Woodstock at 40: Rock Stars and Designers Weigh In

Shirley Manson of Garbage, Courtney Love, Anna Sui and Simon Doonan share their thoughts on Woodstock.

with contributions from Marcy Medina, Bobbi Queen, Anne Riley-Katz, Nick Axelrod, Sarah Haight, Alessandra Codinha

“I have a little farm up in the area now and whenever I drive to Woodstock, I feel that atmosphere hanging around in the streets even though the festival was a bit away from the village. The good vibe lives on and the music is everywhere.” — Helena Christensen

“The first thing that comes to mind is the music. People don’t feel music the way they used to. Woodstock was the epitome [of that]. I wish I was around back then. It was just a magical time. I go to a lot of festivals because I love music. At Woodstock, you were amongst legends, and not one or two but tons. Only time will tell whether there’s a moment like that again.” — Nicole Richie

“I was there. I didn’t have my driver’s license at that point. My older cousin surreptitiously wrangled her father’s car (fabricating a tall tale that we were invited to her friend’s family’s house on Cape Cod — none of us who went told our parents the truth in advance) and we embarked totally unprepared for the event and the conditions awaiting. It was three days of incredible music, mud, naked bodies, peace, love and rationed Raisinettes — the only provision we were able to get our hands on.”
— Charles DeCaro, creative director, Laspata DeCaro

“My older brothers were complete hippies. I grew up in France listening to Janis Joplin, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan. It was a borderless movement — still to this day, the name ‘Woodstock’ is magical to my French ears.” — Sophie Theallet

“Woodstock was a revolution, liberation, constitution and real f--- off rock ’n’ roll. I think it’s a moment in history that speaks to so many generations because who can’t identify with peace, love and good times? We all need more of that.” — Erin Wasson

“I wasn’t around in 1969, but I still listen to tons of musicians from that time — Janis Joplin, The Band, Bob Dylan, Joe Cocker and Jimi Hendrix. And all of the bikinis and cover-ups I did with Shoshanna for our Made With Love Collection this summer were inspired by Woodstock — the florals and the colors.” — Charlotte Ronson

“What a tremendous influence that whole summer had. It was about the Sixties, about young people thinking about the world, wars and politics and questioning things. That’s exactly what’s happening today on a number of levels, and while it may be a different vibe now, this all came out of the Sixties.” — Patrick Robinson

“For me, it wasn’t defining as far as style, but for Nicole [Richie] it clearly was. From a musical perspective, it had an enormous impact on the world. For me, the coolest part would have been to see Joe Cocker play. He’s a legend.” — Joel Madden


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