For today, just a reprint of a Daily Mail article from a while ago now about Martin Freeman, including the following paragraph:
“You could say I'm a mod, but with a small 'm'; I don't wear a parka, but I do question what I wear and what I listen to, which is what it's all about.
I think there should be a test in school that asks people, 'Do you know why you are wearing that, and what are you trying to say?'"
Martin Freeman appears to pass his own test. He's impressively fastidious about his appearance.
Today, he's dressed in vintage Levi's 501s and a Fred Perry shirt under a short Sixties overcoat. His hair is styled like that of the Small Faces circa 1965.”
My favourite part is below:
"Being a mod is more of a sensibility than a style. It's hard explaining something that on the surface is rather silly and inexplicable… It's not curing cancer and it's not being Gandhi, but it is important to me, because it's another way of thinking about the world."
I think this would probably ring true for us and our readers.
Read the full article here.
The Oxford is the style of choice for the quintessential English gentleman and it is stolen wholesale here as a powerful element of the Mod look. Whether worn with suit trousers or jeans, Oxfords still even now retain that English gentleman image. Stylistically, Oxford style is the Brogue’s baby brother - shoes are in general smaller, smoother-skinned, and more elegant, hugging the feet with an in-step deliberately intended to cultivate a certain style of walking. The lack of extensive stitching means it can polish up much more smartly than other shoes.
One important thing to note is of course that a shoe can be both Brogue and Oxford in its style. It can retain a closed lace system while simultaneously carrying some perforations and caps.
While I have never owned a pair of Oxfords (my preference has generally been for full Brogues, unlike the Kingsman), they are one of a number of classic shoe designs that I have long coveted for my wardrobe. I like the fact that they tend to have a minimalist, urban vibe in contrast to the more heavy-duty rural one given off by Brogues. I would point out however, that I always lean towards a round toe, in any style of shoe. Square toes look harsh and jarring to the eye, something you want to avoid when trying to look your Mod-est.
For more, in-depth info, see here.
Top picks for the Spring / Summer 2016 season so far.
Yes I know Pretty Green are dominating but they have got a fair amount of good stuff...
Starting here: our fortnightly piece on our favourite bands, asking the eternal question: are they Mod?
NB: This is a series mostly about the clothes and attitude, not so much the music!
Okay. It’s generally well-known that the Who, back when they first began, were the playthings of the Mod-about-town Pete Meaden and were, in a sense, “manufactured”.
For most people this means the band should be discounted. After all, what’s Mod about someone pretending to be Mod? It should be all about looking good, at least looking a bit different and playing some decent tunes along with it. For many, being Mod is not something that you actively pursue, so much as find yourself doing (to paraphrase Martin Freeman) because it comes naturally.
The High Numbers (as they were introduced to the scene) were not natural Mods at all. Roger Daltrey especially had severe trouble keeping his hair under control, so much so that he had to use product to retain his early look. He himself said he gravitated towards the Rocker end of the spectrum, not the Mod end. Everything about the band was contrived to appeal to a Mod audience that needed new music.
So what’s Mod about the Who? Well I would actually argue that until they hit their “Pictures of Lily” frilly shirts and silly ties phase in the mid 1960s, quite a bit.
As one looking back on the My generation, pictures and videos of The Who offer a rich insight into what Pete Meaden and the later managers interpreted their audience to be. The band were designed to empathise with a Mod audience, this is true - so they had to dress like them. The band were a reflection of the scene of the time. Perhaps exaggerated, true, but nonetheless their clothes are a powerful reminder of what is possible with that strong early sixties vibe.
“The band were designed to empathise with a Mod audience - so they had to dress like them.”
A second point in their favour is the band’s legacy in the field of Pop Art. Most of the zany colours and patterns that the band are pictured wearing (for example in the video for Substitute) may not have been everyday contemporary clothing for Mods. However, I think Mod actually draws some of its greatest inspiration from this period, especially in terms of casual clothes. Bright colours, geometric shapes and the kind of retro logos and typefaces around that period all strongly form part of today’s Mod identity in a way that other periods don’t for other youth subcultures. The adoption of the RAF red, white and blue roundel is a prime example of this, stemming straight from the early Who and very often physically inseparable from the band’s name on badges and patches. The whole pop art idea was even later inspiration for the Creation’s early work, as well as some outfits of the Jam.
So The Who’s record is not entirely scratched; despite their shaky foundations, the original man in charge was a Mod through and through and aimed to dress them to appeal to the contemporary musical scene. Their wild success ought to indicate how much he nailed that objective and managed to project ‘Mod writ large’ onto what would become one of the world’s most successful bands.
For purists, we may take or leave the logos and roundels, but we can’t deny that bold colours and choppy, punky guitars have remained part of the broader Mod identity ever since.
I'd have to agree, although I have never had a pair of basketweave winklepickers!
What would they go with?
Hundreds of variations, stripes, paisley and polka.
Can be filtered to size only 5-6 inches.
And they're all ultra cheap - get over there now!
It's all very Jim Morrison.
I guess the question should be how well all that black, grey and dark colouring is going to sit on the cusp of Spring / Summer.
More to follow...
I have a tricky relationship with Parkas. People will kill me for saying it, but I originally thought the sage green parka is a little bit of a Mod cliche. Nevertheless, I can’t help but feel a slight hint of warmth when I see a decent-looking one belonging to a true fan, covered in badges and looking the business. Especially if there’s a decent suit underneath. Parkas have a special place in the heart of every Mod, young and old and that’s the truth.
PARKAS: A PRIMER
I admit I have never had a classic green M65 so worn by Jimmy in Quadrophenia. Indeed, it just so happens that I am without a Parka at all at the moment. But it’s okay - the stylish creativity that ought to be the priority of Mod is at work now in the world of the Parka.
Now, I have to boost up my favourite Mod shop Jump the Gun here: my old Parka was one of JTG’s slick black M51, with a golden Vespa badge on one sleeve. But my other two favourite examples of this are the cover of Oasis’ Be Here Now album, picturing Liam Gallagher in a smart chocolate brown M-51 and Pretty Green’s Lansdowne parka; navy blue with a fur hood. Both are strong looks that keep with the Parka tradition without losing you in the sea of green.
If you’ve got any other strong examples of a new Parka, post ‘em here or on twitter or fb!
Bought this spontaneously on Amazon yesterday.
A bargain at just under £30.
Also the last one of that size. So sorry about that.
@modmale has a few things to say about the least appreciated of Weller's bands. To read what he's written, see below on his blog.
Time has not been kind to The Style Council. Heck, I don't think the 1980s were kind to The Style Council. They were a pretty polarizing group, especially to Mod folk then and now... Read more
Mod Male's post a few years ago has inspired me also to take another look at the Style Council. In a series of posts upcoming, I'll be having a closer examination of all the aspects which I personally would take from Weller's middle period - let's see if we from different generations agree.
I think we can start with this pic above.
A strong selection from Timex.
What would be great is if they allowed you to buy one watch with a variety of straps that could be interchanged pretty easily.
That would be sound.
Anyone who’s visited Art Gallery clothing will know they’re basically all about the knitwear.They’ve got the widest variety of gear of any of the shops I’ve looked at online and also some of the most creative. Mendoza Menswear is also good, but their stuff is much zanier; if you want a turtleneck or smart jumper, don’t mess about. Art Gallery is where to go.
The LSPs look f**king great in this vid. Using Mod for their own purposes perhaps, but they scrubbed up well nevertheless...
New album out soon.
Other sites you should check out:
Mod blogger and style advocate. For all the latest pearls of wisdom, read this blog!