Halter-neck tie top & skirt
Rachel Stace was 21 at the dawn of the decade and part of a close-knit community of young, educated and creative types “living as hippies”. Self-proclaimed anti-capitalists, they felt connected to a global cultural revolution, and considered themselves to be at the frontier of its expression in alternative lifestyle and dress within New Zealand. Whether living in the 'unfashionable' dilapidated Auckland city fringe, on the land in Coromandel, or travelling overseas, life for most was helped along by an abundance of work and cheap living costs. For Rachel and her friends, regular periods of 'dropping-out' were accompanied by the prevailing psychedelic bent for sex, drugs, and rock & roll. Career aspirations stalled – they “didn’t matter” – as newer values such as “returning to Mother Nature” and burgeoning environmentalism became ascendant. Freedom of expression was paramount to Rachel’s experience, which meant she and her hippie friends often challenged the norms and caused heads to turn with their personal style. “When we weren’t dressing up, we were naked," she says. Read more about 1970s fashion in the New Zealand Fashion Museum publication The Age of Aquarius: A 70s Revolution in Fashion.