Style

Anita Pallenberg – Fashion Icon

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Fashion Scene 5

Born to Italian and German parents, Anita Pallenberg was the mother of all rock chicks and with her passing in June we say goodbye to someone who embodied the style and sass of the mid to late 60s like no other.

She started her career as a model in her teens in Italy and New York, where she even spent time at Andy Warhol’s Factory. Her life was to change in 1965 when she blagged her way backstage at a Rolling Stones gig in Munich.

She began a relationship with Brian Jones, the two of them were often photographed about town in virtually matching outfits. They were the ultimate in rock & roll 60s cool. Drink and violence eventually drove the couple apart and Pallenberg and guitarist Keith Richards became an item soon after. They remained together for 12 years and had three children.

Although much of the press covering Pallenberg focuses on her intimate relationships with the Stones, her role as the so-called ‘Sixth Rolling Stone’ went way beyond sex and drugs. She was a muse in every sense of the word – a true, deep, visual and musical inspiration.

Jagger was said to have remixed tracks on the band’s 1968 album Beggars Banquet because she didn’t like it on a first hearing. The songs ‘Angie’ and ‘You Got the Silver’ were also said to be written about her and she also provided backing vocals on the 1968 ‘Sympathy for the Devil.’ Richards is said to have written ‘Gimme Shelter’ in reaction to the fact that his girlfriend was across town filming the, ‘not so simulated’ sex scenes with Mick Jagger in the raucous 60s romp ‘Performance.’

Beyond the sex, drugs and rock n roll, it was Pallenberg’s love of fashion that made her one of the coolest women of the era and in turn her natural ability to nail that ‘just got out of bed with a rock star’ look soon rubbed off on the band’s own style. These once suited and booted RnB boys evolved into cocky, dandyish, lolloping rock icons that they have been regarded as ever since. This transformation was largely down to Pallenberg. She just seemed to know what looked good.

Marianne Faithfull wrote of her friend in her biography ‘Faithful’: “How Anita came to be with Brian is really the story of how the Stones became the Stones. She almost single-handedly engineered a true cultural revolution in London by bringing together the Stones and the jeunesse dorée… The Stones came away with a patina of aristocratic decadence that served as a perfect counterfoil to the raw roots blues of their music. This… transformed the Stones from just pop stars into true cultural icons.”

For example, when she was with Jones she dyed his hair even blonder and dressed him in women’s clothes. He once asked her to dress him up to look like French singer Françoise Hardy. By 1967 the Stones were wearing Pallenberg’s trademark Fedora hats, scarfs and fur coats. Keith Richards once said that he started to become a fashion icon simply for “wearing his old lady’s clothes.”

She was the queen of the 60s accessory. The antithesis of the clean cut, butter wouldn’t melt, look of Twiggy. Every outfit was finished with either a low slung large buckle belt, a swishing boa style scarf draped over her long-legged frame and topped off with a wide brimmed hat. Mini skirts would be worn short as you like with knee length suede boots and full length fur coats.

Her flamboyant looks also saw Pallenberg carve out a decent career as an actress. She made 15 films, among them the iconic 60s kitsch classic ‘Barbarella’ where she played the ‘Black Queen’ alongside Jane Fonda in the lead role – her black cat suit cut away in all the right places by Paco Rabanne. After her split with Richards, Pallenberg went on to follow a career in fashion which saw her graduate from St Martins in the 90s and in later days was seen either strutting down the runway herself or hanging out with latter day ‘it girls’ such as model Kate Moss.

Sadly, she never wrote an autobiography because she said the publishers would only be interested in her dishing the dirt on the Stones. Her influence on fashion however will live on. She wasn’t styled by anyone else but herself – her look was hers alone but has been much imitated. A rare bird indeed. Rest in peace Anita.

 


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Claire Mahoney

At the age of 13 mod made perfect sense to me. I liked the look and the attitude - but most of all I liked the music. Secret Affair was my entry point, but they were soon playing second fiddle in my affections to The Jam. Paul Weller, of course, proceeded to break mine and many others hearts in 1982, when he put an end to that particular musical roller coaster – but what it meant was that, uninterested in anything else that was happening in music at the time, I had to look back. I was lucky enough to be given two plastic bags full of 60s 45s by my uncle who used to stock the jukeboxes back in the day. Their contents included a number of Stax originals, plus the Who and the Small Faces, as well as Motown classics from The Four Tops and the Supremes. So, when Phil Collins charted in the mid 80s with 'You Can't Hurry Love' it was nice to be able to say: “I've got the original of that!” It became quite an irritating habit of mine over the years. These days I still enjoy discovering new, old music, be it soul, rnb or jazz, as well as witnessing mod taken another turn among today's youth with bands like The Strypes. My day job as a journalist means I am lucky enough to be able to write about music and modernism now and again. Other than that you'll find me mostly on the dance floor or on eBay still looking for that perfect A line dress.

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July 3, 2017 By : Category : Articles Fashion Front Page News UK Tags:, , , , ,
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Cathy McGowan – Fashion Icon

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Fashion Scene 5

Nicknamed ‘Queen of the Mods’, but what was it about Cathy McGowan that made her so effortlessly hip and cool?

Twiggy said she regarded Cathy McGowan as an icon. “I’d sit and drool over her clothes. She was a heroine to us because she was one of us,” she said. Perhaps that was it – McGowan wasn’t too glamorous and she certainly wasn’t just eye candy. She knew and loved the music she presented on the TV show, Ready Steady Go and responded to it with the same youthful enthusiasm at the show’s television audience.

A year into co-presenting the Ready Steady Go with Keith Fordyce, McGowan, in 1965 was given the job of fronting the show all by herself. Her love of fashion was evident from the start. She had, after all, applied for the job while working on Woman’s Own magazine. She was the epitome of what being a young women in the mid 60s was all about. She was obsessed with anything new and was always looking for the next ‘in’ thing, be it in clothes, music or clubs.

As a presenter on the show, she had to make sure she wore a new outfit every Friday. Her fans would promptly rush out and buy what she was wearing or the next best thing the following Saturday. McGowan wrote articles on music and fashion for the magazine’s Rave and Mods Monthly. Her Mod Snips column in Mods Monthly (which read as breathlessly as she talked) was basically a list of what to wear, listen to, who to see and where to be seen. In one column she writes: “Fred Perry shirts worn by a few girls these days… could catch on!” In another: “ What do you think of red mohair suits… I prefer the tonic ones!” There’s a great blog where you can read a selection of Cathy’s articles for Mod’s Monthly called Tintrunk here.

McGowan was said to have been given a weekly clothing allowance so she could make sure she had something new to wear each week. As the show began to revolve even more around its presenter it began to run a fashion segment too. She was a fan of all the top labels and regularly wore the likes of Biba – where were was a regular shopper and Foale and Tuffin.

In a 1964 edition of Rave magazine, the same year Biba was opening its first shop, she tells the story of how she goes to visit Biba’s Barbara Hulanicki at her flat and Barbara presents her with a dress custom made for her. “It had what in my opinion any outstanding dress should have: simplicity and a design and cut of sheer brilliance.”

Like Barbara Hulanicki, Cathy liked a trouser suit which at that time were considered very high fashion. Shoes-wise she loved the Mary Jane style but, she was also a big fan of boots – the flat heeled, knee-length kind. She remarked in one article that had these in almost every colour. She was also a fan of accessories – large bags and berets and square buckle belts on hipster jeans. On dresses, she would often wear the length just above the knee. The designs again would be simple with minimal detailing – a patch pocket or scalloped collar. Her trademark look though was her hair. Backcombed slightly on the crown and worn either straight and slightly turned up at the ends.

It wasn’t long before she launched her own line of clothing: Cathy McGowan’s Boutique was born in 1965. She sold simple A-line shift dress, tops and trouser suits. They were unfussy designs that any girl could carry off. Any girl that is with an eye-skimming fringe, a love of black kohl liner, and a penchant for the words – ‘smashing’, ‘super’ and ‘fab’!

 


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Claire Mahoney

At the age of 13 mod made perfect sense to me. I liked the look and the attitude - but most of all I liked the music. Secret Affair was my entry point, but they were soon playing second fiddle in my affections to The Jam. Paul Weller, of course, proceeded to break mine and many others hearts in 1982, when he put an end to that particular musical roller coaster – but what it meant was that, uninterested in anything else that was happening in music at the time, I had to look back. I was lucky enough to be given two plastic bags full of 60s 45s by my uncle who used to stock the jukeboxes back in the day. Their contents included a number of Stax originals, plus the Who and the Small Faces, as well as Motown classics from The Four Tops and the Supremes. So, when Phil Collins charted in the mid 80s with 'You Can't Hurry Love' it was nice to be able to say: “I've got the original of that!” It became quite an irritating habit of mine over the years. These days I still enjoy discovering new, old music, be it soul, rnb or jazz, as well as witnessing mod taken another turn among today's youth with bands like The Strypes. My day job as a journalist means I am lucky enough to be able to write about music and modernism now and again. Other than that you'll find me mostly on the dance floor or on eBay still looking for that perfect A line dress.

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May 22, 2017 By : Category : Articles Fashion Front Page UK Tags:, , , , ,
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Fashion – Foale & Tuffin

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series Fashion Scene 4

Claire Mahoney looks at the lesser-known, but no less influential 60s design duo that was: Foale & Tuffin

Designer Zandra Rhodes described them as the ‘Queens of Carnaby Street,’ others dubbed them the ‘Liver Birds’ of the London fashion scene – the dynamic duo that they are referring to are designers Foale & Tuffin.

You may not have heard of them. (I hadn’t until I started delving deeper into the history of 60s fashion.) But these two East End art school girls has no less an influence on 60s fashion and the mod look than the likes of Mary Quant and to those who were in with the in-crowd, they were the designers that people wanted to wear.

Marion Foale and Sally Tuffin met at Walthamstow Art School. These bright young girls epitomised everything that the 60s was really about. They were determined to do something different and they were going to do it all by themselves and not sell out in the process.

So they stepped straight out of the Royal College of Art and took the bold decision to set up on their own. In 1961 they rented a small workshop and showroom in west London for six guineas a week. Then, with just two old sewing machines bought for them by their parents, they rolled up their sleeves and got to work. Initially they would buy their fabrics from the local department stores. Their workshop was not far from Liberty and the department stores’ famous Arts & Crafts influenced prints became a feature of many of their creations. Entire collections were made lovingly by hand to order and when their business started to take off they opened their shop in Ganton Street just off Carnaby Street.

Their little boutique attracted a devoted following – fans included Jean Shrimpton. Julie Christie, Susanna York and Cilla Black and their house model was Pattie Boyd’s sister, Jenny.

So what was it about Foale & Tuffin’s designs that were so appealing? Well for a start they were rebellious and they understood what young people wanted because they were young themselves.

“We’d had it rammed down our throats – I had to go to Sunday School with white gloves, a hat and a handbag, just like a miniature mum in a dress made by her, exactly the same as hers! I mean who wanted to do that? We just wanted to kick against it all,” says Sally Tuffin. And kick they did. People talk about how Yves Saint Laurent introduced the trouser suit for women but actually, it was Foale & Tuffin that did it first. Their design was in brown corduroy and most importantly was created for women by women.

Marion Foale recalls in an interview for the V&A ahead of a retrospective exhibition of their work in 2009. “I remember us putting a corduroy jacket on Jill Kennington and putting the trousers with it and falling about with laughter – it was so funny. We must have been making trousers anyway, but not with jackets. We put it all together and thought it was hilarious!”

It was good timing. By the mid-60s the sharp mod look was starting to get a little more playful with the likes of John Stephen stocking more dandy-ish styles with frills and Victorian style detailing for men. So as the men began to embrace their feminine side the women could explore a more liberated a less sexualised androgyny, that ironically, was no less sexy for it.

Foale & Tuffin designs were also playful. They were one of the first designers of the era to ignore the rule of matching clothes and accessories and wantonly clashed spots, stripes and checks – sometimes all in the same outfit.

They loved plaids and tartans and created skirt and trouser suits in contrasting prints and colours. They matched them with brightly coloured woollen tights. Their designs were so popular that they were eventually picked up by the big stores in the States and licensed to J C Penney and Paraphernalia.

Foale & Tuffin like many of the brands of that era either fizzled out or changed course in the early 70s, in this case, both had settled down to raise their families. Marion Foale, however, later went on to set up a very successful knitwear design business and Sally Tuffin became a successful ceramicist.

The legacy of their brand may not have been discussed as much as the likes of Quant and Biba. But to those in the know, Foale & Tuffin were a brand to be reckoned with.

To read more about them and see some fantastic pictures of their designs – take a look at Foale and Tuffin: The Sixties. A Decade in Fashion by Iain R. Webb, published by ACC Publishing Group.


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Claire Mahoney

At the age of 13 mod made perfect sense to me. I liked the look and the attitude - but most of all I liked the music. Secret Affair was my entry point, but they were soon playing second fiddle in my affections to The Jam. Paul Weller, of course, proceeded to break mine and many others hearts in 1982, when he put an end to that particular musical roller coaster – but what it meant was that, uninterested in anything else that was happening in music at the time, I had to look back. I was lucky enough to be given two plastic bags full of 60s 45s by my uncle who used to stock the jukeboxes back in the day. Their contents included a number of Stax originals, plus the Who and the Small Faces, as well as Motown classics from The Four Tops and the Supremes. So, when Phil Collins charted in the mid 80s with 'You Can't Hurry Love' it was nice to be able to say: “I've got the original of that!” It became quite an irritating habit of mine over the years. These days I still enjoy discovering new, old music, be it soul, rnb or jazz, as well as witnessing mod taken another turn among today's youth with bands like The Strypes. My day job as a journalist means I am lucky enough to be able to write about music and modernism now and again. Other than that you'll find me mostly on the dance floor or on eBay still looking for that perfect A line dress.

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March 1, 2017 By : Category : Fashion Front Page Style UK Tags:,
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Leslie Cavendish: The hairstylist to The Beatles…

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Fashion Scene 4

I first became aware of the name Leslie Cavendish when I was researching for an article that I wrote a few years ago. That article was on the boutique ‘Dandie Fashions’. When the said boutique was taken over by the Apple Corp in the spring of 1968, the boutique then changed its name to ‘Apple Tailoring’. It was decided that it would remain in the hands of John Crittle to run the day to day activities surrounding the boutique. Within the premises there was an unused basement, which became a unisex hair salon. Clientele could be fitted for a garment and then pop down the stairs to the basement for a haircut! The person who was put in charge of running the hair salon was Leslie Cavendish. As far as my research went for the article on Dandie Fashions – that is as far as I got with the hair salon / Leslie Cavendish part of the story.

As I delved deeper into Leslie’s background, it became quite clear to myself that he was an important part in that whole time period of the mid to late sixties. With some more research, I eventually managed to get in contact with Leslie, and as our correspondence increased, a meeting was arranged!

On a cold and grey late November morning, my wife Susie and I headed to London to meet Leslie. The rendezvous venue was chosen by Leslie, so we headed over to Hampstead and a pub called ‘The Old Bull & Bush’. I have to admit that I was quite nervous as we entered through the doors of the pub – lots of anxious thoughts racing through my mind. Within seconds of meeting and exchanging pleasantries, I knew that we were all going to get on fine. Phew….

From the pictures that I had garnered from the internet, it is crystal clear that Leslie was a man of style and great taste. Dark-haired, handsome and mysterious looking – not dissimilar to the guy that used to front the old Milk Tray chocolate adverts! As I looked at Leslie while in our conversation – he still retains the same qualities.

I got to work on asking my questions, almost immediately! Leslie gave me a brief story of his childhood in London, which eventually got to the part where he started an apprenticeship with Vidal Sassoon. From working with Vidal, he eventually got onto the subject of The Beatles and how he become part of that inner-circle. While our conversation deepened, it became apparent that Leslie had incredible understanding and memory of what was happening, in and around himself – back in those heady days! Even within the short time that we shared Leslie’s company, he managed to regale us both in some wonderful stories. I got the feeling that Leslie was enjoying telling his stories, as he had found the perfect audience. Leslie is hoping to get his book of memoirs published in 2017, and I expect lots of these incredible stories to be in the book. So, until that time, the tales Leslie did pass onto Susie and myself will remain as our own special secrets!

We spoke about music, fashion and football. I have to mention that Leslie is a lifelong QPR supporter or sufferer! And like myself, every now and then he was looking to his mobile phone for football updates.

There were still lots of questions that I wanted to ask, but I was aware of not bombarding Leslie or overstaying our welcome. So I asked if I could email him some questions – and that way, he could spend a little more time in his answering.

Before you read the Q&A part of my article – I have to mention what a charming and warm natured man Leslie is. As we left the pub, I think that we both felt we had gained a new friend.

I emailed Leslie a number of questions – here is what I asked, and Leslie’s answers:

01. What age did you take up hairdressing?

I left school at 15. I then started an apprenticeship at Vidal Sassoon at 171 New Bond Street. The apprenticeship was for three years, where I became Vidal’s junior for three months, and I was then promoted to junior hairstylist at his Grosvenor House hotel, Park Lane, salon. Just before my eighteenth birthday.

02. How did you manage to find a job working for the world-famous Vidal Sassoon?

My best friend at school and still to this day, Lawrence Falk (he started the first unisex salon in the U.K. called ‘Crimpers’) started working in a salon in London. I thought why not try it myself – so I asked him where would be the best place to start out. He said ‘Vidal’s salon’. So I called the salon and managed to get an interview and from there I got an apprenticeship.

03. Tell us something about the kind of clientele that would frequent the salon?

The salon had a very mixed clientele. From wealthy ladies who wanted the latest Vidal style to young models (some of which became household names), famous actors, musicians, fashion designers, to big film directors, and Mary Quant, who with the ideal hairstyle, set off the swinging London scene.

04. The world’s music, fashion, arts and hairdressing seemed to all explode in the early to mid-sixties – did you personally feel like you were part of something special that was happening in London?

You didn’t really think too much about it at the time. Life was exciting anyway working at Vidal’s. Added to that, the music and fashion were part of my youth. You did feel like ‘the times they were a changin’!

05. How did you become the personal hairstylist to The Beatles – and what were they like as people?

At Vidal’s, a client of mine was Jane Asher (who was Paul McCartney’s girlfriend) – she asked me one day if I would like to cut her boyfriend’s hair! And I think you know what happened next…

I met them all at a time when they had all decided to stop touring. So they were all a lot more relaxed than I imagine they would’ve been if they were on the road. All four of them were different and I had a good friendship with them all. This also applied to the team that was around them. I was the only one who wasn’t from Liverpool, but because I never spoke to journalists about my link with The Beatles – and never hassled them for autographs etc – I become one of the inner circle that they could trust.

06. What are your memories of managing your own salon within the boutique that became ‘Apple Tailoring’?

It was an intimate salon and very personal to whoever came in to have their hair done. My clients came from the music world and from streetwise people who just found the salon – and loved to have their hair done in the remarkable atmosphere that was ‘Apple Tailoring’! Being in the boutique and watching the dandies of London being dressed up in velvet and frilly, patterned shirts, was extremely interesting. They came in the shop to be dressed, and left as peacocks!

07. What are your memories of working alongside John Crittle at ‘Apple Tailoring’?

At first, John was great to be around, and I used to like watching his friends, who were mostly from the ‘Chelsea Set’, hanging around the shop. After a while though, I lost a lot of respect for John, as he was often stoned and spoke to people in an arrogant manner. He seemed to think that he was a Chelsea via Australian aristocrat, who was doing everybody a favour in dressing them, and he didn’t have time for the regular customer – who were the ‘real’ customers!

08. You were part of the chosen entourage for the now cult Beatles’ film ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ – what are your memories of that journey?

The MMT was one of my great memories and to be on tour with THE BEATLES, especially as they had stopped touring, was something special. If you have watched the film, you will have seen the coach journey and it was great to be one of the passengers, and to be able to watch The Beatles close up. More of which will be in my book!

09. I know that you were very interested in the music that was happening all around you – what were your personal favourite bands, both live and on vinyl?

When I was young I used to like Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, and The Everly Bros. Later on, I discovered Buffalo Springfield, Jefferson Airplane, Vanilla Fudge, The Doors, CSNY, and many more West Coast bands. My taste in British bands were The Animals, Free, The Kinks, Dusty Springfield, and Cat Stevens. I was also into folk music – and Neil Young was a hero of mine. I saw many bands live, but CSNY at the Albert Hall, and David Bowie (Ziggy Stardust), and not forgetting The Beatles, were concerts not to be forgotten.

10. What are your thoughts on the clothing that you were wearing back in those days? From the photos that I have seen you certainly were a snappy dresser!

I loved the whole hippy look – Afghan coats and velvet jackets with ‘Anello & Davide’ shoes. I also got into suits from ‘John Michael’ and ‘Take 6’.

11. What are your thoughts on contemporary men’s hairdressing – and do you still cut hair today?

I am like a gunfighter who put his scissors away in a holster a few years ago. Today’s hairdressing is an art form. The use of electric cutters and the thinning outlooks, makes out for spectacular hairstyles. Hairdressing is like Punk music – nobody makes the rules – you do what you want and that is called fashion.

12. And finally – what other interesting things are you up to these days?

I have now finished my autobiography about my life as a hairdresser at Vidal’s, and this included my time with The Beatles. The book should be out this year. I have given lectures at universities about the culture and fashion during the sixties period. I have been asked to be a guest speaker at The Beatles week this year in Liverpool, which I am looking forward to doing.

I occasionally do VIP Beatle tours. My clients come from all over the world and instead of the usual Beatle tours that take place around London, I can tell them what it was actually like in the recording studios, as well as being in the building, while The Beatles performed on the roof!


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Peter Feely

Married to Susie, both actively involved in the UK 60s scene for many years. My personal interest in 1960s culture goes back over 30 years, with my main two passions being music and fashion, both in equal measure. I run my own menswear label – ‘Perfumed Garden’ clothing, catering for the discerning dandy male - in addition to sourcing and selling vintage mens’ gear, with a particular interest in those hard-to-find jackets and shoes! I also run the Facebook group, ‘Psychedelic Clothing for Men: Then and Now’, with 2200+ members. Although I have no formal training in the fashion industry, what I do possess is a real passion, and through the years I have gained valuable knowledge of many areas of mens’ fashion from the mid to late 1960s. I’m also a musician and have played in many bands in my younger years. I’m an avid collector of music and music-related paraphernalia. I started running my own club nights back in the mid-1990s, and at present I run a psychedelic night in Derby – ‘The Perfumed Garden Of Musical Delights’. Through this I also get to DJ at many exciting events up and down the country

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February 15, 2017 By : Category : Fashion Front Page Inspiration Interviews News Tags:, , , , ,
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Women’s Winter Fashion

The 60s threw the rule book out the window when it came to coats. They could be worn in any colour from zingy orange to sky blue in any fabric from wool to wet-look. Prints were equally outlandish from polka dots to plaid. We take a look at some of the iconic designs that were popular and why they have never really never gone out of fashion.

The Mac
Mary Quant claims to have been one of the first designers to use PVC and vinyl for coats and jackets making the plastic mac a key look for the mod era. This lightweight coat would usually have a large collar and front pockets and fancier versions would have a prominent belt at the waist. Buttons looked great but the best versions had zip-up front with a classic ring pull zip. Black and white versions were very popular but as the decade progressed designers experimented in brighter colours. They might look good and keep you dry but they were terribly squeaky and could get a bit smelly. As technology product in new weather-proof fabrics, sturdier versions were produced that were still light and structured with a more canvas like feel, particularly popular were brands such as Dannimac.

The Trench
Despite being more than 100 years old the trench coat still looks stylish. Originally conceived as a practical wet weather coat in the 1850s by Thomas Burberry and John Emary (whose company later became Aquascutum). The ‘Trench’ name was adopted during the war although the military version was of course far more robust. Worn by both men and women in classic beige, key style elements include a belt at the waist and on the cuffs, slight flare from the waist and a cape across the shoulders at the back to help. Collar buttons at the neck. Best worn by women without showing any dress or skirt under the hem. If you wanted to nail the continental look – this would be a wardrobe must have.

The Peacoat
Military style had a massive influence on the designs of the 60s. In the 1960s Yves Saint Laurent’s pea-coats hit the catwalk and were immediately popular with both men and women and formed part of an androgynous trend that worked its way through fashion in the 60s. A pea-coat traditionally would finish at the top of the thighs – but longer lengths were also popular with women especially as they kept your legs warm in winter when you were wearing a mini. Traditionally though a peacoat is a paired down design with no belt at the waist with slit pockets on the front. Yves Saint Laurent and other designers, would of course, adapt them with their own little finishes such as a flat ‘Peter Pan’ style collar and oversized pockets and top stitching details.

The Cape
Capes weren’t just for ‘super-heroes’ and were a great addition to the modernist 60s wardrobe. You could move freely in them and still keep warm and they added to rather than concealed the outfit underneath. Most importantly they gave a sharp structure to your look. They came in a variety of colours and prints with buttons or front zips. Look out for fabulous versions in plaid or classic Welsh retro wool prints can be picked up quite easily in vintage shops and online these days. Look out for lovely details such as buttons running up to the shoulder and tie-belts to cinch in your waist.


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Claire Mahoney

At the age of 13 mod made perfect sense to me. I liked the look and the attitude - but most of all I liked the music. Secret Affair was my entry point, but they were soon playing second fiddle in my affections to The Jam. Paul Weller, of course, proceeded to break mine and many others hearts in 1982, when he put an end to that particular musical roller coaster – but what it meant was that, uninterested in anything else that was happening in music at the time, I had to look back. I was lucky enough to be given two plastic bags full of 60s 45s by my uncle who used to stock the jukeboxes back in the day. Their contents included a number of Stax originals, plus the Who and the Small Faces, as well as Motown classics from The Four Tops and the Supremes. So, when Phil Collins charted in the mid 80s with 'You Can't Hurry Love' it was nice to be able to say: “I've got the original of that!” It became quite an irritating habit of mine over the years. These days I still enjoy discovering new, old music, be it soul, rnb or jazz, as well as witnessing mod taken another turn among today's youth with bands like The Strypes. My day job as a journalist means I am lucky enough to be able to write about music and modernism now and again. Other than that you'll find me mostly on the dance floor or on eBay still looking for that perfect A line dress.

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December 7, 2016 By : Category : Articles Fashion Front Page Tags:, , ,
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Blazers – via Uppers

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Uppers

Blazer 1: one that blazes 2: a single-breasted sports jacket in bright stripes or solid color. (Websters)
The blazer as a garment walks the fine line between formal and informal wear. Whether you wear it strolling down your favourite street with the swagger of a metropolitan boulevardiér or when in a hurry to work (deftly avoiding screaming children and their mothers), the blazer is a great piece of clothing. Depending on how you combine it you could be just perfectly dressed for the occassion. So let’s smartly about-face and look to the origins of the blazer in it’s first and most double-breasted form.

Looking at the classic blazer, the double-breasted blue one with brass buttons, the conclusion that the jacket is of military tradition is rather obvious. Legend has it that the commanding officer of the frigatte HMS Blazer had a special uniform-jacket made for his men at some time when queen Victoria was going to make an appearance. It was styled after the short jacket worn by naval men at this time (1830-50).This new garment found royal approval and was soon appreciated by both naval men and marine minded gentlemen who wanted to sport something that wasn’t a uniform but still associated with maritime virtues. Hence the name: blazer. The result of civilians having jackets like these made for occasions sportif and also naval officers getting jackets tailored in the same style as their uniforms, evolved into what is the originator of both the sporty striped blazer (a bastard child-bearing many names) and the plain blue blazer. End of history lesson.

Nowadays a blazer can look almost anyway you please, of course within certain given parameters: namely style and the threat of your friends having a go at you. Basically the only valid definition of a blazer is this: a short jacket, blue in color, always with two side vents and a double-breast with brass buttons . Does this remotely sound like anything you have hanging in your wardrobe? I shouldn’t think so. Fortunately there has been a lot of changes in the makeup of this garment. The striped blazer worn by rowing-club members sweating at the thwarts. The light jacket with a shiny finish of the mediterranean gentleman sipping his Pernod. The bottle-green blazer favored by americans mostly (this is the only place where colours other than dark blue is popular in the plain jackets). Somewhere along the line the blazer even lost it’s brass buttons (which were only there to flaunt membership of clubs, etc). In these times with a wide array available, the line between jacket and blazer is a thin one. If you start hollering: belay that bolard, tote that rope and starboard helmsman!.. you’re probably wearing one (a blazer that is).

The stylistic qualities of the blazer cannot be overlooked. Many tasty photos adorning some very groovy records reveal several hip cats of royal pedigree wearing them. If you’re going to look to the continent there are several very good examples: Serge Gainsborough , Boris Vian… you know, cool guys. Steve Marriott used to look really smart in the striped ones and most of the Creation wore them and still managed to look hard. Ard. Oh sorry, guess I am overstating it a bit. Still if you’re into history this is a point isn’t?

Most mens outfitters stock good off the peg blazers. If you’re in Italy I guess you could pay Brioni a visit. The Italians are known for the subtlety and novelty of their materials. Maybe some mohair and silk would look good? Italy is the land of fabric possibilities. But really why go overboard with this when the charm in the blazer lies in its simplicity . There’s nothing wrong with a plain blue one is there? But if you want “a garment cut by an individual, for an individual, by an individual” then it’s a nice touch.

So how to get the look right? Well it’s up to you. Are you into the more bohemic style go for the plain ones (we’re talking mod bohemic) combined with a pair of light trousers. Corduroy or moleskin looks really good. Traditionally the combination of dark blue and brown is considered bad. But then again because of tradition people on horseback in red ridingcoats (‘redingote’ in french, which always cracks me up) dementedly gallivants around the english countryside chasing some poor fox. The fox ain’t even Jane Fonda or Monica Vitti (I know it sounds unbelievable). If you want that youthful look in the summer get a striped one and match it with a pair of really dark denims and suede slipons.

With a blazer you could even leave the top button of your shirt open (gasp!) While you’re at it, stuff a Hermes scarf in your collar and sit down at the grand piano and play ‘Trains, Boats and Planes’ to entertain your friends if they are in a Burtish mood. You see, it makes perfect sense doesn´t it? The blazer is the preserve of the jet-set and who are you to argue?
© Jules Olivier 2001 – 2015 [Published 26 January 2001]


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Pip! Pip! Are the Creative Business Engine behind various music based organisations of the cool underground variety. Providing angst, confusion, bewilderment and annoyance in equal amounts. We design/host/manage great sites like this one! Why not hire us one day soon?

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December 7, 2016 By : Category : Articles Fashion Front Page Style UK Tags:, ,
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Brighton; about the young idea

Claire Mahoney looks at the young generation of mods that set the New Untouchables Brighton Mod Weekender alight this August with
impeccable style.

It’s not often that you use the word ‘Face’ when talking about mods these days. The term seems a little outmoded, especially when so many of us in the scene are way past our prime. But this year at the New Untouchables Brighton Weekender, a clutch of young mods seemed to get everyone talking, staring and most likely wondering just how they managed to get it so right.

It was as if the many black and white images of the 60s we so lovingly scoured for inspiration had suddenly come alive but with little twists of today. Of course, red lipstick was not really ‘a thing’ in the early to mid-60s as it is now. In fact, the 60s mod girls were pretty much bare-faced by today’s standards.

Original mod women that had perhaps painstakingly applied kohl eyeliner and battled with unforgiving false eye-lash glue some 50 years ago, would be forgiven for feeling a little envious of the flawless application of cat-eye flicks and eyebrow arches on these young doll-like faces. But everyone was in agreement that they looked absolutely brilliant.

Lara Bossence was at Brighton again this year and at just 14 is probably the youngest of the gang. She combines a traditional 60s look with early 60s skin and suede-head touches.

She says: “I like a clean-cut yet, young and fun style. I’m young and want to have fun with my style. I think attention to detail is key. For me, mod is standing out a little from the norm. I definitely see the difference between the Go-Go and psych styles. Mod is more classic.”

She says that she takes a lot of her inspiration from the continental styles of the French and Italians. Because of her age of course, she hasn’t just got first generation mods to look to for inspiration and has, in fact four or more decades of mod’s evolution to take ideas from.

“I suppose the hard mod/suedehead look is also of interest to me. I also admire the early rude girl look too. I just seem drawn to these styles the most. I don’t wish to stick rigidly to a ‘uniform’ as it were but, more to add my own twist and ideas to keep it fun too. My boyfriend is a skinhead and the smart, traditional skinhead look is also of interest.”

One thing that unites all of these girls it that their look is so true to original mod 60s styling. They don’t really do dresses and instead focus on well-chosen separates and accessories. Knee length skirts, loafers, driving shoes, flat Mary Janes, boxy jackets (bum freezers) and fitted knitwear.

Scarlett Bayliss is pretty much the British face of young mods today. Her look is unmistakable. And like any mod she is obsessed by detail. Last year at Brighton, I remember her raving to me about anoraks with a particular type of zip and was proudly sporting a hard to get hold of pair of brown Dr Scholl ladies driving shoes. At the moment she has a thing for green: “I don’t think I could live without my green jackets whether it’s an anorak or my green suede coat.”

What would be her wardrobe staples I ask?: “Essential elements would probably be any items in green or suede, or both! That would be something special. A nice fitted pair of trousers and smart bum freezer jacket, you can never go wrong.”


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Claire Mahoney

At the age of 13 mod made perfect sense to me. I liked the look and the attitude - but most of all I liked the music. Secret Affair was my entry point, but they were soon playing second fiddle in my affections to The Jam. Paul Weller, of course, proceeded to break mine and many others hearts in 1982, when he put an end to that particular musical roller coaster – but what it meant was that, uninterested in anything else that was happening in music at the time, I had to look back. I was lucky enough to be given two plastic bags full of 60s 45s by my uncle who used to stock the jukeboxes back in the day. Their contents included a number of Stax originals, plus the Who and the Small Faces, as well as Motown classics from The Four Tops and the Supremes. So, when Phil Collins charted in the mid 80s with 'You Can't Hurry Love' it was nice to be able to say: “I've got the original of that!” It became quite an irritating habit of mine over the years. These days I still enjoy discovering new, old music, be it soul, rnb or jazz, as well as witnessing mod taken another turn among today's youth with bands like The Strypes. My day job as a journalist means I am lucky enough to be able to write about music and modernism now and again. Other than that you'll find me mostly on the dance floor or on eBay still looking for that perfect A line dress.

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September 27, 2016 By : Category : Fashion Front Page Style Tags:, , , ,
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V & A Exhibition – Revolution: Records and rebels 1966 – 70

Saturday 11th September – Revolution: Records and Rebels 1966 – 70

At the Victoria and Albert Museum

This most eagerly anticipated of exhibitions has been on the radar for anyone with even the most passing of interests in the 1960’s counter-culture movement for some months now. These monumental events that are covered within this exhibition, all seemed to occur or explode, as the case may be – concurrently, all over the world. And all of this was happening in which must seem like medieval times to folk of a certain age, who have never lived in an age before mobile phones and the internet.

The exhibition itself was two years in the making, and to have the extra financial clout (sponsorship) of the Levi brand on board – the signs are good, even before you start on your excursion into what is an Aladdin’s cave of ultra rare artifacts & memorabilia from 1966 – 70.

On entering the exhibition, you’re given a head-set – which is all part of getting your mind and soul in the correct frame-of-mind. So while your eyes are busy eating-up all the scrumptious feasts on display, your ears are also being fed a constant menu of your favourite music!

The exhibition itself is set out in a considered and chronological order. Which I personally appreciate, as I am a guy who likes to have his record collection, book collection and clothing organised into considered groups!

I don’t really want to give the game away, (which in essence makes doing a review – redundant) as I strongly feel that the individual needs to experience this most incredible of collections for oneself. I will promise that you will be welcomed by the most amazing of visual surprises throughout your visit.

My personal passion lies within the music and fashion of the counter-culture movement, which just seemed to appear, just-like-magic – and on a daily basis, throughout this era! And much of it is now just an arm’s length away from
your eyes!

What made the whole experience so much more special for myself, was the more serious subjects that really influenced the whole counter-culture movement and were all represented within this exhibition. From Pete Seeger’s guitar (with the ultimate proto slogan that has never been bettered) right through to the race and gay right activist movements. And too many more to mention – that all need to be experienced on your visit.

When my group of friends finally left the exhibition, we were met by a member of staff who was quite astonished that we had spent 210 minutes within the exhibition. And chose to mention that we’d by far spent the most time within the exhibition. (It’s only been open a week, so I not too proud of that fact) Well, I am planning a return visit in the coming months and I predict a new record being set…


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Peter Feely

Married to Susie, both actively involved in the UK 60s scene for many years. My personal interest in 1960s culture goes back over 30 years, with my main two passions being music and fashion, both in equal measure. I run my own menswear label – ‘Perfumed Garden’ clothing, catering for the discerning dandy male - in addition to sourcing and selling vintage mens’ gear, with a particular interest in those hard-to-find jackets and shoes! I also run the Facebook group, ‘Psychedelic Clothing for Men: Then and Now’, with 2200+ members. Although I have no formal training in the fashion industry, what I do possess is a real passion, and through the years I have gained valuable knowledge of many areas of mens’ fashion from the mid to late 1960s. I’m also a musician and have played in many bands in my younger years. I’m an avid collector of music and music-related paraphernalia. I started running my own club nights back in the mid-1990s, and at present I run a psychedelic night in Derby – ‘The Perfumed Garden Of Musical Delights’. Through this I also get to DJ at many exciting events up and down the country

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September 27, 2016 By : Category : Articles Arts Design Fashion Front Page Inspiration Style Tags:, , , ,
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Rat Race Interview

I caught up with Laurence the owner of Margate’s premiere Mod clothing shop Rat Race for a chat about his passion for fashion.

1. When and how did your passion for fashion come about?

As a young man growing up in Thanet, I experimented with many different styles of clothing. As I got older, I got more into stylish clothes but also wanted to wear something other than what could be found in regular department stores. I was fully aware of Margates’ role in harbouring the youth subcultures and styles from the 1960’s to 80’s and I loved looking at old photos of my father and his friends wearing their crombies, boots & braces.

2. When did you turn your passion into your profession?

I accompanied a friend to a trade show in London and spotted some classic Harrington jackets with an embroidered badge ‘Keep the Faith Margate’ on the sleeve. I thought the people of Margate would love them, the jackets were well made and in the original 60’s style. I opened my first fashion store in Margate in 2010 with the classic Harrington jackets, sta-prest trousers and traditional button-down shirts amongst other styles. This is where my passion for Mod and classic styles developed. I did not see the Mod trend as a sub-culture revival; I knew the style had never really gone away.

3. When and where did Rat Race first open?

During the Spring/Summer of 2014 and after experimenting with opening other stores in the South East I decided my passion for Modernist menswear was much better suited to Margate. I joined our two high street shops together internally, re-named and re-branded the stores to open as Rat Race and solely as a classic British clothier. Towards the end of 2015 my partner Bonnie and I expanded further, occupying our third neighbouring shop, which became Rat Race Girl, a store which stocks Mod, Skinhead, Rockabilly and Vintage girl styles .

4. Rat Race is a very popular amongst the Modernist fraternity, please tell us more about the clothing range available in the shop?

We’re a 21st century take on the 20th century’s finest subcultures, Mixing up mod clothing, skinhead style, a touch on the fifties and then adding a contemporary twist. We are official stockists of Merc, Art Gallery, Knightsbridge Neckwear, Brutus Trimfit, Trojan Clothing, Dr.Martens, Delicious Junction, Ikon Originals and many more. Rat Race also stock many other iconic brands, plus Rat Race Girl holds collections from Freddies of Pinewood, Collectif, Lindy Bop and Dolly & Dotty.

5. Are all the items sold in the shop available online?

We opened our online shop only at the beginning of 2016, a lot of our core items are available on our website. We’re growing our website all the time and new collections are added regularly. We always like to hold a few pieces back just for the shop-floor and for our not so web connected customers, so you’ll always find something which isn’t available online – I believe you still can’t beat that moment of stopping into the street to gaze at something in the window.

6. Any famous clientele dropped by the shop?

We’ve had a few well-known customers shop at Rat Race including Neville Staple, Dave Barker & Buster Bloodvessel. Our most recent being Paloma Faith, Preston and surprisingly enough the chatty man himself Alan Carr.

7. Any plans for a Rat Race clothing range in the future?

We have lots of plans and ideas we’re working towards. Our next project will be working in partnership with the 60’s Suit Co. to develop an off-the-peg range of suits designed exclusively for Rat Race. We work closely with the 60s Suit Co. and we would both be involved in the design process to create and release a range of suits, tailor-made for the Margate mods & skins. We are also going to be doing four types of trousers, all in different fabrics, and something to appeal to the Mods, Skinheads and Suedeheads.

8. Do Rat Race cover men and women’s fashion?

We certainly do, we have three high street shops conjoined to make one large shop. Within Rat Race you’ll find ‘Rat Race Girl’ which is our latest addition. It’s great to have a space solely for the girls but also where men and women can shop together.

9. How important to the Rat Race philosophy is it to have local people who know their onions about Modernist fashion working in the shop?

It’s very important to have knowledgeable staff, our Rat Race team certainly know their onions and they also have the same passion and enthusiasm as myself for what we do. I also think it’s important that our staff share the same vision and drive for Rat Race and help create something unique that will stand the test of time.

10. Why do you think the sixties style is still revered, respected and revisited with each new generation?

People from every new generation want to look good and find a style that suits them. When you look good, you feel good, it gives you confidence and young people look at the sixties style and see that un-apologetic swagger. They want to emulate that feeling, they want to know that they look good enough to stand out from the crowd. There is nothing better than Modernist fashion for a clean-cut style and sharpness.

11. What are your favorite vintage and modern fashion brands?

That’s not too easy to answer, there are many brands that I’m into. I love the stories behind the brands and how they have become popular, for example: Brutus Trimfits’ story of Keith Freedman’s visit to Hong Kong’s in 66’ to discover a shop selling half sleeve button-downs shirts for off-duty American soldiers. The shirts were not available in the UK and so with a few adaptations he ordered them in 12 different colours and to this day they still fly off the rails! There are many stories like this and it’s all part of the history of the brands we sell and love.

12. Where do you see Rat Race heading in the future and any exciting projects coming up you want to tell us about?

We hope to continue as we are doing, finding new brands to offer our customers and building up our online shop. We have a meeting with Gabicci this month and hope to become a Gabicci stockist before the coming Margate Mod and Sixties Festival. You can also find us at Folkestone Skabour in September, this will be our sixth trade event for Skabour. It’s a great Ska weekend where we meet many customers and friends, both old and new. Check our website or pop in to see us if you get a chance.

13. With the Mod/Sixties festival coming up at Whitsun where can we find you in Margate and what are the opening hours?

You can find Rat Race and Rat Race Girl at the lower end of Margate High Street, just up from the piazza and harbour. We’re open 7 days a week until 5.30pm and 5pm on Sundays. but check the links below and our website!

Now in-store & online at www.ratracemargate.co.uk // Spring/Summer 2016 Collections from Merc, Art Gallery, Brutus & Trojan Clothing.

Classic British mens & women’s wear.
Open 7 days a weekly 10-5.30 (10-5 Sundays)

Main Site:  ratracemargate.co.uk

Social Networks:

facebook.com/ratracemargate
twitter.com/ratracemargate
instagram.com/ratracemargate
pintrest.com/ratracemargate


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drrobert

I run The New Untouchables organization and events like the Brighton Mod Weekender, Le Beat Bespoké Festival (and compilation series of the same name) and I co-organize Euro Ye Ye with the Trouble & Tea crew. I have run many clubs over the last 20 years in London, where I live and current nights include Timebox, Zoo Zoo, Crossfire, 100 Club and Mousetrap allnighter which has just celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2011. I have been lucky to DJ all over the globe including Japan, Canada, USA and Europe and met some great people on my journey. I run RnB Records to offset my vinyl addiction: newuntouchables.com/rnbrecords for rare vintage vinyl.

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May 4, 2016 By : Category : Fashion Front Page Interviews News Style UK Tags:, , ,
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Summer Fashion

Mods do like to be beside the sea-side in the sunnier months. Be it Brighton, Margate or even Beaulieu-sur-Mer. So in this issue of Nutsmag we have decided to take a look at the quintessential items of clothing that feature in the spring/summer Modernist wardrobe, plus a little history behind what makes these items so iconic in terms of style.

Breton tops
The fresh stripes on a boated-necked Breton top give an instant whiff of French New Wave to any summer outfit – especially when paired with a pair or cropped slim-fitting trousers. The tops have never really gone out of fashion since they were adopted by Beatniks, Mods and lovers of all things cool in the late 50s and 60s. They were also a favourite fashion item among movie stars sported by the likes of James Dean, Audrey Hepburn, Edie Sedgwick and Bridget Bardot. But the history behind the Breton goes back much further. Right back, in fact to 1858, when the Act of France introduced the tops for all French Navy seamen. The original design was said to feature 21 stripes, one for each of Napoleons’ victories. It was originally nicknamed the ‘Chandail’ which is a shortened version of the French Marchand d’Ail (garlic merchant) who would wear them as they crossed the English Channel to sell their wares. The tops were made and still are to this day, in the Normandy town of Saint-James. The original fisherman’s sweater version of the top had three buttons on the shoulder and was long and close-fitting with a slight turtle neck.

Loafers and drivers
Feet also need something a little lighter in summer and loafers and driving shoes are perfect for both men and women. With loafers, the slip-on style, based on a moccasin is both comfy and cool. Plus there are so many variations of loafer style that there is still room for some individualism, from tassels to a plainer penny-style. Opting for lighter colours in suedes or even a basket weave, keeps the look light and hip. Driving shoes were developed in the 60s off the back of the sports car boom by the brands Car Shoe and later Tods. Their design featured a longer ‘vamp’ than a loafer with a leather tie across the bridge of the shoe and the signature ‘nubs’ on the heel, which prevented you from damaging the shoe when you switched between accelerator and brake pedal. The good looks and comfort of the shoe meant that people wanted to be seen wearing them outside of their vehicles and were soon being sported by wealthy automobile fanatics. The original shoes were beautifully crafted out of fine leather but soon cheaper variations became widely available. However the style still gives off the requisite air of affluence due to its association with 60s motoring.

Summer strides
Levis are a mod staple, but come summer away went the dark denim and out came its white counterpart. This all started in the 60s when mods, in a bid to try anything different, started wearing their strides in a variety of colours. White was a particular favourite and was often sported by the likes of The Who and The Small Faces both on and off camera. But if you want to wear white, well you have to adhere to a few rules. First off you need to keep them really really clean. So try to avoid sitting anywhere likely to be even remotely grubby. Then there’s the cut itself. They should be of a slim fit (not too tight and not too baggy) with the hem ending just on the ankle, exposing a bit of flesh or a nicely coloured sock. Avoid wearing white with white and think of the jeans as a back-drop for the rest of your outfit to help make the colours ‘pop’ and to team them with a coloured polo top or merino knit for a touch of pure Riviera chic. For women, try a cotton trouser in white or pale pastels in a capri pant cut. Look for the signature slit at the hem, it’s much more flattering than a clam-digger! Again make sure they are slim-fit and not to tight or loose. This look is where coolness follows comfort and ease.


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Claire Mahoney

At the age of 13 mod made perfect sense to me. I liked the look and the attitude - but most of all I liked the music. Secret Affair was my entry point, but they were soon playing second fiddle in my affections to The Jam. Paul Weller, of course, proceeded to break mine and many others hearts in 1982, when he put an end to that particular musical roller coaster – but what it meant was that, uninterested in anything else that was happening in music at the time, I had to look back. I was lucky enough to be given two plastic bags full of 60s 45s by my uncle who used to stock the jukeboxes back in the day. Their contents included a number of Stax originals, plus the Who and the Small Faces, as well as Motown classics from The Four Tops and the Supremes. So, when Phil Collins charted in the mid 80s with 'You Can't Hurry Love' it was nice to be able to say: “I've got the original of that!” It became quite an irritating habit of mine over the years. These days I still enjoy discovering new, old music, be it soul, rnb or jazz, as well as witnessing mod taken another turn among today's youth with bands like The Strypes. My day job as a journalist means I am lucky enough to be able to write about music and modernism now and again. Other than that you'll find me mostly on the dance floor or on eBay still looking for that perfect A line dress.

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May 4, 2016 By : Category : Articles Fashion Front Page Reviews Style Tags:, , , , ,
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LSD – A Short Historical Trip

Albert Hofmann, a  devout chemist then working for Sandoz Pharmaceutical, synthesized LSD for the first time around 1938, in Basel, Switzerland, whilst actually searching for a blood stimulant. However, its true  hallucinogenic effects were unknown until 1943 when Hofmann accidentally consumed some LSD via skin absorption. It was later found that an oral dose of as little as 25 micrograms (equal in weight to a just ew grains of salt) is capable of producing vivid  and hallucinations.

The compound was found to have similar aspects to other chemicals and re-actions present in the human brain and LSD was therefore used in experiments by psychiatrists through the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s. While the researchers  seemingly failed to discover any medical use for the drug, the free samples supplied by Sandoz Pharmaceuticals for the experiments were distributed broadly, leading to wide use and indeed abuse of this  strange and magical substance.

LSD was then popularized in the 1960s by individuals such as psychologist Timothy Leary, who widely encouraged American students to “turn on, tune in, and drop out.” This created an entire counterculture of  this type of drug abuse and thus spread the drug from America to the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe. Even today, the use of LSD in the United Kingdom is significantly higher than in other parts of the world.

While the ‘60s counterculture used the drug to escape the pressures of  mundane society, the Western intelligence community (led by the CIA) and the military saw it as a potential chemical weapon. In 1951, these organizations began a series of covert experiments. US researchers noted that LSD “is capable of rendering whole groups of people, including military forces, indifferent to their surroundings and situations, interfering with planning and judgment, and even creating apprehension, uncontrollable confusion and terror.” This a potential new age of warfare could be possible.

Experiments in the possible use of LSD to change the personalities of  certain intelligence targets, and to possibly control whole populations, continued until the United States officially banned the drug in 1967. By this stage the damage was becoming obvious and a  real concern.

Common use of LSD saw a steep decline in the 1980s, but then rose again in the 1990s. For a few years after 1998 LSD had become more widely used at dance clubs and all-night raves by older teens and young adults. Use dropped off significantly after 2000 and became more rare.

Bicycle Day

Three days later, April 19, 1943, Hofmann performed a self-experiment to determine the true effects of LSD, intentionally ingesting 250 micrograms of the substance, an amount he predicted to be a threshold dose (an actual threshold dose is 20 micrograms). Less than an hour later, Hofmann experienced sudden and intense changes in perception. He asked his laboratory assistant to escort him home, and as use of vehicles was prohibited because of wartime restrictions, they had to make the journey on a bicycle. On the way, Hofmann’s condition rapidly deteriorated as he struggled with feelings of anxiety, alternatingly believing the next-door neighbor was a malevolent witch, that he was going insane, and the LSD had poisoned him. When the house doctor arrived, however, he could detect no physical abnormalities, save for a pair of incredibly dilated pupils. Hofmann was reassured, and soon his terror began to give way to a sense of good fortune and enjoyment, as he later wrote …

… little by little I could begin to enjoy the unprecedented colors and plays of shapes that persisted behind my closed eyes. Kaleidoscopic, fantastic images surged in on me, alternating, variegated, opening and then closing themselves in circles and spirals, exploding in colored fountains, rearranging and hybridizing themselves in constant flux …

The events of the first LSD trip, now known as “Bicycle Day”, after the bicycle ride home, proved to Hofmann that he had indeed made a significant discovery. A psychoactive substance with extraordinary potency, capable of causing paradigm shifts of consciousness in incredibly low doses, Hofmann foresaw the drug as a powerful psychiatric tool; because of its intense and introspective nature, he couldn’t imagine anyone using it recreationally.


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admin

Pip! Pip! Are the Creative Business Engine behind various music based organisations of the cool underground variety. Providing angst, confusion, bewilderment and annoyance in equal amounts. We design/host/manage great sites like this one! Why not hire us one day soon?

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May 4, 2016 By : Category : Articles Front Page General Inspiration USA Tags:, , ,
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Dandylife Clothing

Shop Name: Dandylife Clothing
Headquarters: London, UK
Style: 60s clothing and accessories, opening hours: None, we are online based only, address: www.dandylifeclothing.com

01. What, who and where was your initial spark ignited for the world of fashion?

Both Iride and I (Attila) have been wearing vintage clothes for many years, since we were both teenagers and although we got into it in very different ways, for both of us it was all about the music we were into. Iride started collecting mostly 50s clothing and later on developed an interest for a much wider range of styles all the way from the 1930s to the 70s. I was a ‘full-on Mod’ at age 15 and my style continued to evolve as I got older. I became especially interested in 60s Dandy and Psychedelic fashion, which is what we focused on at Velvet Illusion, at least for the menswear range. I have since become very interested in other decades, specially the 1930s, although 60s and early 70s are still my favorites.

02. Did you have a formal education in fashion: Did you go to a college or follow an apprenticeship? If not, how did you learn to design clothing?

I studied Psychology of Advertising and Visual Arts at the University of Vienna and got an apprenticeship at Zur Brieftaube (now Paul & Shark) which was a renowned Viennese tailoring boutique that specialised in high-end fashion since 1860. But I learned most of what I know about design during my time at Velvet Illusion. It is a very complicated process but I really enjoy it. The industry has changed quite a lot in the last decade so the last year since we started DandyLife has been a massive learning curve for me and even more so for Iride, who had never worked in design before. She has been collecting vintage for many years so she knows a lot about fabrics, cuts and the details that make vintage clothing so special so her input is very important, especially for women’s wear.

03. What was your involvement with Velvet Illusion?

After I finished my studies we bought an old clothing factory in Vienna between a few friends. It came with a massive stock of original 60s and 70s trousers and fabrics that we sold at flea markets. With the money that we made we began to produce our own line at the factory and eventually came up with the first Velvet Illusion mail order catalogues. We then decided to move to London and start-up the Velvet Illusion shop in Camden and then the one in Kensington. There were many of us working at Velvet Illusion, all extremely creative people and I think it was that combination of skills and talents that made Velvet Illusion so great. We all multi-tasked and ended up doing all sorts of things from designing, to selling, marketing etc. depending of what was needed. I was one of the directors so in a way I was responsible for overseeing many aspects of the business. It was an incredibly busy and crazy time but I really loved it and still today I am amazed when I look back and think of what we managed to do at VI between all of us.

04. Can you tell us something about what you did, once Velvet Illusion folded?

Velvet Illusion closed down quite suddenly which was very upsetting for all of us. I went on to get a job and then managed to get back to Camden Market and started selling music merchandise at the store that I am still running. I had a small label for a while but I think that I did not have the time and drive to take on a project such as Velvet Illusion again, at least not for a while. I think that I was exhausted after the whole Velvet Illusion adventure and I needed to do something new and to take the time to travel, see friends and follow other interests like photography for example.

05. Dandylife: Why have you decided to have another crack in the fashion industry – and who are your target clientele?

It has been a long time since Velvet Illusion closed down and I started to feel that it was the right time for me to try to get back to it and do what I really enjoy doing and to use all the experience that I have. Also it had been a long time dream of Iride’s to have a fashion label. It all happened quite quickly since we started talking about it more seriously. We made a plan and managed to get some funding to start-up and we have not stopped working on it since. Our first collection brought back some of the old Velvet Illusion designs so in a way we were hoping to attract a similar crowd. We will start adding on new styles gradually and hopefully menswear very soon. We are quite keen on making a basic range of those things that have become very hard to find and that any 60s lover needs in their everyday wardrobes. It would be very important for us to have the support of the 60s underground scene so that’s our biggest hope but at the same time we know the potential that well-made 60s fashion can have commercially so we hope to also find new followers. However, obviously we want to stay true to the fashion that we love and care so much about.

06. Do you personally source your fabrics, and what kind of fabrics can we expect to see in the future?

Fabrics are key to us and our designing process and we chose them personally for all our designs. Unfortunately we cannot use vintage fabrics for large-scale productions but we try really hard to match modern fabrics to suit our styles. At the same time have to be mindful of costs and the importance of having cuts that can suit a wide range of customers that are mostly ordering online and without the possibility of trying things on or altering garments, as people used to do back in the day.

07.  Have you got a top-three designers who have helped to inspire your clothing for Dandylife?

This is a very hard question for us to answer as we love and take inspiration from so many designers but also from individual vintage pieces from unknown designer and labels. The current collection has a very Space Age and Op-Art influence so we could name Courreges, Cardin and John Kloss for example. Moving forward we will also look at other styles and inspirations and we can mention some of the old London boutiques such as Granny Takes a Trip, Quorum, Take 6, Biba but the list is endless.

08. What is your personal favourite decade for fashion or can you narrow it down to a specific time-frame?

Our favourite time is the mid and late 1960s and early 70s, at least when it comes to designing for DandyLife. But we must mention other eras that were also influential in late 60s fashion, especially 20s-30s, and that will definitely inspire some of our prints, details and artwork. But we think that all decades have amazing styles and details which we could incorporate into the core 60s look that we are trying to reproduce. We would like to have our own take on 60s clothing and not only copy what others did back then. A lot of designers in the 60s were also into vintage clothing at the time and that shows in their own individual take on fashion, even as part of a bigger movement or general feel. But we know that’s not an easy task and will surely take some time to get there!

09. Are there any contemporary designers or fashion outlets that you recognise and enjoy today?

There are many 60s style labels today that deserve all our respect. We don’t want to come up with a list and risk leaving anyone out but I suppose if we had to mention only one it would be your label Peter, The Perfumed Garden, which is just incredible. We apologise if this sounds patronising considering that you are interviewing us today! lol

10. Can you single out one fashion icon from the past or present who has inspired your passion for design?

This is going to sound very weird but it’s the truth! As a child we didn’t have access to new films or TV programs in Hungary so we used to watch mainly old (very old!) movies, which was all the TV stations could afford to show at the time. I have to say that I was completely mesmerized by Rodolfo Valentino even though at the time I did not understand anything about fashion or what ‘Dandy’ meant. And I think that stuck with me even though I got into 60s fashion later on. Also I have to mention my idol and friend Sky Saxon.

And for Iride it’s got to be Elvis. She started her interest in vintage clothing through 50s fashion and he was one of the most creative and revolutionary personalities during that time so he was probably her first big influence.

11. If you could own one garment from the past or present – what would that garment be?

The double-breasted coat that Max Schreck wore in the 1922 Nosferatu!

12. Where can we find you and order a Dandylife garment?

You can buy our line on our website www.dandyliclothing.com or via the Collectif website and stores: www.collectif.co.uk
If you want to know if there are any stores that stock our products near you (whether in the UK or abroad) please contact us at info@dandylifeclothing.com
Main Site: www.dandylifeclothing.com

Social Networks:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/DandyLifeclothing
Instagram: www.instagram.com/dandylife_clothing

Special announcements/sales/promotions – We are going to be offering a DandyLife contest and price soon through the New Untouchables website so please keep checking back!


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Peter Feely

Married to Susie, both actively involved in the UK 60s scene for many years. My personal interest in 1960s culture goes back over 30 years, with my main two passions being music and fashion, both in equal measure. I run my own menswear label – ‘Perfumed Garden’ clothing, catering for the discerning dandy male - in addition to sourcing and selling vintage mens’ gear, with a particular interest in those hard-to-find jackets and shoes! I also run the Facebook group, ‘Psychedelic Clothing for Men: Then and Now’, with 2200+ members. Although I have no formal training in the fashion industry, what I do possess is a real passion, and through the years I have gained valuable knowledge of many areas of mens’ fashion from the mid to late 1960s. I’m also a musician and have played in many bands in my younger years. I’m an avid collector of music and music-related paraphernalia. I started running my own club nights back in the mid-1990s, and at present I run a psychedelic night in Derby – ‘The Perfumed Garden Of Musical Delights’. Through this I also get to DJ at many exciting events up and down the country

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March 2, 2016 By : Category : Design Fashion Front Page Interviews Style Tags:,
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Bowie in the 1960’s

This entry is part 4 of 6 in the series Collectors Corner 2

It’s fair to say that most music lovers were shocked and deeply saddened when the death of one of the world’s most revered music legends, David Bowie, was announced early on Monday 11th January 2016. David was an ever-present in most people’s musical tapestry, from his first break in 1969 with ‘Space Oddity’, through proto-metal with ‘The man who sold the world’ the following year, and then releasing a whole series of groundbreaking and innovating albums on RCA throughout the decade. He followed this run with the stadium years of the 1980’s, and then had a creative rebirth in the 1990’s, releasing a fine succession of critically acclaimed albums, ending with the wonderful ‘Blackstar’ which was released only two days before he died. Although the many tributes tended to concentrate on his hit making heyday, most headlines hardly gave a mention to the many wonderful and varied released Mr Jones released before he hit the big time and that’s therefore what we’re going to have a look at in this article.

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Born David Robert Jones in Brixton, 8th January 1937, the family moved to Bromley when he was seven where in the mid 50’s he discovered rock’n’roll and decided music was what he wanted to pursue. He took up piano, ukulele and later saxophone, and like most musical fans of his age, joined and formed various skiffle, then beat groups in his early teens. At 15, Bowie and some friends formed The Konrads, but he soon left and joined The King Bees who were one of many of the British R‘n’B bands playing around the country in 1964. Taken under the management of Leslie Conn, the band were signed to Decca and on 5th June 1964 ‘Liza Jane’/‘Louie Louie go home’ was released on subsidiary label Vocalion V 9221. Both tracks were good but unremarkable British rhythm’n’blues and sank without trace in the busy release schedules of the time. By far the most desirable and expensive of Bowie’s UK singles, this single nowadays can fetch up to £2000 in mint condition. Be careful buying this disc as the record was bootlegged in the 1970’s with a large centre hole, a genuine original would have a four prong push out centre and should come in a red and white Vocalion company bag. A great and cheaper way to own this piece of musical history is the Decca mid-seventies reissue which can be picked up for around a tenner!

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After the failure of Davie’s first single, he left the band and joined another Rythym & Blues band called the Manish Boys. The group was signed to EMI in 1965 and placed under the guidance of the company’s top selling label of the time, Parlophone. On 5th March 1965 the label released a cover of ‘I pity the fool’ backed with a great Jones written mod-jazz track ‘Take my tip’ (Parlophone R5250). Like the release before it the single stiffed badly and is also hard to find, especially as a stock copy. Yet again, copies of this single in mint condition can reach the £1000 mark, that’s when they rarely appear on the market. The B side had the added attraction of being the first Bowie song to be covered when Kenny Miller released his single ‘Take my tip’ (Stateside SS 405) in April of the same year. Also rare but decidedly cheaper than Bowie’s original, this can usually be picked up for around the £100 mark. In August, now firmly encased in the amphetamine filled Soho mod scene and regulars at the Marquee club, Davy Jones and The Lower Third as they were now known released another single on Parlophone, the manic, pop-art masterpiece ‘You’ve got a habit of leaving’/‘Baby loves that way’ (Parlophone R 5315). Produced by the legendary Shel Talmy, it should have been a hit in a chart full of Yardbirds, Who and Them singles but yet again it sold absolutely nothing leaving yet another £1000 rated 45. Both Parlophone singles are essential listening but luckily have all been reissued on EP’s in the last couple of decades, most recently on Record Store Day 2014 with a stunning 1965 era Bowie picture sleeve.

1966 and London was in full swing when Jones decided on the name change (to avoid confusion with future Monkee Davy Jones) to David Bowie, the surname he’d take to the grave. After parting company with Leslie Conn, the newly christened David Bowie and the Lower Third were signed to Pye records and released three fantastic 45’s during the coming year. The first, released on 14th January 1966, was possibly the highlight of his early career, ‘Can’t help thinking about me’, with the almost as good ‘And I say to myself’ on the flip (Pye 7N 17020). Despite plenty of publicity and airplay the song only managed to scrape into the bottom of the top 50 in a couple of music magazine charts. Even though it sold a few copies it’s still an in demand item and regularly sells for £200-300 for a copy. The next release came out three months later on 1st April, ‘Do anything you say’, backed with the jazz tinged groover ‘Good morning girl’ (Pye 7N 17079). Now billed solely as David Bowie this release was not as immediate as it’s predecessor and is the hardest of the three to locate, usually hitting over £500 in top condition. The final release on Pye was released in August 1966, a proper swinging London affair called ‘I dig everything’ coupled with another strong B side ‘I’m not losing sleep’ (Pye 7N 17157). Although this sold more than the second single this still reaches prices of £300+ at auction.

 

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After three great commercial singles that just didn’t seem to click with the record buying public Bowie started 1967 joining the last days of pop-art mod band The Riot Squad. At this time David had come into possession of one the earliest pressings of the seminal Velvet Underground debut album and soon incorporated ‘I’m waiting for the man’ into the band’s live act. The track along a handful of others were actually recorded and finally secured an EP release on Acid Jazz in 2013. Now under the management of Kenneth Pitt who tried to steer Bowie down a more all round entertainer route he was signed to Decca’s new progressive label Deram as a solo artist. The first fruits of this new direction was the lightweight single “Rubber band” (Deram DM 107) which was a surreal mix of Anthony Newley and Syd Barrett. The B side ‘The London Boys’ is a lost nugget, Bowie’s sombre tale of mod London gone wrong. It sold incredibly poorly on release and is by far the hardest single of this period to find, especially as a stock copy. The next release, the novelty track ‘The laughing gnome’/ ‘Gospel according to Tony Day’ (Deram DM 123) released in April 1967 was another flop but this one would come back to haunt him when it hit the top ten six years later at the height of glam-era Bowiemania.

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First pressings are much harder to find, original copies have an upside down matrix number on the label and flat push out centres rather than 1973 double ridged style centres, this is the difference between spending £5 and £50+ on a copy! After three years of non-hit singles, on June 1st 1967 the debut album ‘David Bowie’ was released to the world in both mono and stereo pressings (DML / SML 1007). It’s a mixed bag of English popsike and vaudeville, with Bowie himself later explaining his influences at the time as a mix of Max Miller and Elvis Presley. Unfortunately the music loving kids of 1967 decided to spend their money on another album released the same day, ‘Sgt Pepper’s lonely hearts club band’ and the album sank without trace creating a £700-1000 item nowadays. In July Deram had one last try with the catchy ‘Love you till Tuesday’ being released as a 45 (DM 145) which was one flop too many for Decca causing artist and label to part company soon after. In 1968 without a contract, Bowie, with mime artists Hermoine and Hutch, made a small series of promo films featuring remixed Deram tracks and also an embryonic version of a song that was to finally into the charts in the summer of 1969, ‘Space oddity’… But that’s a whole different story!


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James Clark

Loves collecting records. My main loves are 50's rock'n'roll, 60's soul and r'n'b, beat, mod and psych and hopefully will be sharing some nuggets with you over the next few months. Apart from being a vinyl junkie I'm a Arsenal obsessive and a hopelessly romantic drunkard, but don't let put you off, we all have our faults.

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February 12, 2016 By : Category : Articles Beat Front Page Inspiration Music Reviews UK Tags:,
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Peggy Moffitt

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Fashion Scene 3

Peggy Moffitt  – the LA mod

No-one quite combined art and fashion within their own form quite like American 60s model Peggy Moffitt. The model, who is now a sprightly 76 years-old, this year announced a return to fashion with the launch of her signature active label.  So in this issue of NUTS we thought we’d take a closer look at her unique style and how her image still embodies everything we love about the 60s and pop culture.

Born in California in 1939. Peggy’s interest in fashion started young when she began working in a Beverley Hills boutique in the evenings after school. She had planned on becoming an actress and attended drama school in New York for two years, landing her first role in the 1955 Jerry Lewis comedy – “You’re Never Too Young.” She also was later to star in 60s style flick – “Blow-up.”

That all changed when she met her partner and husband-to-be, Jazz music photographer Bill Claxton. Claxton was already doing some work for the designer Rudi Gernreich. The combination of Claxton’s pop photographic style, Peggy’s unique performance-approach to modelling and Gernreich’s modernist clothes, for many, defined the look of the 60s era.

Gernreich was constantly breaking new ground with his designs. His pieces would stand the conventions of women’s fashion on its head. His geometric shapes and style worked brilliantly with Moffitt’s signature five-point Vidal Sassoon haircut and ‘Kabuki’ style make-up. Claxton meanwhile had a background in jazz photography – he therefore understood how to capture a free-spirited sense of movement that the jazz movement embodied.

It was however Moffitt’s acting out of the clothes and unique poses that made her and the clothes she modelled stand-out. She was one of the first models to take this new ‘involved’ approach to fashion.

“I don’t think I modelled like other people. I knew how to move in a different way. I used to change the way I walked by what I wore.” she said in an interview recently in fashion trade bible, Women’s Wear Daily (WWD). “I liked to have fun with clothes!”

Her style was so influential in the 60s that she even starred as herself in the satirical send-up of the fashion industry: ‘Who Are You, Polly Maggoo?’ The 1966 cult French film by director and photographer William Klein features a classic shot of Peggy applying her signature style eye make-up.

However, most sensational image that this threesome became known for was from the 1964 shoot for Gernreich’s ‘monokini’ or topless swimsuit. Even though the image and the design was intended to express a kind of emancipation of women – many found the image extremely shocking and it had quite the reverse effect. Ironically, the bathing suit itself was never intended for commercial production but ended up selling in its thousands.

Moffitt had a big influence on other models of the 60s including Twiggy, who she worked with on her second shoot. The pose, which was inspired by the idea of Madonna and child, was Moffitt’s idea. “The photographer asked me to help her. I’m trying to show her about light and I decided oh, I’ll be Madonna and she’ll be my Baby Jesus,” Moffitt says.

When Rudi Gernreich died in 1985, Moffitt obtained legal rights to his designs. These were recently exhibited at the LA’s Museum of Contemporary Art in a show called: The Total Look: The Creative Collaboration Between Rudi Gernreich, Peggy Moffitt, and William Claxton.

The model owns some 300 of his designs and is still seen wearing them today, proving the classic style never really dates.

See as part of this article: A great short film by director Phil Pinto shot at Peggy Moffitt’s LA home.


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Claire Mahoney

At the age of 13 mod made perfect sense to me. I liked the look and the attitude - but most of all I liked the music. Secret Affair was my entry point, but they were soon playing second fiddle in my affections to The Jam. Paul Weller, of course, proceeded to break mine and many others hearts in 1982, when he put an end to that particular musical roller coaster – but what it meant was that, uninterested in anything else that was happening in music at the time, I had to look back. I was lucky enough to be given two plastic bags full of 60s 45s by my uncle who used to stock the jukeboxes back in the day. Their contents included a number of Stax originals, plus the Who and the Small Faces, as well as Motown classics from The Four Tops and the Supremes. So, when Phil Collins charted in the mid 80s with 'You Can't Hurry Love' it was nice to be able to say: “I've got the original of that!” It became quite an irritating habit of mine over the years. These days I still enjoy discovering new, old music, be it soul, rnb or jazz, as well as witnessing mod taken another turn among today's youth with bands like The Strypes. My day job as a journalist means I am lucky enough to be able to write about music and modernism now and again. Other than that you'll find me mostly on the dance floor or on eBay still looking for that perfect A line dress.

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June 17, 2016 By : Category : Fashion Front Page Style Tags:, , , , ,
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