Mod

Mod


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Mod is a British youth subculture, which emerged in the late 1950s and reached its peak in the mid 60s. The mod lifestyle focused on music that is, soul, ska, and R&B; fashion (often tailor made suits) and scooter usually of the Lambretta or Vespa make. Mods as described by George Melly were “a small group of clothes focused working class young men insisting on clothes and shoes tailored to their style”, who were termed modernists because they listened to modern jazz. The original mod scene was associated with amphetamine-fuelled all-night dancing at clubs. The term mod derives from modernist, which was used in the 1950s to describe modern jazz musicians and fans who dress in sharp modern Italian clothes.



Mods with income through jobs, spent their leisure time by going to nightclubs, listening to music and collecting records, demanding more fun and more freedom. Early mods sought out French and Italian film, magazines books to look for style ideas as they began to use their income to buy stylish clothes.The original Mod outfit of choice for young men was slim fitting dark coloured suit as influence from movies although detail was of importance and so the young mod would opt for tonic or mohair fabric, slim lapels and three buttons to the front as a result good tailor quickly became popularised. A few male mods went against gender norms by using eye shadow, eye-pencil or even lipstick. Teenagers with low paying jobs, scooters were cheaper than cars, and they could be bought through newly-available hire purchase plans. Mods treated scooters as a fashion accessory. Italian scooters were preferred due to their clean-lined, curving shapes and gleaming chrome. Many female mods dressed androgynously, with short haircuts, men's trousers or shirts, flat shoes, and little makeup. Miniskirts became progressively shorter between the early and mid 1960s. As female mod fashion became more mainstream, slender models like Jean Shrimpton and Twiggy began to exemplify the mod look. Maverick fashion designers emerged, such as Mary Quant, who was known for her miniskirt designs.


Twiggy 60s Iconic Mod Fashion ModelImage of youths with mod associated clothing and scooter



As the subculture moved into the 60s, a more casual style became apparent with the introduction of Levi jeans, Fred Perry polo shirts and desert boots. These clothing then became the day uniform of Mods throughout the country and the sharp suits saved for the nighttime drug fuelled dance halls. Throughout the mid-60s, pop art became a big influence within the mod wardrobe with the symbolic use of arrows, union jacks sewn onto parkas and jackets. By 1963, the mod subculture had then started to be identified through symbols that came to be associated with the scene, such as scooters, amphetamine pills and R&B music. Some mods evolved into, or merged with, subcultures such as individualists, stylists, and scooter boys. From mid to late 60s onwards the media often used the term mod in a wider sense to describe anything that was believed to be moderns, popular or fashionable.



The Mod subculture was constantly changing and so was difficult to define. By1966 there was a decline in the mod scene. With the latest phase of psychedelic rock music, young people drifted from the mod scene and in its place came the hippie and bohemian culture. Mods have had such an influence on today’s streamlined fashion silhouette.



The revival of mod style began in the late 1970s in the England. There was a small group that did not associate with middle class hippie movement. They started listening to Jamaican Ska as well as attended underground house parties and clubs. They adopted the Rude Boy look of pork pie hats and too short Levi jeans, these 'Hard Mods' soon evolved into the first skinheads. These early skinheads retained some of the basic elements of Mod clothing such as Fred Perry and Ben Sherman shirts and Levi's jeans but they mixed them with working class oriented accessories such as braces and Dr. Marten work boots. Hard mods (who later evolved into the skinheads) began riding scooters more for practical reasons. Their scooters were either unmodified or cutdown.