Thursday, October 17News For London

Mod: Why Britain’s biggest youth culture will never die

Mod style proves it is still going strong. From its inception in the late 50s, to a reinvention by Liam Gallagher sixty years later, today The Mod Journalist met English historian, writer and Mod Richard Weight to discuss his new book.  By Cynthia Gregoire @modjournalist. Sub editor: Kait Borsay @kaitborsay

Panellists for the launch of Weight's new book
Panellists for the launch of Weight’s new book

British author and historian Richard Weight hosted a panel discussion at the launch of his new book Mod: From Bebop to Britpop at Pretty Green’s Carnaby Street store in central London.

People all over the world recognise Brits by the Mod look, but why is it still relevant over 60 years later?

Listen here as Richard talks about what Mod style means to him.

Richard Weight
Richard Weight

The book launch and after-party at Gibson Guitar Lounge was part of Pretty Green’s March of the Mods themed collection for Spring/Summer 2015. Mod style is stronger than ever and Pretty Green is a living testament to this, having just recently expanded into America.

Gibson Lounge
Gibson Lounge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since its inception in 2009, Pretty Green has established itself as an essential part of men’s contemporary fashion, with the essence of Mod style infused in the brand’s DNA.

Weight’s book discusses how Mod style came to be; describes the key components of being a Mod and explains what inspires people to fall in love with Britain’s largest youth movement.

London Collections Men Spring/Summer 15 catwalk show
London Collections Men Spring/Summer 15 catwalk show
Richard Weight’s Book ‘Mod: From Bebop to Britpop’
Richard Weight’s Book ‘Mod: From Bebop to Britpop’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weight led the discussion with a special panel of guests:

Doc Brown

Doc Brown
Doc Brown

Brown is a writer, actor, comedian and rapper. Considered a voice of a generation, he is developing a music-based project with Ricky Gervais, having appeared alongside him in Derek.

His UK tour kicks off April 2015.

Dean West

Dean West
Dean West

Dean West is a director at Pretty Green. Having worked with some of Britain’s leading brands, dean joined Pretty Green in 2009. When asked to sum up the brand, he said: “It’s Liam Gallagher’s contemporary British heritage brand which takes its influences directly from streetwear culture from the past.”

Sue Tilley

Sue Tilley
Sue Tilley

Sue Tilley rose to fame as one of the most recognizable muses in modern British art. Known fondly as ‘Big Sue’, Tilley was the subject of Lucien Freud’s 1995 painting, Benefits Supervisor Sleeping.

The picture held the world record for the highest price paid for a painting by a living artist of £17.2m pounds. She was considered a mover and shaker of youth culture, being a prominent figure on the 80s club scene.

Dean Rudland

Dean Rudland
Dean Redlined

As a South London-based enthusiast for jazz, soul and funk, Rudland walked out of university in 1990 and straight into a job at Acid Jazz Records.

Rudland has worked on many different music projects, including the relaunch of EMI’s Stateside label before going to Ace Records. His Blue Break Beats series has sold over a 100,000 copies.

Highlights of the panel discussion focussed on Mod being a unique British amalgam. Born in the late 1950s, it comprises of the best bits of European and American music and style, with influences from other parts of the world such as the Caribbean and Africa.

But why is Mod style still so relevant today?  Highlights from the panel discussion include:

Panel Discussion at Pretty Green’s Carnaby Street Location
Panel Discussion at Pretty Green’s Carnaby Street Location

Doc B: “There’s something very quintessentially British about it, the style is neat, tidy and tailored.  Mod is one of those things that couldn’t be from anywhere else.”

London Collections Men Spring/Summer 15 catwalk show
London Collections Men Spring/Summer 15 catwalk show

Dean W: “It’s the way Brits dress, and the world has come to know it as such. Herringbone and checked shirts have become staples in menswear.

“Mod style is so accessible and there is plenty to choose from today. In 1963 there was a five-year period of Mod music, and only one look; more by 1980, after another 15-20 years of music and fashion. Now, we are looking at 50 years of culture, music and style.

“Mod style, or any style for that matter, is about reinventing things for each generation. Taking the best bits and making it your own, it’s what fashion is all about.”

RecordPlayer
On location: DJ’s vinyl setup

Sue: “Brits love to dress up and stand out, but also love to be part of something, a tribe, a cult, whatever you’d call it. It makes people feel as though they belong to something, and Mods were no exception.”

LCM3
London Collections Men Spring/Summer 15 catwalk show

Dean R: “In the 1950s, young people were happy and carefree post war and something unique was created. In the 50s and 60s there wasn’t the luxury for middle class to travel and therefore the Mods at that time had to live and breathe Mod culture in Britain. They aspired to ride the scooter; drink the Italian coffee, it became a way of life…

“Mod style sits anywhere between British casual to the highest tailoring. You could have a £1000 suit, that’s Mod, or take jeans, converse and a Harrington jacket and you are still in the same parameters as Mod.”

London Collections Men Spring/Summer 15 catwalk show
London Collections Men Spring/Summer 15 catwalk show

 

London Collections Men Spring/Summer 15 catwalk show
London Collections Men Spring/Summer 15 catwalk show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Mod Journalist spoke to Richard Weight on his favourite Mod looks for guys and girls, and his thoughts on the future for Mod culture.