Retro vintage design | Stylish 1950s fashion or Swinging 60s fashion

Last Updated on May 3, 2024 by

Retro vintage moodboard created on
How to interior design in a retro style: Stylish 1950s fashion or Swinging 60s fashion

To design in a retro vintage styleis to remix aspects of a previous style.  Many styles of the past have successfully been reinvented time and time again. A popular retro style is the style created in the 1950's rock ‘n' rock era. The 1960's became known as the swinging 60's. Interior décor and clothing fashions can be intermingle to create bold trendy statements.
If you would like to create a 1950's retro style, hot pink was the color of the decade. Italian couture began to rival French couture. Pucci and Simonetta were influenced by the colors of the Renaissance. Fath used Honan silks in hot pink. Turquoise became a sensation after 1951. The Germany Company Bayer developed the first colorfast turquoise dye Alcian. Full skirts in bold colors were a hallmark of the rock ‘n' roll era.

Retro furniture and Retro fabric

The technological advances of the retro design age let to advances in fabrics and finishes. Orange, pistachio and kingfisher blue furnishing fabrics was very much in vogue. The colors were used juxtaposition (side by side) and can appear gaudy to some people. Scandinavian designers combined natural and synthetic materials. The colors used reflected the Nordic landscape. Linoleum tops in primary colors were used on Birchwood tables and chairs for children. Eero Saarinen's pedestal chair was created for Knoll in 1955. Alvar Aalto a Finish architect designed his famous cantilevered chair. The designer Eames created the Sofa Compact in 1954 and the Eames lounge chair and ottoman in 1956. The Ant chair was designed by Arne Jacobsen in 1953. George Nelson also created his famous Marshmallow chair and a storage system.

The fabrics of the decade included a fabric called Circles by Alexander Girard, ‘Double Triangles' a retro fabric designed by Alexander and Girard William Pahlmann designed ‘Still Trees'. Frank Lloyd Wright also designed ‘Imperial Triangle' which was reproduced by F. Schumacher in 1956.
The 1950's saw the development of new plastics, stream proof paints, wallpapers, and flooring. Velcro was also developed. The 1950's was a glorious time for design. A new optimism was emerging after the depression of the 1930's and the devastation of the World War in the 1940's. If you visit the creative buzz blog you can find some examples of 1950's retro vintage style

What was hot in the retro vintage age of Interior Design?
  • Bright pinks
  • Orange
  • Gold
  • Reds
  • Turquoise
  • Beige
  • Colored enamel kitchenware
  • Linoleum top tables in primary colors
  • Designer furniture
  • Subdued fabric patterns
The Fashion Colors of the 1950s fashion era
  • Primary colors
  • Hot pink
  • Very hot pink
  • Turquoise
  • Kingfisher blue
  • Green
  • Lilac
  • Pale maize
  • Amethyst
  • Geranium
Retro Vintage Clothing styles
  • Matching colors
  • Billowing wraps
  • Semi fitted coats
  • Strapless boned bodice evening dresses
Retro Fabrics
  • Taffeta
  • Satin
The swinging 60s fashion

A new range of cheap brightly colored cotton fabrics and an increase in synthetic fabrics produced an explosion of mass produced fashion items in the 1960's. Drip dried non iron clothing became the rage. As did coats and boots in brightly colored plastic. Mary Quant was one of the leaders of the swinging London style, the mini skirt which conquered the world. Trouser suits became popular from New York, to Paris and Rome.

The Italian collections of the time were highly colored, stripes and knits. It was at this time blue jeans became popular and were worn by both sexes and people of all ages and went on to become a fashion classic. The panty hose replaced nylon stockings. They worked well with the mini skirt and came in many different colors and patterns. Visit the creative buzz blog and find examples of the 60s fashion.

Khaki military style jackets were worn with jeans or white (bell bottomed) sailor style trousers. The hippy look dominated the fashions of the late sixties. The styles were a mingling of native peasant costumes with beadwork and chamois leather. Mondrian paintings, films and ethic dress influenced fashion. Zandra Rhodes colorful psychedelic patterns in fabrics and wallpapers were contrasted by the two tone Laura Ashley designs in brown, pale blue, green and cream for clothing, curtains and covers.

Spanish architect Paco Rabanne invaded the fashion scene with a futuristic style influenced by the space race. He designed mini dresses made of geometric shapes riveted and clasped together with metal, leather or plastics. Verner Panton a Swiss architect designed the first plastic chair with no joints in 1960. This led to the development of synthetic moulded furniture in geometric shapes. Solid moulded foam cubes in bright colors were also produced. The main feature of the 1960's interior style; playful and casual.

The Swinging 60s fashion style
  • Colorful ethic fabrics
  • Oriental beads
  • Colorful jewellery
  • Muticolored Afghan dresses
  • Indonesian batik prints
  • North African caftans
  • Nehru shirts
  • Arabic djellabas (a traditional long, loose-fitting outer robe)
  • Silver jewellery inset with amber and other semi precious stones
  • Kohl eye makeup
  • Red Henna hair coloring
  • New color consciousness
  • Peasant skirts
  • Embroidered blouses
  • Boleros decorated with ribbons
  • High red boots
  • Patterned headscarves
  • Body painting
  • Mini skirt
  • Indian prints
  • Black and white geometric designs
1960's Interior Design
  • Floors, ceilings and walls painted in brilliant colors
  • Murals
  • Wall hangings
  • Multicolored Indian prints
  • Sofa's, divans and floors covered with oriental carpets and rugs
  • Abundance of colors available
  • Plastic chairs
  • Moulded foam furniture
  • Cubed style furniture
You can create your retro vintage style in a number of ways. Create a colorful 60s fashion hippy pad using oriental carpets and rugs. Or a space age room with bold colored moulded foam furniture. Psychedelic wallpaper designs can be used to jazz up any room and add a touch of 1960's style. You can recreate a 1950's or 1960's room using a number of items and colors from the 50's or 60's. Or select one or two items from one of the eras and use the item as a starting point of the design for your retro style room. The sky is the limit it is also an eco friendly way to decorate as many items from the 1950's and 1960's are available at second hand dealers, op shops and on ebay.

Use our digital interior design moodboard editor or read the creative buzz blog for added tools and tips to help you to create a retro vintage moodboard.

For more inspirational design related articles visit our Creative Buzz section on

Author: Rosena MacFadzean