Millennials are growing up in a time of uncertainty. They aren’t sure when (or if) they’ll find a job after high school or college, how they’ll pay their bills, or where they’ll be in five years. Looking to the future is scary, so instead, they’re looking to the past — not only to the 90s when their lives were simpler, but also to the 60s when it seemed that anything was possible. They’re drawing inspiration from the era when we put a man on the moon, when the White House was called Camelot, and when young people dramatically shook up the status quo.
Here are just a few examples of the 60s infusion in current culture…
We still love watching Beyonce’s video for “Countdown,” released at the end of last year, in which she channels her inner Audrey Hepburn with cigarette pants, ballet flats, and winged eyeliner. The video and song are a perfect blend of retro glam and modern attitude. She sings, supported by a bold brass section, about a being a strong, liberal woman who is also there to support her man (sing it with us “All up in the kitchen in my heels, dinnertime”).
Adele is another singer channeling the 60s with both her music and her look, but in an entirely different way. She’s 100% sultry crooner. Still sporting the same winged eyeliner — which has been all over the high fashion runways in both black and bright colors — but with the hot-roller hair and bold red lips of bygone girl groups. Her music is also a throwback to the same, with strong vocals and uncomplicated arranging.
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Guys are also getting into the action. Raphael Saadiq released “Stone Rollin’” last year to great critical acclaim. The album didn’t fly off the shelves, perhaps because he went full-on retro, rather than giving his songs a modern flair. Then there’s Bruno Mars, whose pompadoured look and Grammy performance this year was clearly inspired by the Motown groups of the 60s.
The latest installment of the “Men In Black” franchise includes a time travel element, and where else would the retro clad guys go but to the 60s! Despite being a modern 3D film, the crew decided to add a nod to the B-movies of the space race era, incorporating the look of the aliens and space suits from time — think fishbowl helmets and ray guns, along with their signature skinny black ties.
Kristen Stewart in a film adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s “On The Road” may be the epitome of Millennials embracing the 60s. Hitting screens this summer, we expect the film will resonate with young people who are having trouble finding their way in life. Stewart’s character is a massive departure from her portrayal of Bella Swan, but it may draw Twilight fans into a whole new genre of literature.
“Mad Men,” the show that may be credited with bringing Millennials’ minds back to the 60s, is back with its fifth season beginning March 25. The first season beginning in 1960, and the show is taking us slowly through the decade, with the new season set in 1967. We just got our first glimpse of the cast photos, and if they’re any indication, get ready for more stripes in your wardrobe!
The BBC’s newsroom drama “The Hour” may have started set in 1956, but is gradually approaching the 60s. Many aspects of the show will appeal to Millennials — a strong female lead, international affairs and politics, workplace intrigue, and a whole lot of retro style. The show is just picking up traction in the U.S., and has the potential to break big when the second season debuts later this year.