The New Wave, the Shag, and Flower Power

Style inspiration from movies from/about the 1960s.

Whenever anyone asks me what I call “the DeLorean question”—what era in time would I want to travel back to?—I always say the 1960s. The music, the fashion…I mean, what could be better? These five stylish films are a case in point.

Clockwise from far left: dress, $54, ASOS; hair bow, $5, Etsy; umbrella, $18, Modcloth; faux-fur trim, $13,; Sonia Rykiel bow cuff, $149, ASOS; Make Up For Ever Flash Color Pot in Pale Blue, Make Up For Ever; tights, $15, Modcloth.

In A Woman Is a Woman, aka Une femme est une femme (1961), Anna Karina plays an exotic dancer torn between her boyfriend and his best friend. SCANDALO! She was not only THE heroine of French New Wave cinema, but also one of the era’s most elegant style icons. And though she plays an exotic dancer in this movie, there is nary a see-through stripper heel in sight. Don’t get me wrong, we all know I love a stripper heel, but if modern-day stripteases consisted of clothing like this, I’d drop what I’m doing and get to DANCIN’.

Anyway, I especially love her wardrobe in Une femme because of the primary-themed color palette. Her character’s standout outfit, a blue-and-white fur-trimmed dress, would be a fun one to make. On your next thrifting adventure, look for a sapphire-blue dress and sew on some white faux-fur trim from the craft store. Put your hair up in a bun, clip in a bow and paint your eyes with a nice blue shadow like Make Up Forever’s Flash Color Pot in Pale Blue and their black Aqua Liner. (You better not be sick of a ’60s cat eye OR ELSE…)

White polka-dot dress, $59, Dorothy Perkins; real-butterfly-wing earrings, $6, Etsy; real-butterfly-wing necklace, $19, Etsy; flower headband, $11, ASOS; fake hair braid, $11, ASOS; navy polka-dot dress, $57, Dorothy Perkins.

Daisies aka Sedmikrásky (1966) is definitely one of the weirdest yet COOLEST movies I have ever seen. Two girls, both named Marie (OOH YEAH), decide that since the world around them is going to shit, they will start “being bad” along with it. The movie was initially banned in Czechoslovakia for its depiction of food wastage (FOOD-FIGHT ALERT!) and has many feminist leanings and political undertones. The two Maries get into their own brand of mischievous slapstick and are incredibly stylish throughout! Polka-dot shift dresses, checkered bikinis, butterfly specimens, and the inevitable flower crown are all very Daisies-esque. I know some of you are like, “UGH flower crowns agaiiiiiin????” YES, sorry but it’s a signature look in the film and anyway, IT’S ACTUALLY FLOWER-CROWN SEASON! There’s a new twist though, because I’m really into this one that’s attached to a fake braid! If any of you decide to crash somebody’s epic feast and swing from a chandelier, don’t forget to invite your girl Rie-Rie! I will put on my anarchist party shoes!

Clockwise from far left: dress, $65, Modcloth; striped hat, $14, Forever 21; pink beret, $18, Sears; OPI New York Ballet Collection in Care to Danse? and Don’t Touch My Tutu, $8.50 each, OPI; high-vamp ballet flats, $29, Topshop.

The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967) is a beautiful French musical about two twins (played by real-life sisters Catherine Deneuve and Françoise Dorléac) born under the sign of Gemini. One of them teaches ballet while the other is a music composer, and both girls long to leave the doldrums of Rochefort for Paris. Catherine Deneuve, who is another iconic French New Wave actress, plays the ballerina. Turn your Girly Meter up to a TEN with rose-hued pleats and matching berets, then squeeze your hooves into a pair of ballerina-style flats. Paint your nails in one of the perfectly subtle shades from OPI’s New York City Ballet collection. Now work on your pliés, mes poupées!

Red nautical dress, $55, Romwe; cat-eye sunglasses, $16, Urban Outfitters; seashell earrings, $6, Forever 21; Swedish Hasbeens, $240, Modcloth; anchor bracelet, $68, Kate Spade; striped tote, $28, Fred Flare.

Shag (1989) is about four friends who go to Myrtle Beach for a last hurrah before they part for college and a wedding. The girls spend their time at the beach meeting bad boys, having parties, and dancing “the Shag.” The girls’ personalities couldn’t be more different, but they share a cute sense of style. The nautical look is at its best when you’re spending your summer by the shore. Actually, I have worn nautical in the desert so don’t believe my lies. This dress from Romwe or a Topshop playsuit are my ideal choices for sailor-style wear. Grab some matching sea-themed accessories and flip your hair up like Phoebe Cates’s, and you’ll be ready to shag!

Clockwise from left: playsuit with gingham trim, $50, ASOS; daisy studs, $1.50, Forever 21; flower ring, $27, Etsy; hair elastics, $8, ASOS; headband, $9, Etsy; vintage flower-power stickers, $7, Etsy; Schwinn cruiser, $130, Target.

The young ladypals in Now and Then (1995) deal with heavy real-life topics like divorce and death, but balance them with cemetery séances, bra-stuffing, and riding their bikes while singing along to “Knock Three Times,” so it’s no surprise that the movie was known as the feminine version of Stand By Me. The assortment of prints the girls wear throughout the film are so fantastic someone needs to dedicate an artsy Tumblr to them like that Cosby-sweater one right away!

Bright-colored playsuits like this one from ASOS Curve are perfect for that “riding your bike all summer” look. Find all the flower-power accessories you can get your hands on and you are all set to re-create a scene from one of the best movies ever! ♦


  • starcollector April 16th, 2012 7:19 PM

    Oh my god I’m so in love with at least 3/4 of these girls. The red sailor dress and the polka dot/ flower crown combo are the highlights of this article for me. Why oh why didn’t I live in the 60s and date every member of the Monkees? WHY?

    China Lily

  • April 16th, 2012 7:19 PM

    I never heard of any of these movies but I think I’m going to check them out, especially now and then and dasies, they look really cool

  • deuxiemesexe April 16th, 2012 7:21 PM

    Some of these are easily my favorites films of all time. I’ve been doing the choreography of Chanson des Jumelles since i remember being a kid with consciousness. So happy to see Godard, Jacques Demy and Věra Chytilová on Rookie!

  • Marguerite April 16th, 2012 7:28 PM


  • missblack April 16th, 2012 7:30 PM

    AHHHH Now and Then is my favorite movie ever!!!!!!!

    Anyway, I MUST see A Woman Is A Woman. Anna Karina = amazing.


  • KinuKinu April 16th, 2012 7:40 PM

    AWESOME!! I seriously want to watch Daisies cuz it sounds awesome.And Shag and A Woman is a Woman.Ah,I love the sixty’s.I would have totally wanted to go back to that era if it hadn’t been for,like,the super racist country it was back then.Other than that though,I would totally go back to the 60′s.

  • preachypreach April 16th, 2012 7:41 PM

    i love these articles about style from the movies so much.

  • TheAwesomePossum April 16th, 2012 7:43 PM

    What’s not to love? Well, blatant racism and sexism are some things. Whenever I’ve been asked what other time period I would live in if I could, I always respond with the present. As much as I love 60′s fashion, I’m not really into the whole romanticism of the era.

    Anyway, ahhh these all look like such pretty movies! I think I’m actually going to fashion myself a crown of daisies now. I can just imagine myself riding my bicycle in a green dress in the summer with it…

    • lorobird April 16th, 2012 8:01 PM

      Yeah I agree. The 60s were swell if you were a white young man, or a white adult male (better if you were middle-class) but that’s about it.

      Sometimes I think that the 70s would have been cool to live in because of the revolutionary feminist movements, as well as other radical liberation movements (LGBT, Black Panther Party, etc).

      Something I think is better from that time compared to this one is the levels of economic inequality. After the Thatcher-Reagan craziness in the 80s, inequality levels began to rise (and keep rising today in the midst of the crisis) and de-industrialization (read: de-localization) condemned many working class communities to endemic poverty both in the US and the UK.

      But in terms of social justice, definitely today is better :S I’d rather have the legal weapons to support myself if I’m discriminated against in the workplace, for instance.

      THAT SAID, this is a really good post, great fashion and I’m gonna watch some of these films :)

      • Tyknos93 April 16th, 2012 9:28 PM

        The Black Panther party was quite sexist and corrupt as well, moreso the SNCC. The leader Stokely Carmichael when prompted on the role women played in the party said the were only useful for sleeping with the members. It broke my heart. There were plenty of other women like Angela Davis and Kathleen Cleaver who worked parallel to the Party and made just as big a difference at the time.

    • anonymouse April 16th, 2012 9:15 PM

      Yeah…That’s immediately what I thought. Now that everything’s about retro/vintage, why go back? You can where the same things but stand out from the crowd because they all wore very similar things apparently.

  • Starboardd April 16th, 2012 8:00 PM

    The French New Wave is one of my favorite things of the entire human existence, and Anna Karina will forever be my style icon… gosh, Rookie! You guys read my mind, and so I love reading the magazine!!

  • Maryse89 April 16th, 2012 8:04 PM

    Wow I love this post with such intensity because I was raised in South Carolina (the Shag) and now live in Paris/ am obsessed with French girls from the 60s. Seriously, Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (along with les Parapluies de Cherbourg, totally heartbreaking film by the same director and also starring C. Deneuve) and all the Godard films starring my LIFE STYLE ICON Anna Karina outline basically all I want to be in life

    And as someone forced to learn the Shag in middle school dance class, I never realized there was a movie about it! Thanks Rookie, I will definitely be checking it out…

  • monsters April 16th, 2012 8:10 PM

    I love all of these looks and films! Darling is another one of my all time favourite 60s outfit inspirations. Andula in Loves of a Blonde is my sulky 60s teen icon!

  • flowerchild49 April 16th, 2012 8:12 PM

    Cat eyes and flower crowns shall never grow old. Tis the season!

  • filmfatale April 16th, 2012 8:26 PM

    I always wondered what a self-important, unfunny John Waters movie would look like. Thank goodness ‘Daisies’ exists. :-/

  • lavieeeeee April 16th, 2012 9:01 PM

    Anna Karina and the French New Wave are my only loves in life they’re so amazing. So happy you like them too!!

  • Tourdivoire April 16th, 2012 9:02 PM

    Les Demoiselles de Rochefort: Best. Film. EVER.
    (Along with many others, but well, you see what I mean)
    I basically want to live in Jacques Demy’s head.

    Also, Françoise Dorléac: why oh why did she have to die so young? Just imagine how cool a film with Catherine Deneuve, her daughter Chiara Mastroiani and her cool aunt would have been…

    • deuxiemesexe April 16th, 2012 9:21 PM

      Plus Marcello Mastroianni. It would have been the best movie ever!

  • Julianne April 16th, 2012 9:03 PM

    I was JUST thinking about incorporating more Anna Karina style into my look earlier. Luv u, Rookie

  • hwalt April 16th, 2012 9:05 PM

    Just watched The Young Girls of Rochefort this weekend, it’s definitely one of my all time faves! Incredibly quirky and cute, very happenstance-y and the soundtrack is one of the best. I’m also in love with Gene Kelly’s song featuring weird sounds and his usual fabulous dancing. Over-all amazeballs.

  • back2thepast April 16th, 2012 9:17 PM

    AHHHHH OMG OMG OMG OMG i love now and then more than anything in the wwooorrlldd, my friends and I all assigned ourselves to specific characters and made each other cds of the movie soundtrack ohhh i love this.

  • Whatsername April 16th, 2012 9:29 PM

    I LOVE the 60′s. I’m also spazzing at the amount of ModCloth in this. lovelovelove.
    I need to see some of these movies.

  • teenager April 16th, 2012 9:51 PM

    What I dress like in my fantasies — all in one post. I need more daisy things and polka dot dresses…. especially after reading this :) Love it all!

  • belleslumieres April 16th, 2012 10:15 PM

    Une femme est une femme is one of my favourites! Anna Karina is so adorable in it.

  • guiltfreedonut April 16th, 2012 11:08 PM

    I’m in love with that pink dress. It’s definitely going to be a summer must-have for me. Plus, maybe a good reason to pull out the old baret?

  • Kathryn April 16th, 2012 11:22 PM

    “UGH flower crowns agaiiiiiin????” – Said by no one, ever. Flower crowns are LITERALLY THE BEST THING EVER AHHH.

  • insteadofanelephant April 16th, 2012 11:53 PM

    love the polka dots. OMG NOW AND THEN. holy nostalgia flowing back from when i used to watch that with my gal pals.

    instead of an elephant

  • Saraleebread April 16th, 2012 11:55 PM

    okay so gonna watch these movies. although I’ve already seen Now and Then and did love it; Stand By Me is a my favorite movie and Now and Then was really similar in a way that it was a summer of change.

  • Susann April 17th, 2012 1:26 AM

    All those movies (and styles!) seem great – especially pairing bright blue dresses with red tights :)

  • whodatgal April 17th, 2012 4:10 AM

    Need to watch summa these! :D

  • ivoire April 17th, 2012 4:46 AM

    LOOOOOOOOOOOVE. <3 flower power <3

  • Emily Condon April 17th, 2012 8:15 AM

    I LOVE that Shag is included. I used to watch that over and over, but thought maybe I was the only one!

  • JosephineP April 17th, 2012 8:49 AM

    I really like these nostaligic looks:-) good work!

  • neenah April 17th, 2012 4:20 PM

    Great fashion tips as always!
    I also love An Education from the style standpoint (and also because it’s awesome!).

  • Adrienne April 17th, 2012 10:10 PM

    Love this so much! Thanks for the inspiration, Rookie. :)))

  • lavendersparrow April 17th, 2012 10:59 PM

    I love the sixties. If I could go back in time I would go there too. I love the pink pleated dress!

  • clady April 18th, 2012 2:16 AM

    great post! I like the red nautical dress

  • caro nation April 23rd, 2012 7:44 PM

    But which is better…… FRENCH new wave or CZECH new wave!?





  • RachelTri April 25th, 2012 7:50 PM

    Now and Then is one of my favorite movies ever. <3 I always want to buy rainbow-striped men's shirts because of Roberta.

  • Pixie June 27th, 2012 3:37 PM

    I totally love 60s! It’s like I think I’m born in the wrong decade