The late 50’s and early 60’s was a great period for youth culture and film. Though the term teenager first appeared in written form in 1930’s, hypehnated back then as teen-ager. It did not reach wide spread use until the 1950’s, ushering in a whole new consumer class, young people with their own tastes and interests and their own budget to spend on them. Suddenly there where magazines, music, clothes, and of course films courting the teenage audience One such film is the 1960 Spring Break flick: Where The Boys Are
Occupying a space between the conservative 1950’s and the rebellious 60’s. The film shows an interesting, from a history of pop culture perspective at least, group of young women. College girls who seem some what torn between the dawning feminist movement, and the house wife culture of the 50’s. The film stars Dolores Hart as the brainiest of the girls, Merritt
Paula Prentiss as Tuggle, the funny one
Connie Francess in her first film role plays the boy crazy Angie
and Yvette Mimeux is the innocent and overly romantic Melanie
The girls leave their snowy mid western college to go on vacation in Florida
Though they supposedly have no money, they sure don’t dress like it. There are beach costumes
Night gowns and pjs
and dresses galore!
Plus the cars!
The plot of the film focuses on the girls getting caught in the usual spring break hi-jinks, picking up hitch hikers, flirting with boys, including major kitsch alert: a young George Hamilton, and partying.
There is a darker side to the film too. Melanie falls too quickly for a boy who tosses her aside leading her to go on a bender.
Later she is the victim of an implied sexual assault and wanders into traffic, before her friends rescue her.
This being 1960 police are never called and her friends just stand around looking sad as she is treated in hospital. It’s difficult to watch today.
Still it isn’t a bad film overall and visually it is a definite treat. Of all the fashions in the film my favorite by far is a simple blue and white check gingham dress worn with a simple white jacket by Melanie.
I asked my dear friend Krystle Snook of 1930’s Treadle Couture if she could make me a similar dress and she did and its just lovely!
Krystle added a sleeveless terry cloth jacket that also makes a great swim suit cover up. I paired the dress with my Tanith Rowan 1950’s style coolie hat, red canvas sandals from Remix Vintage shoes, early 1950’s sunglasses, a 1960’s novelty seashell purse, and luxulite jewelry.
I wore the dress for the first time to one of my favorite summer events, the Alice Austen House Pug Club of Greater New York meetup. Alice Austen was one of the first female photographers and she often photographed animals, the pug was one of her favorite breeds and her house on Staten Island is now a museum. It is a beautiful place and such a fun event for small dogs of all breeds.
I was so pleased to have such a beautiful casual vintage style summer dress made by a dear friend to wear to one of my favorite events of the summer and I’m sure I’ll be wearing this all summer long. Krystle made something that captures my take on vintage style perfectly!