“Maxi-Dress” first appeared into fashion in 1968. A maxi dress in cotton lace designed by Osca de La Renta for Elizabeth Arden Salon was published in the New York Times. The Maxi-dress wedged itself firmly in the American mind in 1970’s along with similar caftan and boho styles. To begin with, Maxi-dresses were lacey and slightly shorter than ankle length in comparison to today’s versions ofmostly cotton jersey and down to the heel.
In 1970’s long maxi dresses were generally worn for evening and day wear. The caftan, either full length or as a tunic top; the halter neckline and the peasant girl folkloric effect were some of the popular designs of 70’s. The caftan style (often called a Kaftan) had wide sleeves and finished with metallic braid, contrast fabric or gold embroidery. The traditional Swiss/Austrian styles embroidered braid finishing used on peasant style.
Maxi peasant dress Caftan
Inspired by the late 60s and early 70s Andrew Gn in his Spring 2011 collection reinvented the maxi dress. The maxi peasant dresses in neutral tones of blacks, browns, and khakis, gradually lighting with teal, purple, and pink were accentuated with white flower hairpins and platform cork wedges.
These maxi dresses are reinvented in terms of fabric, Gn has provided a look in such fine printed silks and crepes which the designers of 70’s might have not worked with. The basic shape of dress is quite similar to that of past.
The difference is the necklines the designers has worked with off shoulder, one shoulder, deep square, deep V and halter necklines as compared to neck clinging shapes of past.
Bond Street Fashion Market London in 1968
the 1968 Elizabeth Arden fashion show