The look: Less is more, ultra sharp single-breasted suits, button-down Oxford/Ivy League shirts, thin ties, elegant but casual Italian menswear, Parka to protect your precious clothes on your Italian scooter. For female Mods: similar clean-cut, graphic style complete with mini skirts and dresses, geometric hair styles and hard slash of mascara around the eyes. Both genders show some ‘unisex’ inclinations.
The time: Late ‘50s/early ‘60s+
The place: London – spreading quickly to other English cities
Influenced: Skinheads, Northern Soul, Two Tone, Acid Jazz
... In his essay ‘Today There Are No Gentlemen’ (together with George Melly’s Revolt Into Style, a key early account of British streetstyle), Nik Cohn suggests that by 1962 ‘there were enough converts [to the Modernist cause] to make a sect, which was called Mod’. Straight away media attention (followed by unprecedented, never ending media obsession) cast Britain’s fledgling subculture in the spotlight. Entrepreneur and designer John Stephens opened His Clothes on Carnaby Street – a part of town which had previously been a definitely not trendy backwater but which, over night, soon with little ‘boutiques’ packed from one end to the other, became the place to be. In her own little boutique shop called Bazaar on the Kings Road, the young designer Mary Quant was showing the way forward for the female Mod – and, increasingly, for all manner of young, liberated women around the world. In 1963, while the Beatles in their Mod-style matching suits conquered America, the Read Steady Go! TV programme showed how Mod ‘faces’ (the Mod leaders and trendsetters), Mod music, Mod dance moves and the Mods' favourite, extra cool, served well chilled black American musicians (Booker T, Sam & Dave, Ray Charles, Martha and the Vandellas, Otis Redding to name but a few) would take over the world ...