Aided by the tiny subtext beneath the main headlines, I’m sure we can all surmise that this was the sleeve for a foreign release of My Mind’s Eye. I won’t guess which country, but it is great to see a full colour shot of the boys wearing such an eclectic collection of trousers.
Absolutely repping the Mod strides!
On a side note, I saw the band are also more generally wearing the stuff they wore on the front of their 2003 British-released greatest hits album. Shame they muted the colours - modern audiences eh?!
This is a gem hidden at the end of their first album. Groovy, but probably not chart-friendly, I believe it was eventually released as a B-side to My Mind’s Eye.
But it’s a great insight into the band’s early sound!
Got this beaut for my bday the other week. Military-style jacket - I’m not sure I’ve had a proper one for a while but this is a good one. Pretty Green as usual have managed to perfectly tack the line between cool and smart-casual in a way so many others have failed to do. As you would probably expect, this one is called the Lennon. It's all-cotton, stand-up collar and buttons up to the neck. A snip at £95.
I have also have a weighty influx of flowery and paisley shirts to go with it. So we’d be looking at the late 60s look rather than the usual early 60s but still, it has to be done and the weather is too good to waste.
Old skool version - look out for the one that's been recreated by actors elsewhere on the 'Tube!
Patterned trousers (also known in personal circles as “Jam trousers” after an Eddie Izzard sketch, or even “Ruperts” as a Northern acquaintance affectionately liked to refer to them) are one of fashion’s great mysteries. They have a volatile history at the forefront of almost every phase of 20th Century youth history, believe it or not. Starting with the Small Faces, they seem to have been an almost permanent feature. Even the Who, manufactured artfully as they were by Pete Meaden, performed a lot in Ruperts in their early period. One of my favourite record covers from The Specials has Terry Hall and Jerry Dammers both wearing quite powerful tartan trousers. They’ve also been referred to as a punk staple, worn by the likes of The Clash, The Damned and of course The Sex Pistols. Miles Kane even appeared to be dressed in a pair of subtle grey dogtooth on stage in Birmingham, but these claims are unconfirmed and probably owe more to dodgy eyesight than to style renaissance. We live in hope.
Anyway, I have recently taken delivery of a pair of light brown dogtooth trousers from Madcap England, one of those zany companies that supplies stuff on Atom Retro. And they are, frankly, some of the best I’ve worn.
I think they must be a winter season, as the material is quite heavy, but they fit well and appear to be of excellent quality. The outer shell is polywool, a blend of wool and polyester which nevertheless looks great, especially given the price.
However, what I most like about these boys are their style. Madcap are generally known for their slightly outrageous pattern choices (think striped blazers, whacky Trip Op Art shirts, etc) and in many ways this is their unique selling point. But these trousers are more subtle, darker and far less attention-grabbing. They look sick without making themselves the centrepiece. So much so that I could even get away with wearing them day-to-day if I wanted to - they fit with so many of my other outfits.
“Jam trousers” or “Ruperts” make a great addition to any Mod wardrobe. But if you’re looking for a strongly versatile pair of dogtooths - go for these ones.
After Wednesday's post, it got me thinking I have tended to neglect these guys quite a bit considering how many great tunes they have.
Plus, they look fab in the video, esp. Ronnie Lane. So here's a bit of the Small Faces for your viewing pleasure.
The Man talking about his favourite band. Worth a listen if you haven't seen it.
So it's a poppy number and not really Mod - sue me.
But nothing says the swinging sixties better than Herman's Hermits!
Following on from the previous post about Minis being vamped up for the 21st century, here’s another, though slightly less exciting post about the Jaguar E-type. I only say less exciting only because Jaguar themselves haven’t sought to upgrade the machine itself with high-tech additions, but rather restore it as-was.
As per the article: “The only parts that will be changed are "safety-critical" parts, although in some cases the workshop will fit new body panels. "Sympathetic upgrades", such as improved cooling and Series 2 brake callipers, can also be fitted.”
This general rise of modern-vintage blended vehicles is quite exciting for anyone who is a fan of stylish cars. Modern cars (except for the odd Aston Martin or Ferrari and sometimes not even then) I tend to find look a bit boring. Somehow they never quite match the look of their past greats.
I constantly bang on about this album, but this is a funny one - BBC coverage of the Be Here Now's release.
"At times they appeared outnumbered by the media" - oops. Also Pete Doherty.
It has always been assumed that the essence of Mod has always been one that looks back to the 1960s for its inspiration. While I would agree with most of this, I would also argue that the Mod of the 1960s spent a lot of time looking forward; adopting styles before everyone else did for instance and, as the name suggests, being as unlike the older generation of the time as possible and being thus ‘modern’. They were the first to seek out clobber from all across the world. First to get the best and the newest import tracks. First to grab the chic Italian scooter as the alternative to the grubby motorcycle.
It sounds contradictory, but I see Mod now as still representing that 1960s optimism that has impeccable taste in the most stylish clothes, but that also still looks forward to clean living and doing things in a modern way. It is (or can be) a blend of vintage style with a present day, extroverted attitude.
This brings me to today’s post. Having read the above, you will understand why I am so excited about this.
David Brown Automotive, a British coachbuilding company, has taken on a number of original Minis and restored them. In the restoration, not only do they sympathetically treat all of the cars’ original features, like the leather seats, dials and exterior, but they also virtually upgrade the insides with GPS, LED rear lights and, presumably, a reliable engine system.
When I think back to my own Mini, it is always with the impression that the car was so stylish and cool, yet I couldn’t seem to drive for more than a week without it breaking down in some way. There was the radio fault for instance - water leaked in through the bonnet and shorted out the radio system. I had this replaced numerous times before anyone realised what was wrong.
Then there was the battery fiasco. I’m not sure exactly on the details, but basically, the driving of the car was not charging the battery in the way it should have done. Every time it came to restart the engine to go out (or usually, go home), a simple turn of the key just didn’t cut it. I quickly discovered that nowadays, the number of people who actually know what a “jump start” is, let alone how to perform one is limited generally to the older generation. The alternative obviously was giving the car a push - something that’s even more tricky to ask from a stranger at the shops.
Yet when I think back, I always remember the shimmering chrome bumpers, the red paintwork and the stylish compactness of it all. Car designs nowadays tend to prioritise safety over style and it really shows.
This new project is a great idea and, although these Minis look pretty pricey at £70,000 each (more than ten times what I paid for mine in 2006), perhaps that combination of vintage style and 21st century technology would be worth it.
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