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In With the Old – Out With the New

05/02/09
by hannahmurg

Is this the return of the ‘Mod’ fashion? 

 

Hours spent on shaping the perfect haircut, ironing your Fred Perry polo to perfection, letting it contrast against the sharp cut of your Harrington jacket. These are just a few of the things you would probably be doing if you were a mod, or a victim of said fashion. But what is mod? Mod was the name given to a movement that took place in the early 1960’s, the youths of Britain were sick of working their nine to fives and they didn’t really fancy spending their weekends in gritty working men’s clubs. This led to a youth explosion, which came in the form of  amphetamine fuelled ‘all nighters’ in dancehalls, Lambretta scooters and being able to find clothes that were sharp, rare and better quality than the rest. The mod – as the name suggests – was modern, upbeat, always looking for the next best thing and most importantly of course; sharply dressed. Over a decade later, into the late 1970’s, the punk explosion in the UK was at its peak and on the back of this, was the mod revival. The second wave of sharply dressed, streetwise youths were followers of British bands playing punk rock with a 1960’s influence, the most famous of these being The Jam. The singer/guitarist of The Jam, Paul Weller, has since been given the title of ‘The Modfather’; never seen without his ‘mod uniform’, he is probably the sharpest dressed man in music, and his influence is from the heart of the 1960’s mod culture.

 

As I strolled into the Fred Perry shop off St Anne’s square in Manchester the other day, I was surrounded by the nostalgic noise of 60’s Motown hits, an array of vintage props and the very same polo shirts they were making in the day of the mod. I could say the same about the Ben Sherman shop in the Trafford Centre, images of scooters fill the walls and the changing rooms look liked they were ripped from out of a 1960’s tailor’s shop. These brands are synonymous with the mod image and revival look, and although they do adjust with the demands and styles of the 2009, they have kept one foot firmly in the mod culture of the sixties. This kind of heritage is what sells their clothes and keeps the consumer interested, they’re doing what they always did best; and they’re still in business.

 

The thing that strikes me the most however, is the brands that were originally nothing to do with mod image, but have now included little mod touches to their stock. Now, in 2009, it appears that what could be called ‘The Mod Third Wave’, has been creeping onto the high streets gradually over the past few years. It only takes one look into the window of Topman, and you can see the jeans and trousers are becoming much slimmer, the ties are skinnier, and the selection of slim-cut suits are teamed with polka-dot shirts and edgy ties. H&M stocks 60’s collarless shirts and fitted suit jackets, mingled in with a few new innovations in fashion for this season. This is a sure sign that these garments are aimed at the youth; and why would the young people of today want to wear suits? No, it’s not because they want to look dashing for their next job interview; it’s because they want to be sharp, smart and have an item of clothing purely for show; just like the mods.

 

 Tom Hodgson

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Ellé-Limbania Fleming permalink
    05/02/09 7:05 pm

    Dear Mr Tom Hodgson.
    Well arn’t you a fantastic writer! I very much enjoyed reading this article, your writing skills and ability to use to word ‘ mod’ are fantastic. Well done.
    E.L. Fleming.

  2. Olly Cromack permalink
    05/02/09 9:10 pm

    I SEE VOGUE, O’MALLEY, VOGUE I TELL YOU.
    Congratulations Mr Writer.

  3. Donna permalink
    06/02/09 8:39 pm

    Love the article.
    Keep spreading the word. Mods are back, rockers beware!

  4. Mod_Boy_4_Ever permalink
    07/02/09 8:16 pm

    God, I bloody love mod stuff. Can’t get enough of it. Some guys asked me the other week if I was into the mod scene, and I don’t think I need to tell you what I said. I said “Yeah, it’s bloody brilliant.”

  5. Mintperson :) permalink
    15/08/09 1:54 am

    Sounds like the writings of a wideboy, but still okay stuff.

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