Changes in the 1960s
A number of social, cultural and economic changes in the mid-1960s affected the people of Australia, and would in turn have an impact on Stone’s.
During the 1960s, Western fashion began to shift from the formal, tailored garments of the 1940s and 50s, to more practical, casual styles favoured by the active youth. Nowhere is this more evident than at the 1965 Melbourne Cup, when British model Jean Shrimpton shocked race-goers by wearing a simple mini-skirt, and no hat, gloves or stockings. The impact of this change was felt at Stone’s, and the shop’s stock increased the number of ready-to-wear garments, and decreased the production of personalised haute couture.
In 1963, the Australian Government proposed replacing the existing currency of pounds, shillings and pence with a new decimal format. The deadline for the changeover was 14 February 1966. At this point in time, Marcus Stone, Jessica and Paul Simon were in their late 40s and 50s, and thinking of retirement. The decision was made to close before the currency changed.
Throughout 1965, business continued as usual at Stone’s. The ongoing commitment to a high standard of service was evident in the letter sent by Marcus in August of that year to “our valued customers”, where he offered his thanks on behalf of the Directors for the loyal patronage during three generations of trading. “Jessica’s Bridal Bouquet” continued on the radio and the “Focus on Fashion” programme screened until the end of 1965.