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The Mods
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  • 1. The Mods
  • 2.
    • A Mod (Modernist) was a product of working class British youth of the mid-sixties, originally from London and the South East, although it was still around through much of the seventies.
    • The Mod boys dressed in suits, neat narrow trousers, and pointed shoes.
    • The girls displayed a boyish image. They darkened their eyes and wore their hair short to fit a unisex type of culture.
    • Rituals: The Weekend away. In an era when youth didn’t take public holidays, and most lived at home with parents, day trips were frequent.
    • Pilgrimages to places such as Brighton and Margate were of importance to part of belonging to the culture.
    • Quadrophenia (1979) Trailer -
  • 3. Fashion
    • Mod fashion adopted new Italian and French styles in part as a reaction to the rural and small-town rockers, who were seen as trapped in the 1950s, with their leather motorcycle clothes and American looks.
    • Male Mods adopted a smooth, sophisticated look that emphasised tailor-made Italian suits, with narrow lapels, mohair clothes, thin ties, button-down collar shirts, wool or cashmere jumpers.
    • Mods were very self-conscious and critical, customising ‘existing styles, symbols and artefacts’ such as the Union flag and the Royal Air Force symbol, and putting them on their jackets in a pop art style.
    • Mary Quant, who invented the miniskirt designs, gave women a ‘retro’ styled addition to mod fashion.
  • 4. Music
    • Through the jazz music of Black America, Mods appeared to distinguish themselves from mainstream society.
    • They seemed to be attracted to the ‘cool’ character and elegant clothing possessed by jazz musicians, and strived to imitate their style.
    • They hated commercialism and were drawn towards obscurity in their taste of music.
    • They preferred the British bands who played a Rhythm & Blues, including The Rolling Stones and The Small Faces.
    • Dancehall music was popular. ‘Soul nights’ became a new trend of the late 60s.
    • The Who were the most popular band as they also followed a Mod lifestyle. Their violence on stage personified the aggression inherent in the Mod subculture.
    The Who – ‘Quadrophenia’ album cover The Small Faces
  • 5. Critics
    • Stuart Hall – “Mod young men accepted the idea that a young woman did not have to be attached to a man, developing new occupations for young women, giving them an income and making them more independent.
    • Dick Hebdige – “Mods rejected the rocker's rough conception of masculinity, the rockers viewed the pride and obsession with clothes of the Mods as not particularly masculine.”
    • Suzanne Ferriss – “The emphasis in the mod subculture on consumerism and shopping was the "ultimate affront to male working-class traditions.”
    • Shari Benstock – “British mods were "worshipping leisure and money... scorning the masculine world of hard work and honest labour" by spending their time listening to music, collecting records and socialising.