Woodstock Nation…No More

Aug 9, 2009Breaking Newzzz
The new day of infamy.

The new day which will live in infamy.

There is a great article about the Woodstock Music and Art Fair in The New York Times today. It is a sweet love letter to a time gone by… and it made me cry. I was yay close to going to Woodstock, though only 13 years old at the time, because my family summered in the Catskills, nearby Bethel. We were en route that particular weekend, but the news reports kept us sequestered in New Jersey. I watched the news with yearning sadness all weekend, knowing that my spirit was with the Woodstock Nation. It was that defining moment when my spirit left my body and it would not be until years later that we would reunite. My spirit no longer wanted to be cooped up in my chubby, four-eyed life in New Jersey. Can you blame it? I say “it” because my spirit knows no sexual limitations, is not bound by religious constraints, and is free to transcend conventional wisdom…as were the hundreds of thousands of people descending on Yasgur’s Farm. The Summer of ’69 was a critical turning point for the nation…and myself. With innocence lost and the yearning for a deeper meaning of life kicking in, our perspectives and perceptions changed forever.

This is me in the Summer of '69. Always in fashion. Snap.

This is me in the Summer of '69. Always in fashion. Snap.

We may never know the beauty and spontaneity of a Woodstock ever again. As our society evolved and the Baby Boomers retreated into a life of pretension, that which brought unending joy and creative expression became taboo and a protective shield kept the benefits of a Woodstock Nation far away from their offspring. Now we have hyper-marketing, over zealous vendors, virtual social networking, less meaningful lyrics and apathy. All the lovely elements needed to create a true happening have been castrated. Sure life is good, but it is far less interesting.

Spontaneous combustion...the rain dance.

Spontaneous combustion...the anti-rain dance.

The impromptu communal feeding station, The Hog Farm Camp, as it was called.

The impromptu communal feeding station, The Hog Farm Camp, as it was called.

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4 Responses to “Woodstock Nation…No More”

  1. Sue Phillips says:

    What a great tribute to Woodstock! I was born in South AFrica and was in Cape Town in 1969 where I was a first year Drama Student. We didn't have TV and the news was very slanted, so I didn't really 'understand' what Woodstock was all about. It was only months and years later that I learned the reality of Woodstock and the wonderful music of Richie Havens and the like.

    I am looking forward to seeing the Woodstock movie..
    Thanks Abe

  2. Sue Evans says:

    For those who sadly couldn't be there, catch the atmosphere and the true hippy spirit of the day in the great new book Woodstock — 3days that rocked the world.

  3. Ruby says:

    Dare I say you're missing the point. First, WWD is a trade publication, meaning it's readers are fashion industry folk, not consumers so of course the primary focus would be that of fashion. Second, the point of the article by Sarah Haight (which was well written and dug deep into the style of the festival) was not to focus on the political aspects of the music festival, but in fact the style. Had you read the rest of today's issue you would have seen there are many other articles that focused on all the other aspects, including political. Third, the shoot was clearly meant to show WWD readers that the style of the concert-goers still influence designers today, which make it perfectly appropriate to include wares by Douglas Hannant and Philosophy di Albert Ferretti, as well as the lower priced options you neglected to mention including Levis, Gypsy and Frankie B. Furthermore, the piece you mocked by What Comes Around Goes around was in fact a vintage piece from the late 60's, and the other shot featured a hand-made deerskin shirt by a hippie in Topanga Canyon, CA — what could be more appropriate.

  4. Abe Gurko says:

    Thank you for your comments. I welcome all points of view, especially counter arguments to my own. It is the purpose of this site. I stick to my guns when I say that the notion of Hippie chic is an oxymoron. What it proves is that the fashion industry takes its cues from the streets. It is the streets that determine what is groovy. As for top tier designers doing Hippie chic….well let's just agree to disagree.

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