Mod: A Very British Style
The Mod aesthetic is one that continues to define British style. The music, individuals, events and fashion associated with the subculture combine to create one incredible and unforgettable scene. Richard Weight’s new book, Mod: A Very British Style, takes us through the story of Britain’s biggest and brassiest youth movement, and identifies an array of influences that helped to mould the typically British style, which is the epitome of timeless.
Part one of the book focusses on the forming of Mod culture – charting the origins of Mod in the Soho jazz scene of the 1950s, set to the cool sounds of Charlie Parker and Miles Davis. From there it goes on to explore the Mod’s heyday in Swinging London in the mid-1960, which was set to a new soundtrack courtesy of the Small Faces, The Who and The Kinks.
But Mod did not end in the 1960s. Richard Weight not only brings us up to the cult’s revival in the late 1970s but reveals Mod to be ingrained into the DNA of British youth culture – leaving its mark on everything from glam and Northern Soul to punk and Two Tone to Britpop and rave.
However, for the team here at FashionBeans, perhaps the most interesting part of the book takes an in-depth look at the violence between Mods and Rockers – most notably the vast amounts of fights that broke out on the beaches of southern England during the mid-1960s. The film Quadrophenia portrays the violence – and, of course, the culture – incredibly accurately. The so-called football ‘casuals’ and skinheads of the 1970s and 1980s who enjoyed terrorising members of the public, as well as rival gangs and clubs, are also mentioned.
“If Mods disdained rockers; it was because they mimicked aspects of American popular culture without creating anything original.”
Richard Weight – Mod: A Very British Style
Telegraph Style describes Mod as ‘our national costume’, noting that renowned British fashion designers such as Paul Smith and Ozwald Boateng thrive off the heritage of Mod style. Today, Mod culture is still prominent on high streets up and down the country, with iconic pieces such as Harrington jackets, desert boots and parka jackets becoming modern wardrobe essentials.
Mod: A Very British Style (Bodley Head) was released on 28th March 2013. A hardback copy can be purchased at bodleyhead.co.uk.