Sunday, December 30, 2007

Mini Skirts

Did you wear one in the 60's if you were a young girl? And if you were a young man then, did you look at all those legs?

I wore the mini skirts like most young girls in 1968 until 1972. But I did not wear them more than 8 inches above the knee. Quite conservative to the younger generation and yet quite daring to the older generation.

I did not dare to wear the hotpants though. Probably I had lots of Taiwanese singers in Sibu to compare with. They did not look too good in them. So I decided not to have any at all. However today, with all the girl bands, etc on tv, I find them fairly palatable. Better than some of the other styles.

the very short skirt actually came from Britain in 1967. while most people were still wearing the 1950's clothes in the very conservative Sibu, and the cheong sam and sam foo were still being worn by the married women, more and more young ladies took the the street with the interesting and attractive mini skirts by the late 60's. The movie stars, the Taiwanese singers and better economic conditions caused by good timber money helped propelled Mary Quant's style in Sibu.

According to fashion history,the fore runner of the mini dress the straight shift, which had developed from the 1957 sack dress, was still well below the knee.

In the early sixties, pleated skirts set on a hip yoke basque were worn with short sleeved over blouses which were cut not unlike the shell tops of today. Straight skirts had front and back inverted pleats called kick pleats and were ideal for doing the twist dance craze as they allowed the knee to move freely. Remember Chubby Checker? Boys and girls were crazy about the twist. They were twisting and shouting on Saturday nights in the Sibu Recreation Club.

In the United States, with movies like Gidget and Summer Holidays, pop stars wore straight sweater dresses in lambswool or the synthetic acrylic variety called Orlon worn belted with waists nipped in became fashionable. Sandra Dee, Yvette were the darlings of the cinemas. Every girl dreamed of a holiday by the sea. Bobby Darin was causing every girl to swoon. And I had pictures of Cliff Richard and Elvis Presley in my scrap book . All these new behaviours caused a great deal of headaches and heartaches to my mother and many other mothers who thought that they should have sent their daughters to Chinese school where girls wore pigtails and white and black skirts only.

Sweaters were the in thing and we all wished for a twin set. Singapore was the centre of fashion and every fairly wealthy Sarawak family bought some of these gorgeous sweaters in Change Alley or other shops .Pencil skirts were still worn with sweaters .

those were giddy days for the post war babes like us. And it was a good time. Bob Dylan, Slim Whitman, and other crooners sang, "Times, they are a'changin...."

And true enough, with changes in media, communication, magazines,radio and tv....times changed very quickly...we were all trying to catch up with everything on a gallop.

8 memories:

FrancisN said...

I liked the mini skirts or liked the mini skirts the girls wore.

Yes, as a young man, my friends and I would congregate in front of the Sibu District Council building on Saturday evenings admiring the girls cycling passed. We would offer a wolf whistle every now and then for appreciating what they wore.

Some of the girls would cycle pass many times for attention.

Ah... what memories!

sarawakiana said...

Hi thank you for stopping by.

Nice of you to write about your teenage behaviour honestly. And that bit about wolf whistling. This was Americanization of Asian youth caused by the great media (film) influence of the day. MacLuhan said, "The world is but a village..."

Other male hormonal influenced traits were well permed, and jelled hairdos, rolled up sleeves to show a peep of bulging muslces, a small plastic comb at the back pocket and probably dark sun glasses - the James Dean, Ricky Nelson, Elvis Presley look...

And then minus the vrooooom of the red sports car because Foochow parents would have disowned them.....:)Dato Ling Beng Siew was the only one owning a blue low slung American car...Remember that?

And I remember Fanny Fan (Fan Li) came to Sibu and she sat in one of the open topped cars belonging to one of the LingBrothers. After that almost every young lady sported a flowing head scarf!!

I did not dare!!!! My mum said, "too young..."

FrancisN said...

Honestly after watching films like "Summer Holidays" and "Girls, Girls, Girls", trying to be cool like Cliff Richard and Elvis Presley was the norm during those days.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah" trying to sing like the Beatles, we were influenced alright.

Would have loved to be in that sports car when I saw it.

Those were the days when we were so naive and easily influenced by what we saw in the movies.

I had my sleeves rolled up, had a plastic comb, dark glasses but no bulging muscles.

Can't copied everything when you do not have it.

sarawakiana said...

got this photo of Changkok Manis (lakian chai - very politically incorrect) and a Guiness Stout glass...will write about these two later...

Have you had this vegetable lately?
Do you drink Guiness Stout?

Just curious.

FrancisN said...

I like your post's new format with photos.

That plate of lakian chai looks so appetising. It is one of my favourite dishes. The last time I had it was when I went back to Sibu in 2004.

I had memories of coming back from school and tucking into it. Who would have figured that a simple vegatable could taste so delicious.

I prefer a cold beer to Guiness Stout. As teenagers, we referred with respect that Guiness Stout was an "old people's" drink. It was a common belief that it gives them more energy and strength. Not that we younger ones do not need enerygy and strength, we just could not get used to the taste.

I tried it once but would rather stick to beer.

sarawakiana said...

Changkok manis is now a restarant dish, alongside Paku and Meeding. (ferns) The West Malaysians still find these three dishes exotic and some even have to acquire the taste.

And to think that these were poor people's vegetables about twenty years ago only!

I consider these three organic vegetables so I eat a lot of them of course within limits.

I was also brought up to think that Guiness is an old man's drink.

Thanks for all you input.


FrancisN said...

I like paku and espcially meeding with a good amount of chilli and belachang.

I like reading your posts. They reminded me and got me thinking about all the good times I had as a teenager in Sibu.

After reading your posts, memories of events and faces of people I went to school with, teachers, people I have met and befriended started to come back to me.

I look forward to your next post. Hey, no pressure here but please keep them coming.


sarawakiana said...

I do write a lot, sometimes more often. Sometimes I just stop writing.

But whenever I meet up with old friends, I gather lots of ideas and put them into writing.

So it is no pressure. My pleasure.



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