Mod Girl Fashion 2

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

It’s a cover up!

There’s certainly a nip in the air, but in terms of clothes that’s generally a good thing when it comes to dressing a la mod! For this issue of NUTSMag, we have therefore decided to take a casual glance at the Mod winter wardrobe for women and what key pieces any girl about town would be keen to sport whilst keeping out the elements.

Button up!

First up it’s coats. The 60s was a wonderful era for outerwear. Cuts and shapes were simple and sharp, although there was also a real penchant colour-wise for anything bright and bold. An enduring favourite from this period which is very much back on-trend is the swing coat. This universally flattering-style where the shape flares out at the bottom, originates from the 1930s. However as hemlines began to shorten so did the coat in length and shape. It is now one of the 60s most iconic coat styles.

Many of the 60s coats tended to drape to create a strong silhouette rather than fit the contours of the body, much like the shift dresses of the period. The ultimate example of this is the cape. Put one of these on with a pair of block heeled boots and a ‘Baker Boy’ hat and you are pretty much spot-on in the 60s style stakes. Versions in Welsh tapestry designs, plaid and checks were very popular. Many original versions of these can be picked up on eBay. In terms of the high-street the 60s influence hasn’t loosened its grip this season and there are some nice Modish coat styles up for grabs. Take a look at French Connection’s Glorious Oversized Coat: or some alternatives – a Classic (black with a white collar number) from Hobbs. Also Boden and H&M are reliable sources of well cut, well designed retro styles. Designers in the 60s were also experimenting with the then latest man-made fibres, this combined with a love of space-age looks, meant there was plenty of shiny plastic looking coats available. They may not keep you warm, but if you are wearing polyester underneath you will probably be cosy enough.

Tight spot!

The 60s were a decade of liberation for women in lots of senses, not least in the hosiery department. Tights freed women from girdles, suspenders and stockings and kept them a whole lot warmer. The boom in mass production meant they were relatively cheap and widely available and not just in shades of  ‘American Tan’. Reds, yellows and whites were massively popular as were geometric spots and stripes. Missi tights do a whole range of colours and are widely available on eBay. Also the Tight Spot stocks the whole gamut of styles and colours including quality brands such as Falke and Pretty Polly.

It’s a wrap!

A well chosen scarf will up the Mod style aspect of almost any outfit and provide an accent of lush colour and pattern to a winter coat. Personally I like to see girls wearing ‘Tootal’– type scarfs, ascots and cravats as well as the boys. They look great tucked under a large collar. As well as the classic ‘Tootal’– which are currently widely available, high-quality versions are also available from various online and offline outlets (via a simple search) in a stunning array of polka dot and paisley colour ways.

To top it off!

Haircuts were such a big deal in the 60s that headware and hats tended to stay in the shadows. However there were a couple of key looks that still cut a dash today. The classic ‘beret’ puts a gamine spin on any outfit and looks great with short hair or a bob and can be worn pulled down on the head rather than on a slant. The love of crocheted styles filtered across into headgear with crochet beanie hats and berets being very popular too. Original Mod and dressmaker Gill Evans makes them faithful to the original designs. ‘Baker Boy’ hats or as news-boy caps as they were called in the US were also a hit. For a neater more ‘beatnik’ look you could opt for a Beatles or Greek Sailors’ cap. Traditionally these come in cord although a nice tweed pattern would still look cool, especially with your new cape! For more formal outfits the pillbox style as sported by Hepburn and Jackie O oozed a sharper more highly tailored style along with the mildy amusing fashion for helmet and spaceman style head-gear. 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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November 20, 2013 By : Category : Articles Fashion Front Page Style Tags:, , , , ,
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Mod Girl Fashion 3

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

Mod’s most influential women

Men have mostly turned to musicians, be it Marriott or Paul Weller, for their fashion direction. Both the so-called ‘Modfather’ and his 60’s forebears were quite blatant about their mod credentials, so it was easy for men to cotton-onto and copy their style.

For women, the net had to be cast a little wider. For the so-called second generation mods like myself, the 1979 cult film, Quadrophenia film left few clues on what to wear. The female lead role – ‘Steph,’ with her Farah Fawcett-style hair and long leather coat, was no mod icon in the way that Jimmy was for the boys.

Similarly the early mod girls simply copied the boys with their paired down androgynous look. It must have been a relief, when mods became more mainstream in the mid 60s, to be able to feminise their look with minis, handbags and make-up.

Mod girls of the 60s and those that have followed in their footsteps however have always tended to take their style cues from quite a small and select select group of fashion icons – the likes of Twiggy, Quant, Shrimpton, Hepburn and McGowan crop up time and time again. We take a look at what is it about these particular women that evokes such adoration among mods.

Twiggy: Probably the number one mod girl icon. Twiggy combined that androgyny that has always been a part of the mod look for women with a girlish femininity. Her short pixie cut and boyish frame suited the clean lines of her clothes. She was almost doll-like but not at all passive  n the her modelling – her shoots were full of character and that’s why we love her.

Mary Quant: Any lover of 60s fashion is hugely indebted to Mary Quant for her wonderful designs. Her pop-culture clothes came in strong silhouettes and bright and bold hues. She was also practical and her many innovations as well as the mini-skirt, included waterproof mascara and tights for mini skirts and she was also one of the first designers to use PVC.

Jean Shrimpton: Long and lean and lovely – that was ‘the Shrimp’. She managed to convey an air of innocence with just the right amount of haughtiness in her look. Famously photographed by David Bailey, her style was British with a beatnik twist. Again she liked to put her own slant on an outfit and in 1965 to much consternation, turned up at the Victoria Derby in Melbourne in Australia wearing a white shift dress, no hat or gloves and a man’s watch!

Hepburn: There’s isn’t much you can say about Hepburn that does her justice. Her looks were quite unique. Again, her form was gamine compared to the voluptuous beauties of the 50s. Her style was effortless and paired down to key pieces. She knew what suited her.

Cathy McGowan: The presenter of the 60s show Ready Steady Go was often dubbed, “Queen of the Mods” Twiggy even cited her as one of her role models saying she was: “one of us” Her attitude chimed with the youth of the day and so did her clothes. She was often seen wearing Biba and Quant and her eye-skimming fringe was heavy eye-make-up was copied by girls everywhere. She was the first real ‘it-girl’.

Who inspires you?

Karla Milton, singer with the Karla Milton Collective: “I get influenced by quite a lot, but I think Emma Peel’s style in the Avengers was fab along with Mary Quant, also Audrey Hepburn in ‘Two for the Road’. I like to mix things up though and not copy just one style. If I like something I’ll go for it.”

Midlands mod Jayne Kelly Norris: “Vidal Sassoon and his five point haircut, it was so short sharp and classy. Its a timeless classic that can be reinvented to suit all generations of mod. Mary Quant’s classic style influenced me a young 15 year-old mod in the 80’s. I loved her drop waist dresses and  kick pleats always worn with flat shoes. The zips the patterns and the colours were all so different from the awful fashions of the 80s. I moved on from there to low cut classic tailor made hipsters, chisel toe shoes and button down shirts this style was influenced by the mod scene exploding in Birmingham and London in the 80’s. As a mature mod now I like to mix up my style but everything I wear stems from my roots growing up within the mod culture.”

Maria Veall, original 60s mod: “I was a young teenage mod in the 60s. Twiggy was my icon and Mary Quant. We wore the shortest mini skirts and dresses and tights were a godsend as we had to wear stockings before that. Now I like the classic 60s styles that Jackie O (Kennedy) wore. In the 60s we were dolly birds and wouldn’t be seen dead in the clothes our Mums wore. Now I wish my Mum had saved all her clothes from then so I could wear them now.”

Sue Littler, I am a Mary Quant fan and collector: “Since I was a little girl I have loved Mary Quant. Her designs are so simple, yet so stylish. I love the handbags and the clothes. I have lots of her things – including boots from the 60’s and even a headboard!”


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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 7, 2014 By : Category : Fashion Front Page Style Tags:, , , , , ,
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Mod Girl Fashion 4

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series Fashion Scene 1

Fashion –  Summer Style

Most of us are familiar with that iconic image of Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck on that cream Vespa in the 1952 film Roman Holiday. That image to many is the epitome of summer style, although it may not be very practical. Getting on and off a scooter in a skirt is an issue all of its own and many men prefer not to risk getting their suits damaged or dirty by riding in them. So when we do want to be lazing on a sunny afternoon on or off the scooter how should we go about both looking and feeling cool? Here are some pointers

Shades

Sunglasses in the right shape and style will give anyone an air of beatnik cool. Retro-look styles are everywhere at the moment. The 60s was big on shades, so for a start your sunnies need to be over-sized, think Jackie O with those iconic black oval lenses. She apparently kept of a bowl of sunglasses by her front door so she could choose her style depending on her mood and the day ahead. Coloured plastics were big news too white, blues and browns look great, you can even match them to your outfit.

Shoes

Unless you intend on going barefoot like Sandie Shaw you’ll need to think about summer shoe wear. Flats in the form of ballet pumps look great with a cropped capri pant and a flash of tanned ankle. Otherwise look for some geometric style sandals in summery whites or space-age silver featuring graphic cut-out shapes. Or if you don’t like putting your toes on show, you go for a slingback in either a pointed or round toe, although a pointed one does a lovely job of elongating your foot and making your ankles look slimmer.

Shirts

Cropped tops and capri pants are a perfect late 50s/60s take on summer and still look smart but casual. Look for colourful floral or paisley prints, gingham or some Broderie Anglaise to pretty-up the look. Or try bold block colours to great a dense modernist silhouette. Sports-wear has always played a leading role in mod style primarily because the fabrics and styles were practical as well as chic. Polo shirts or even cycling-style tops look great with well cut white hipster jeans or cotton trousers. Oh and don’t forget the eternal appeal of a Breton top either in traditional blue and white or red and white. Team with a retro-style belt with a large square or round buckle and you’ll be pier pretty in no time.

Scarfs

Worn tied to the side round your neck or on your head, a brightly coloured scarf is a fab way to add a bit of retro chic to an outfit. Vintage scarfs are cheap and generally cheerful and the 60s and early 70s weren’t afraid of pattern or colour. This means you can be experimental with a scarf in a way that you may be frightened to with the rest of your outfit. So be bold.

Swimwear

The teeny weeny polka dot bikini originally introduced in the 50s became widely popular in the 60s although they were a little more forgiving than some of today’s styles. The bottoms were often more short-like and cut straight rather than high up the leg and the top was more bra than bare-all. Although in the mid 60s designers starting having a bit more fun with designs. Cutting out shapes to reveal parts not normally on display such as down the sides, often circles or panels that were filled in with mesh. In 1964 Rudi Gernreich went a stage further when he unveiled his bare breasted bathing suit called the ‘Monokini,’ which caused quite a stir when it was modelled by Peggy Moffitt in Women’s Wear Daily in the US. Pattern and colour was big news in bathing gear with pastels in spots and stripes in the early 60s moving towards bold and bright fruity colours in the mid to later 60s. Oh and remember to pack an umbrella!


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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 8, 2014 By : Category : Fashion Front Page Style Tags:, , ,
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Fashion – 60s print and pattern (part 1)

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Fashion Scene 1

Head – Pattern goes Pop!

In the first of this two part series for NUTsMag Claire Mahoney looks at the influence of Pop and Op Art on fashion.

Fashion was a fabulous canvas for designers in the 60’s. Silhouettes were sharper, details less fussy and shapes and lines more linear. In the new consumer-confident Britain there was no better way to display the best of British than on a long-legged lovely sauntering down the King’s Road on a Saturday.

Due to mass market production these looks were available to everyone. Young people didn’t have to become paired down versions of their parents anymore, they wanted something, cool, vibrant and most importantly modern. This really was out with the old and in with the new on a grand scale.

Britain’s art schools were bursting with talent and enthusiasm and in an environment where all the arts were flourishing, naturally there was going to be plenty of cross-fertilisation, with fashion designers borrowing from the worlds of art, textiles and architecture.

The Pop Art movement in particular conveyed all that was colourful in this brave new consumerist world. Borrowing from graphic comics and the worlds of advertising, Pop turned the idea of art as inaccessible on its head. Art was everywhere from soup cans to billboards. Targets and Union Jacks started appearing on everything from cars to coffee cups as if to triumph in this new-found confidence in British design.

In fashion British designers such as Zandra Rhodes were turning everyday objects into pattern – her prints featured lipsticks, medals and lightbulbs. Bright block colours were a major feature of their designs replicating many abstract artists like Mondrian.

Monochrome patterns borrowed heavily from the Op Art movement which featured shapes and patterns that ‘tricked’ the eye. Artists such as the British Bridget Riley and US abstract painter Richard Anuszkiewicz were enormously popular in the States took off in Britain.

Designer Ossie Clarke was hugely inspired by the Op Art movement after visiting America in the early 60s. His graduation show at London’s Royal College of Art in 1964 featured a coat covered in Op Art patterns that was photographed by David Bailey for Vogue.

Gill Evans, mod and dress designer who was in art school in the early 60s, also felt the impact of abstract art on fashion. “I think Mondrian had the biggest impact on Pop Art fashion,” she says. “I was interested in his work while I was still at art school and started making dresses for myself in 1960 incorporating strips of fabric sewn onto a base colour simple shape dress. I was always very Avant Garde. Simplistic Op Art dresses I love, I think Chanel was a big influence in the black and white  look which was quickly picked up by other designers.”

American designer Rudi Gernriech, however, was the man who took geometrics shape and pattern to the extreme. His muse and model Peggy Moffitt was photographed many times in outfits where the lines and shapes of the clothes would blend into each other and sometimes even into the background they were photographed in. The fabric was the art and the body, the architecture for Rudi.

He soon built himself the reputation of being one of the most radical designers in America. He was certainly bold and experimental, being one of the first 60s designers to use cut outs in fabric and insert manmade materials such as plastic and vinyl. He favoured a ‘total look’ where the whole body would be swathed in one geometric design, with matching tights and accessories.

Photographer and husband to Peggy Moffitt, William Claxton, made what is now described as the first fashion film in 1967 called ‘Basic Black’. It features three models, including Moffitt; who act out the clothes which are all designs from Rudy Gernriech. In one scene, they wear suede animal print suites with matching caps, gloves, tights, shoes and even underwear.

Print and pattern was indeed king in the 60s.


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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 18, 2014 By : Category : Fashion Front Page Style Tags:,
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Dedicated Followers of Fashion: 1964-1970

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

nutsmag_kinks

For me, the 1960s was the decade where fashion and music really became the fabric of life; where purchasing that new record by The Kinks, or buying that new shirt like the one worn by Steve Marriott on the front cover of Fab 208, became more important than eating or sleeping. From John Stephen’s forward-thinking and quite brilliant kick-start to men’s fashion at the start of the decade, to Tommy Roberts’ wild and often ‘off-the-wall’ pop art creations towards the end, it can safely be said it was the decade where the clothing certainly did the talking.

As the ‘60s started to gain momentum, men’s fashions were changing at a rapid speed of knots. This was helped by the fact that television sets became a lot more accessible to the masses, and teenagers were exposed to many varied and informative music-related newspapers and magazines. With such an explosion in sight and sound, it was perhaps inevitable that impressionable young men were going to take heed. It is also important to remember that this was a worldwide phenomenon.

As the ‘British Invasion’ took hold of America, and eventually all four corners of the world, young men also wanted to wear the same clothing as sported by their musical heroes. This led on to a colossal increase in demand for fashionable clothing for the modern man. This in turn would influence and inspire the designers on their never-ending quest to find the new look.

With hindsight, you can now see what was happening once this fashion explosion took a firm grip all over the world. It could be described as almost like a cross-pollination of styles, fabrics and prints from all around the world, and all at once. And it could be argued that the bands were the catalyst for all of this happening.

nm_jan_2015_beatles
The Beatles were/are the perfect example of how music and fashion really evolved throughout the decade in perfect harmony. From their early collarless suits, designed by Pierre Cardin and Douglas Millings, to their mid-60s pin-striped suits, designed and provided by the King’s Road boutique, ‘Hung On You’. The Beatles took a firm grip of what they wanted to wear, and got to know many of the main designers of the time. This would come to an obvious conclusion, when they decided to open their first clothing enterprise in December 1967. Unfortunately, this business venture would only last until July 1968. The Apple Boutique is certainly a topic I will cover in more depth in a future article.

This first article is an attempt at giving you an overview of my thoughts on the decade that shaped my own way of life. Throughout future articles, I intend to highlight the clothes worn by bands, film stars and the fashion-conscious man on the street, in more detail – from designer to retailer, including closer examination of the shops and boutiques, underground and short-lived ventures to household names, for example ‘Granny Takes A Trip’. This isn’t only going to be a history lesson. I also want to bring things bang up-to-date, by featuring recent and current designers and proprietors, both in new and vintage clothing. It is very important for me to acknowledge how all of this fits in to our 21st century. I will sign off with these appropriate lyrics: “Girls will be boys and boys will be girls, it’s a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world”…

nm_jan_2015_granny


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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 16, 2015 By : Category : Fashion Front Page Style Tags:, , ,
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