Many modern man-made fabrics like crimplene, terylene and PVC originated in the 1960s, whilst others, like nylon, first became popular then. Synthetics, therefore, can be seen to exemplify the forward looking attitude of 1960s fashion and clothing, with new fibres representing progress and to be encouraged; and old natural fibres representing tradition and only to be improved upon by technology. Thus many sorts of clothing were made of nylon, including nightwear, men's shirts and trousers, evening dresses and especially underwear. As a fabric, nylon has obvious drawbacks which restricts its use in fashion today: it promotes static and has a clammy feel; it yellows with age; and it seals in perspiration and is itchy. Nevertheless, in much everyday clothing, it reigned supreme for a decade or so until the early 1970s.
This princess-line mini slip or petticoat is fashionably printed in a psychedelic floral pattern, and is cut in a flattering A-line shape which would not look out of place today. It has the label "Elvira" and was presented to the museum as ex-shop stock which had never been worn. As with most unsold goods, it is quite possible that, for some reason, the design did not appeal to the consumers frequenting that particular retail outlet. Such slips were not unlike mini dresses worn as outerwear in the later 1960s, such as the disposable paper dress shown below.
Full item descriptions:
"petticoat & mini-slip" [1985.402], Elvira
"paper dress" [1989.184], Marcus Boutique by Mornessa, Scott Paper Co.