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1960s

The fashion of the UK in the 1960s is really a story of two halves. It was a decade of cultural and social change, and over the years the formal fashions carried over from the 1950s were replaced by new youthful fashion, reflecting younger people’s increasing confidence in their own identity and self-expression. Contemporary designers in the fashion industry responded to this trend, creating clothes which reflected these new interests and values with more casual and fun styles. Young people’s increasing purchasing power enabled the rise of small fashion boutiques such as Mary Quant’s Bazaar and Biba offering affordable fashions and a more relaxed shopping experience. In turn, these trends fed back into the garment and retail industry, and clothes generally became more informal and less accessorised. Sindy’s 1960s fashions clearly capture this shift in tradition which made the 1960s so significant.

The 1970s saw the rise of ready-to-wear, high-street fashion and with the introduction of a greater range of synthetic fabrics, fashions became bolder, brighter and more exuberant. Experimentation was the order of the day with a range of fashions which looked back to historical styles, across the world as overseas travel became more accessible, and where a myriad of trends flourished including hippy chic, peasant styles, disco and punk. More women were entering the workplace, and they were catered for with stylish workwear, including trouser suits. Evening wear was glamorous and thoroughly modern. Hot pants, maxi skirts, lacy nighties and negligees, trendy gingham lingerie, smocks, gypsy dresses, dungarees, denims, bell bottoms and halter necks, Sindy had it all.

1980s

The early 1980s saw a change in fashion, clothing became simpler and easier to wear with less accessories. There were interesting trends such as the fitness craze which gathered momentum with more stylish lady’s track suits, with leotards, leg warmers and headbands making an appearance.  Formal fashions with a nod to vintage designs reappeared for special occasions, often accessorised with big jewellery, gloves and stoles, although these were no longer obligatory. And, as more young women entered and stayed in the workplace, no longer giving up work when they got married or had babies, there was the rise of professional fashions and ‘power dressing’. Clothes became brighter as the decade progressed and silhouettes were popular with garments such as overshirts, belts, puff sleeves, drop waists, long shorts, Y-shaped dresses and suits, boob tubes and oversized jackets all making an appearance. And where the fashions went, so did Sindy.

Patch was introduced in 1966 and she was Sindy’s naughty little sister. She was 9 inches tall, with short choppy haircut, freckles and a cheeky face sculpted by Eric Griffiths. Although often shown as a tomboy, she had a lovely wardrobe of outfits and when dressed up she could look as sweet as angel. She was named Patch by Derek Bibby who was Pedigree Dolls Limited Managing Director.

 

In 1965 Sindy got a boyfriend called Paul. He was supposedly named after Paul McCartney of the Beatles. He was 13 inches tall, an inch taller than Sindy. His head was sculpted by Eric Griffiths, and some of his clothes were designed by Hardy Amies, one of the first modern fashion designers for men. Paul’s clothes are a wonderful snapshot of British men’s fashions of the 1960s.

Glamorous Mitzi from France and sweet little Betsy from the USA were introduced in the Autumn of 1967. They were quickly followed by bubbly Brit Vicki and Patch’s new pal Poppet in 1968. But by the end of 1971 they had all been discontinued, however they still remain very with popular with collectors.

In 1971 Sindy was given a new friend, June. This doll could only be obtained by collecting heart tokens from Sindy boxes. There were three editions of June until she too was discontinued in 1976.

The Mam’selle “Gear Get Up” range of fashion doll outfits were made in Lines Brother’s Richmond factory in the mid 1960s.  For a number of years, Mam’selle had been a subsiduary of Lines Brothers Ltd producing clothes, bedding and accessories for baby dolls, girl dolls of various sizes, and teddy bears (‘Teddy Wear’). They also made dressing-up outfits for boys and girls. These products were branded as Triang. On 1st of January 1966, Mam’selle became a sub-division of Pedigree and they further captalized on the enormous popularity of Sindy, Paul and Patch, and the influx of cheaper clone fashion dolls, by adding to the “Gear Get Up” range of Mam’selle branded clothes for 10 to 12 inch teenage dolls, and introducing the Paul and Patch 8 inch doll sized outfits. Stickers referring to Sindy, Patch and Paul were added to the Mam’selle boxes and a few referred to Sindy directly. They cost less than the official Sindy merchandise, and whilst this did not detract from the quality of their design; the cheaper manufacturing and materials used sometimes did.

Scenesetters

The name “Scenesetters” was first used in Sindy’s 1969 Style Leaflet. This name was suggested by David Fear, Pedigree’s Product Manager in the 1960s. Pedigree’s scaled accessories for Sindy were extensive and they proved to be very popular and profitable. Over the years Pedigree refined and added to the range. As the times changed, so did Sindy’s Scenesetters, her furniture followed the trends of the day and she had accessories for every latest leisure activity and trend.

All photographic copyright and editorial on this website are the copyright of Ann Jalili & Kathleen Weatherhead ©2010-2024 and cannot be reproduced in any way without prior written consent. This is not an official Sindy website, nor is it not authorised or approved by Sindy or Pedigree Toys & Brands Ltd in any way. The use of the Sindy logo on this website is used with the kind permission of Pedigree Toys & Brands Ltd.

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