Copyright Manolis Daloukas.
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Swinging London is a catch-all term applied to the fashion and cultural scene that flourished in London, in the 1960s.
It was a youth-oriented phenomenon that emphasised the new and modern. It was a period of optimism and hedonism, and a cultural revolution. One catalyst was the recovery of the British economy after post-World War II austerity which lasted through much of the 1950s.
"Swinging London" was defined by Time magazine in its issue of 15 April 1966 and celebrated in the name of the pirate radio station, Swinging Radio England, that began shortly afterward. However, "swinging" in the sense of hip or fashionable, had been used since the early 1960s, including by Norman Vaughan in his "swinging/dodgy" patter on Sunday Night at the London Palladium. In 1965, Diana Vreeland, editor of Vogue magazine, said "London is the most swinging city in the world at the moment.".
By the 1960s, Carnaby Street proved popular for followers of both the Mod and hippie styles. Many independent fashion boutiques, and designers such as Mary Quant, Marion Foale and Sally Tuffin,Lord John, Lady Jane, Merc, Take Six, and Irvine Sellars were located in Carnaby Street as well as various underground music bars such as the Roaring Twenties in the surrounding streets. With bands such as Small Faces, The Who, and Rolling Stones appearing in the area to work (with the legendary Marquee Club located round the corner in Wardour Street), shop, and socialize, it became one of the coolest destinations associated with the Swinging London of the 1960s.