When I look back on the fashion shows that paved the way for fashion we can expect to see in this year’s Autumn/Winter season, there’s one thing that stands out as a defining theme to me. And I’m not talking about the clear political theme that saw shows like Calvin Klein and LRS Studio give a not so friendly nod to Donald Trump and his immigration policies at New York Fashion Week back in February. Although I still silently laugh to myself at the vision of those “fuck your wall” pants from the Raul Solis show.
I’m talking about the number of shows which took inspiration from ‘decades’ – whether that was past or future. We saw incredible 1920s styling from Mulberry, 1970s inspired clothing including some incredible disco boots from Gucci and Michael Kors, and futuristic metallic numbers from Chanel and Mugler! But, one fashion trend that has always been an underlying Autumn/Winter staple for me especially is the Mod trend – the classic Beatles fashion from the 60s.
Starting in London in the late 1950s, Mod quickly became the fashion trend to follow, with the likes of Twiggy paving the way on the beauty front with a short pixie cut and defined eyes, and fashion being dominated by designers like Mary Quant – and Carnaby Street was born as a fashion hub! Described as a trend for the “fashion-obsessed and hedonistic cult of the hyper-cool”, Mod saw fashion staples that are still popular today come into fruition – the miniskirt, loafers and androgynous hairstyles to name a few. But where does Mod fit into the fashion of 2017?
While putting together looks inspired by the Mod scene you could wear in 2017, I was drawn to an article from the BBC, giving an account of an incredible photographer, Owen Harvey, who has been capturing the contemporary Mod scene in the UK since 2012. Owen has been kind enough to let me share some of his photos right here! Want to see more? Mod UK opens on 27 July 2017 at The Subculture Archives, Carnaby Street, London.
Mod was originally used in the 1950s to describe fans of modern jazz who adopted the sleek, tailored Italian style, but soon became a term used in the mass media in the 60s to describe anyone who was considered to be a follower of the ‘modern’ scene – pop music, sleek fashion, androgynous styles, and sharp lines. Mod, as we know it today, is a lot easier defined as back in the 60s, with many people describing Mod as hard to pin down due to its ever evolving trends in its early years.
Terry Rawlings argues that mods are difficult to define because the subculture started out as a “mysterious semi-secret world”, which The Who’s manager Peter Meaden summarised as “clean living under difficult circumstances.”
– Terry Rawlings, Mod: Clean Living Under Very Difficult Circumstances: a Very British Phenomenon (Omnibus Press, 2000)
3 ways you can wear…