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A Brief Fashion History Of England Part 2 - The Sixties 2

Updated on April 20, 2011
The adopted insignia of the British 60's MOD about town
The adopted insignia of the British 60's MOD about town

The Modernist movement or subculture

This was probably the first time in Britain that music influenced fashion.

The MOD was a scooter loving fan of bands like The Who, Beatles, Stones, Merseybeats, Hermanns Hermits and others, but the Who's My Generation seemed to really speak to the youth of that era.

Where the Teddy Boys had no real musical affiliations, their style of dress didn't really gain a musical foothold until well into the seventies, when it seemed to epitomise good ol' Rock 'n' Roll,

The MODs however were pretty obvious about their musical affiliations.

The Who's "Quadrophenia" told the story of an age when Lambrettas, Vespas and Parkas we "all the rage"
The Who's "Quadrophenia" told the story of an age when Lambrettas, Vespas and Parkas we "all the rage"
The Scooters
The Scooters
In Brighton
In Brighton

Talking 'bout my ... generation

The Teddy Boys of the fifties seemed to diverge and split and while they were violent Dandies, it was the MODs that took on the stylish mantle in the sixties. The other half seemed to take on the biker image of Marlon Brando in the 1953 movie The Wild Ones .

Where the MODs paid attention to their looks and seemed to gravitate to the new music of the Stones, Who and Beatles, the Rockers seemed to have their roots in the standard rock numbers and where the MODs embraced the Lambretta and the Vespa scooters, the rockers preferred the motorcycle.

Music blamed again...

The general consensus of the time, was that the violent clashes between these two factions was all down to music.

Just as the powers that be in the fifties blamed people like Bill Haley, Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and the Big Bopper for the state of the youth, the same thing happened here.

It wasn't helped by people like Pete Townsend and Keith Moon who regularly smashed expensive guitars, amplifiers and drum kits during their gigs. In fact, according to Roger Daltrey, they were spending more on replacing these items than they were earning and it nearly brought an end to the band.

Until that is, they started selling records (yes, records. They didn't have CD's or MP3's back then) hand over fist.

These bands though, spoke to the youth of the day, all of whom seemed to be at odds with the way things were. They didn't like their parents, their jobs or their lives and the bands of the day sang songs about that very subject.

Seems vaguely familiar doesn't it?

The Beatles
The Beatles
The Who
The Who
The Kinks
The Kinks
The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones
The desert boot - the must have for the 60's man about town
The desert boot - the must have for the 60's man about town
The Pea coat. Especially popular with the Kinks
The Pea coat. Especially popular with the Kinks

He's a dedicated follower of fashion

Now whether it was the bands that produced the fashion or vice-versa, I don't know, but at the time, these bands like the Beatles, the Stones, the Kinks and the Who, were all getting a lot of media attention.

It's not surprising that their fans would want to dress just like them and the Page-Boy style of the Beatles haircuts adorned many a head during those early years. Indeed, it appeared that suddenly, the fashion industry had taken off, reaching a far wider market than ever before.

But the Mod style was not destined to last too long.

Already round the corner, fashion was about to take a whole new twist and instead of the almost monochromatic colours and styles that the MODs had adopted, colour was about to make a splash in a very big way...

Next up...

Flower power and psychedelia were all the rage and we hadn't even left the sixties...


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      Lori J Latimer 

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      Love it!


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