Browsing Tag Womens fashion

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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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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Fashion Labels – Biba

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series Fashion Scene 3

Claire Mahoney takes a look at some of the iconic fashion labels of the 60s – kicking off with Biba.

Next time you wander down the high street and pick up that bargain dress or bag from the likes of Top Shop or H&M, remember that you have a lady called Barbara Hulanicki to thank.

Halunicki was the founder of Biba, the iconic 60s fashion label which has been credited as the first company to make clothes that young people could not only wear – but afford.

Ironically, when we think of Biba today, the name conjures up images of rather opulent-looking bell-sleeved gowns and frilly blouses. But founder Hulanicki’s vision was very much style on a shoe-string.

In the early 1960s London was indeed starting to swing but most young people couldn’t afford what the likes of Ossie Clarke and Andre Courreges were producing on a month’s wages let alone a weeks.

Hulanicki saw that fashion needed to be fast and that if an outfit was seen on Ready Steady Go on a Friday then the show’s hip fans should be able to go out and buy it on a Saturday so they could wear it the following night.

“The market was instant for that age group. They wanted it there and then. They didn’t want to wait, as they didn’t look to the future in any way.” she said.

Hulanicki was originally a freelance fashion illustrator and teamed up with her partner and soon to be husband Stephen Fitz-Simon – or Fitz as he was known. He was an ex-advertising man whose flair for the fashion business helped transform the company from a mail-only outlet to a giant department store which, very much like Harrods is today – became one of London’s biggest attractions.

Biba’s Postal Boutique took out its first proper advert in 1963. It was for a maxi skirt and was available in a rather Edwardian palette of brown, mustard, black and red. But it was a simple 60s shift, advertised in the Daily Mirror the following year, that really propelled the business forward and provided the financial footstool that enabled Halunicki to make the step-up to opening her first shop on the Abingdon Road in Kensington.

The dress is question was made in cool gingham, with a rolling neck-line and key-hole back and it came with a matching head-scarf. The best bit, however, was the price – only 25 shillings. Not surprisingly, the dress sold in its thousands (17,000 to be precise) – sales that were boosted even further when Bridget Bardot sported it in ‘And God Created Woman’.

But it wasn’t just the price point that made Biba such an instant hit with the hip crowd. Going shopping at a Biba store was an event in itself. The first shop was housed in an old chemists. There was no space for changing rooms so most of the girls used to get changed behind a screen, but often the atmosphere was so frenzied they didn’t bother. It was no surprise then that boyfriends and other male hangers-on decided it was the place to be.

The interior of the shop was a Bohemian mix of plush velvet upholstery and Victoriana. Clothes weren’t displayed on rails but on coat stands. The girls that worked in the shop were mainly eager, doe-eyed would-be models who were allowed to take home a Biba dress every week. No-one that shopped there would be over thirty years old.

But what of the designs? Well, as well as shift dresses and minis, Biba’s real fashion game-changers left more to the imagination. Hulanicki’s trousers suits and cat suits in pinstripes and abstract prints echoed the new-found freedoms of that generation. They were comfortable, practical and allowed you to move. Let’s not forget that trousers on women were still something of a novelty for those of a certain generation. When Ready Steady Go presenter Cathy McGowan wore a trouser suit to an evening event at The Savoy in London in 1965 – she was actually thrown out!

Hulanicki designs also looked to the past – in particular, The Victorian and Edwardian eras. Alongside the mini-skirts in the Biba boutique would also be floor-length satin gowns and skirts. This was old-school glamour which wasn’t picked up again by the mainstream until the second half of the 60s. Hulanicki’s colour palette was also more sombre – ‘Auntie’ colours as she called them. Burgundy’s, browns and golds, echoes of Art Nouveau and the complete opposite of the primary shades of Pop Art. Biba clothes were also known for their tiny fit. The Biba dolly was perhaps personified by Twiggy who had many outfits designed for her by Hulanicki.

The growth of Biba was a quick as its demise. By 1966 they had moved to bigger premises on Kensington Church Street and in 1969 they opened the Biba department store and then in 1973 Big Biba opened in Kensington High Street. It was seven-storeys with a restaurant and sold everything thing from bags to baked beans. But by 1975 it had to close.

The brand has been resurrected several times since most recently and most successfully for House of Fraser. Although Hulanicki maintains that its various reincarnations are still too expensive.


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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, 2015 By : Category : Articles Fashion Front Page News Style Tags:, , ,
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Fashion – Womans Revival Style

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

Revival Style

Claire Mahoney decided it was time to take a trip down memory lane to the late 70s and 80s to take a look at how mod was then and how it has influenced women’s mod style in the here and now.

When we talk about mod – we tend to go straight back to the beginning: the early 60s (late 50s if you want to be precise). But this wasn’t the beginning for everyone. Indeed for most people active in the mod scene today, it all started around 1978.

The ‘revival’ or second generation mods, are sometimes seen as the brasher, less stylish relatives of their first generation forefathers and sisters. But as a growing number of teenagers and twenty-somethings are taking up the mod baton, we find that they are not just turning to the 60s for style inspiration – the mod look of the late seventies and 80s is just as inspirational.

So what’s the difference between the mod girls of the 60s and the ‘modettes’ as they were often called of the 70s and 80s? Well a lot of it is down to Punk and the rest was a mixture of the changing factions of mod through the 60s and 70s that gave us the hard mods, the suede heads and the skin heads. The mods of the revival were a kind of cross-breed of all of the above.

But at this particular time it was perhaps punk and its new wave legacy that had the most lasting influence on the resurgence of the scene. Punk blew fashion and music apart and gave it a completely uncharted direction. It was the biggest subculture that twinned music and fashion since mod and as such was a grass-roots force to be reckoned with.

As a result, the look of the young mod girl of that time was a lot more edgy and reflected the mixed bag of music we were listening to – Two-Tone, New Wave and Ska as well as the traditional revival bands like Secret Affair and Squire.

We wore pencil skirts just below the knee, with Fred Perry tops underneath loose-fitting v-neck sweaters. We wore tight-fitting jeans and trousers from brands such as Brutus and Harrington-style jackets with lots of badges. In fact badges and patches were a big deal then, another hangover from punk. If we wanted to be slightly more girly we would wear a head-band in our hair and a slick of eyeliner.

Leather coats were massive in the 70s and 80s and mod girls would wear them usually cropped with our ski-pants or slightly longer with a skirt or we would find ourselves a suede jacket with covered buttons from the local jumble sale.

Skirt suits with boxed jackets were also popular, worn with a plain shell top underneath or a checked or spotted shirt with a small near collar buttoned all the way to the top. We might even wear a tie! Any shoulder pads found lurking in our jackets would be promptly cut out.

Shoes were chunky loafers or flats, either a pump or a sling-back. These would be black, white or black & white. Our loafers would generally be worn with white socks. Often the only white socks available would be sports socks, so it would be a snug fit!

If you were into Ska and the skinhead girl look you would most likely wear these socks over your fishnets with your mini skirt just to add to the general feeling of gender confusion.

Even though the 80s were quite a garish era colour-wise, the smart mods of the 80s moved away from that and kept their palette plain and simple. We wore an awful lot of grey, blue and white, occasionally maroon and of course loads of black & white either in the form of checks, stripes or panels.

However 60s clothing was widely available in jumble sales if you wanted something original or indeed were on the hunt for a shift dress for a special occasion. There weren’t the charity shops of today and of course there was no ebay. More often than not though if would wanted something special you would have to make it yourself.

We asked some second generation mod girls about their revival style:

Tracey Dawn Wilmot

“I remember kitten heels and button earrings were all the rage and it was absolutely vital to have shoes and handbags matching. We were also challenged to find the perfect white lipstick in an age where Rimmel’s Black Tulip was the latest thing. In the early years, when I first discovered mod, I did look more like a boy than a girl, simply because none of us were clear what was the ultimate stylish look. Later in about 1980, I began to emulate the sixties models such as Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton’s style and watched 60s movies and TV shows for inspiration.”

Ann Matthews

“My look was mainly monochrome. I was very into the two-tone movement. I wore black ski pants and drain pipe jeans with sweaters. My day time look was a little boyish, but for evening I wore mini skirts and shell tops. I also used to pick up original 60s clothes from jumble sales.”

Tracey Williams

“In 1980 I used to wear tight jeans a Fred Perry polo, Fred Perry jumper and monkey boots. I also had a Crombie. So I looked like more of a Rude Girl.”

Jane Williams

“When we first turned mod everything had to be black and white. I had a couple of check dresses which I wore with white shoes, white fishnet tights and a home-made black and white hairband. I moved on to original 60s dresses, which I used to shorten (had to be mini length of course) and make a matching hairband out of the spare material. I didn’t hit knee-length skirts until the smart mod era of 84/85.”


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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 7, 2015 By : Category : Articles Fashion Front Page Style UK 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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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 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.

More Posts - Website - Facebook

November 20, 2013 By : Category : Articles Fashion Front Page Style Tags:, , , , ,
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