The saying goes that you can’t judge someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. The same could be said for gaining a better understanding of a time period. This online exhibit examines 13 pairs of shoes from the Texas Fashion Collection all made in the mid-1960s to mid-1970s. This period demonstrated a shift in the status-quo in many ways, creating much of the change we see in the world today. These shoes represent the steps that took us on the path we walk today.

Raindbow Shoe.jpg

Boot Texture Tile .jpg

Flagg Shoe

Kelly Accord Shoes

Not Your Granny's Boots

All American Shoe

All American Shoe

The Side Stepper

Turquoise Suede Shoes

Mary Jane Pump

Floral Patterned Heels

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The saying goes that you can’t judge someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. The same could be said for gaining a better understanding of a time period. This online exhibit examines 13 pairs of shoes from the Texas Fashion Collection all made in the mid-1960s to mid-1970s. This period demonstrated a shift in the status-quo in many ways, creating much of the change we see in the world today. These shoes represent the steps that took us on the path we walk today.

The 1960s and 70s were decades when many fashion innovations were born including new styles and materials. These changes link fashions of the previous era to the way fashion is understood today. The period saw a dramatic shift in the fashion industry away from style and taste revolving only around the upper class, to one where fashion could also be determined by the young and by subcultural movements. One of the best examples of this was in Carnaby Street, one of the defining centers of youthful Swinging London.

The idea of Youthquake, an overwhelming shift in culture to focus on the taste and activity of the young, defines much of this period. These youths had the benefit of a prosperous childhood after their parent’s generation grappled with the devastation of World War II. Music especially played a large role in the lives of teens and twenty-somethings of the 1960s and 70s, and fashion held a very important part in the popularization of the new musical artists becoming popular at the time.

The year 2020, when this exhibition was released, is a time full of societal upheaval in the form of large protest movements led primarily by youth activists. The 1960s and 70s were decades that shared similar mass protest movements. The war in Vietnam, the Civil Rights Movement, Feminist activism, and Gay Rights all shaped the youth who grew up during the period. Hippie culture defined many distinct styles and fashion became an important way for people to distinguish themselves as both individuals and a part of larger cultural movements.

By looking at these pairs of shoes and the stories they tell, we connect the past to the present day and we can begin to question the shoes we walk in now. In the future, what stories will they tell?