresses.  Initially emerged from vintage fashions and driven by affordability, this trend was picked up by high-end designers who put together fantasy looks including those below which have a very romantic feel.
These two are particularly eclectic. I think her outfit could be worn today but his flares don't stand the test of time!
I particularly liked the category of "Trippy Hippie" below, as you could see this was fashion shaped by strong psychedelic influences. Fabulous if you love orange and purple, I need that umbrella!
Male fashions were equally flamboyant as you can see. Unfortunately his jacket looks like an upholstered Arts and Crafts  sofa.
They even have a juke box with contemporary music which you can select! This is a highlight and museum goers were lining up to take their pick. It was wonderful to hear music in a museum and it set the stage for the fashion.
The show runs through November 11, 2013 - catch it while you can!