Back in the Day - The Sixties


London was the place to be in the swinging sixties. The artistic and fashionable era of the beatniks was passing, making way for a new inner city subculture. In an amongst the noise, a small group of stylish young men, with a love of scooters (Lambretta or Vespa) and modern jazz inadvertently started the subculture known as, The Mods. Renowned for their all-night dance parties, the mods chose to hang out in cafes rather than bars, at that time cafes would stay open into the early hours of the morning.

Not far from controversy, the early sixties saw fierce brawls go down between rivals, the rockers and the mods. The clash of two youth subcultures caused a stir throughout the country, making the news on numerous occasions. By the mid-sixties, tensions started to ease as successful rocks bands such as, The Who adopted a mod look.


As the mod culture went through its transformation in London, youth all around the world started to embrace its look. The wardrobe staples of a mod at the time varied by the classics were fishtail anorak jackets, three button slim-fitting suits, bomber jackets, slim-fit chinos and denim and finally, Oxford and Chelsea style footwear. Combining casual and formal attire was the foundation of the mod style.


With the "swinging sixties" in full swing, the street-orientated mods, usually of less well off backgrounds, became detached from the scene, dubbed, Hard Mods. They considered people involved within the swinging London scene to be, "peacock mods". Their fashion became increasingly extravagant and the movement widely commercialised. By the end of the sixties, hard mods were dubbed as skinheads, not of racist intentions, rather, heavily involved within the ska and reggae scene that began with young Caribbean ex-pats living in London.


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