The cultural mod movement began in London in the late 50s and ran through to the mid to late 1960s. The mod scene developed when British teenagers first gained financial status and used this power to reject the conservative and repressed society surrounding them. The mods were predominately working class, fashion obsessed youths who listened to ska, soul and R&B music at night clubs.
Mod fashion centred around tailor made suits, the parka, pork pie hats, button down shirts, skinny ties, polo shirts, pointed leather shoes, brogues or ‘Chelsea’ boots for males and shirts, a-line mini skirts and dresses often featuring horizontal and vertical stripes, peter pan collars, large Mac style jackets and flat shoes for females. The underground mod look became heavily commercialised in the late 1960s due to the arrival of Twiggy and her high fashion take on the style.
The 2011 a/w mod fashion revival takes the simple, fuss free retro look and revitalises it transforming the simple a-line dresses into dress inspired coats, with bands of clashing colours and materials and giving the classic style a more edgy feel.
The designers who embraced the vintage mod style in their a/w collections are Yves Saint Laurent, Bogetta Veneta and Prada.
Yves Saint Laurent’s collection reshapes the mod look to give it a more classy, high fashion feel. The menswear range takes the retro look to a more basic level, adding maturity to what was once the fashion of teenagers. The parka jackets, pork pie hats have been left back in the sixties. However, the smart elements of the mod style are still evident in the button down shirts, tailored trousers and the suit cut, black and checker coats. The traditional paisley scarves are replaced by tartan woollen ones and the colourful style of mod clothing has been left behind as the collection is dominated by black and white adding to the classic high fashion feel.
The YSL womenswear a/w collection is much like the mens in that it sticks predominantly to black and white colourings. The traditional mod style is maintained in the a-line, checker mini skirt, which is given a more contemporary feel with a studded leather waistband. The grey, checked winter coat combines the Twiggy a-line dresses with the smart jackets of the sixties to give the new mod look more edge.
Bogetta Veneta’s female a/w collection is the most loyal to the original mod look, particularly in it’s use colour blocking and the dominance of red and royal blue. The typical mod polo neck is imitated in the high neckline of the winter coats and a-line skirt is replaced by shapely, fitted pieces.
Prada was another label to recreate the iconic 1960s mod image in their a/w womenswear collection. Colour blocking, checker patterns, high necklines and a lined dresses are key features in the collection. Prada also adopted the contemporary a-line dress jacket. However, I found that in comparison to the conservative YSL coats, Prada’s dress jackets did not look complete as outfits.
As with all up and coming trends there are plenty of high street imitations of the revised mod style for those who have a smaller budget when it comes to updating their wardrobe.
This mod style polo shirt and oversized jacket is from Urban Outfitters