Posts Tagged ‘paul weller’

music

Were the 60s Mods the footsoldiers who propelled Margaret Thatcher to power?

By Stefano on April 12th, 2013

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One of the most intriguing books about popular culture in a while went on sale last month. Richard Weight’s Mod: A Very British Style is not a rose-tinted, nostalgic romp through the history of a movement that has had profound impact on British culture, but a serious academic (yet still very readable) study of what Mod is and was and how the 60s Mods have influenced British society.

It scope – which goes way beyond most books about Mods -has already attracted criticism from hardcore Mods who may or may not have a point that the author talks too much about the influence of German art school Bauhaus at the expense of say, how Makin Time and The Prisoners took Mod in a new direction in the 80s.

It doesn’t help Weight’s case that there is the odd detail too that isn’t quite right. Nevertheless even if he has Blur coming from Chelmsford rather than Colchester, he still makes some fascinating observations

For me the pivotal part is Weight’s dissection of how the 60s Mods – not the original late 50s/early  60s ones who were a different tribe altogether - changed the way Britons live, think and most of all shop.

But the one connection he only loosely makes is how the mid-60s Mods influenced British politics. Which is a shame because there is a lot of evidence to suggest when those youngsters hit adult life they became the foot soldiers of the politics we now know as Thatcherism.

The parallels really are quiet scary.

When Mod was at its mainstream peak - between 1963-66 – it was a movement that had the following traits.

1 Hierarchical - the scene was dominated by Faces – think Sting in Quadrophenia – who had the best gear, the classiest scooters etc. Mods who couldn’t match the sartorial eloquence of their superiors were known by the A List as Tickets.

2 Individualistic - although there were, for want of a better word, uniforms, for most Mods the devil was in the detail. Your suit had to tick the right boxes in say number of buttons, but choosing the right material and colour to make it your own was just as important  As Paul Smith, a tailor who was an original Mod, would become known for – Mod clothes were all about classics with a twist.

3 Conservative – Mods weren’t trying to change society in a outwardly political way. In fact according to Weight and others many Mods respected and admired their elders and parents and wanted to not just emulate them but better them.

Aspirational and acquisitive – Much of Weight’s book focuses on the Mods obsession with shopping, not just for clothes but for other items too. He attributes much of the success of Habitat in the 70s and Ikea more recently to the way that style and design were passed on from the Mods to subsequent generations.

5 Southern and class-based - Mod was also more of southern England tribe than a northern one and most of its adherents came from, what in old money would be referred to as the more aspirational sector of the working class. In other words these were youngsters whose parents had manual jobs, but thanks to improving post-war educational standards they were able to take on skilled work or white collar jobs in offices.

Ultimately these were youngsters who had seen the deprivation that their parents had endured through the war years and before and wanted better.

Thatcher’s supporters

Take a look then at the demographic which propelled the Conservatives to power in 1979 and kept them there for the best part of two decades. They were young-ish, based in the south and were drawn from upper working class and lower middle class groups. They were clearly aspirational and wanted their own homes (to buy their own council houses?) yet not seeking big changes in British society. Sound familiar?

If you look too at the end of the Callaghan government - Andy Beckett’s When the Lights Went Out: Britain in the Seventies is a great re-telling of the story – Sunny Jim was largely betrayed by Union leaders whose workers were constantly pushing for more money to maintain standards of living that they had accrued in the earlier part of the decade. Just take a look at the groups who went on strike during the winter of discontent - public sector employees, nurses, train drivers – these are all arguably comprised of individuals who fit the class profile of the 60s Mods.

The irony is that while the old school union leaders unwittingly ushered in their worst nightmare – a government that would destroy much of their power base – their younger members got a government that was far more in keeping with the values that Mod had endowed in them in the 60s. It was a government that they voted for time and time again because its shared the same visions and enacted legislation like the buying of council houses - that fitted their aspirations. Bear in mind too that the unemployment that characterised much of the 80s was more prevalent in the north than the south.

One 70s Mod who said he would vote Tory in 1979 was Paul Weller. He now says it was a publicity stunt but it must have made sense at the time. And there’s a good chunk of the mid-60s Mod aristocracy who are either Conservatives – including Kenny Jones, Bill Wyman, Phil Collins and Bryan Ferry – or are largely ambivalent about politics.

Ultimately though the changes that Margaret Thatcher made to Britain were because a society had emerged which made her world view more acceptable. And I wonder if that society had been shaped by a youth culture that defined Britain a decade earlier.

 

 

 

 

 



Clothing, Coats & Jackets, Style, Style Safari

Gibson’s Navy Mod style Boating Blazer

By Stefano on March 15th, 2013

Gibson blazerWeller has always been a big fan. The Who used to wear them and thousands of Mods have teamed them up with white Wranglers and loafers.

But the trouble with many boating blazers is that they make you look like an overgrown public school boy.

Not this one though. it is a classic sixties mod type jacket from Gibson London and comes with three buttons, two flap pockets to sides, Mod ticket pocket to right side and open welt left breast pocket. There’s also cool Retro button detail to cuffs and Psychedelic Sixties Paisley trim to the inner lining.

Yours for £174.99 from Atom Retro



Coats & Jackets

Has Bradley Wiggins made the double breasted suit jacket a style trend for 2013?

By Stefano on December 17th, 2012

Every year at the Oscars fashion houses vie to kit the hottest stars in their latest outfits knowing that the coverage generated by that star can make or break a range.

Conversely the BBC Sports Personality Of The Year event isn’t something that fashion brands are too concerned with, but maybe, just maybe, the suit that the winner was wearing last night might spark a new trend.

Bradley Wiggins looked ultra sharp in a suit with a double breasted jacket that was made in London by tailor Mark Powell. It was also made from velvet, which is a key trend this year. So classically stylish but very contemporary – Wiggins hit the jackpot once again. It is such a refreshing change from footballers kitted out in the latest threads from Italian fashion houses.

So might the Wiggins suit help the double breasted suit jacket become a very hot fashion item in 2012?

Well at the moment if you want one they are pretty hard to come by.

Firstly not all double breasted suit jackets are created equal. There are high collar jackets and low collar jackets. Wiggins last night wore a high collar jacket where the top button and the flap of the collar is high. These have roots in Edwardian clothes and were revived during the mid-60s Mod years – where Wiggins, and another high collar double breasted jacket devotee Paul Weller, get their inspiration.

The lower collar ones have the buttons and the flap around half way down the chest. These were popular in the 70s and 80s and I seem to remember  Jarvis Cocker wearing one in an ironic way in the 90s. They are one 80s item that is unlikely to be revived and in many ways are responsible for killing the double breasted suit jacket off.

If you want a double breasted suit jacket now your choices are fairly limited. You could always do a Bradley and give Mark Powell a call. If you are a bit more limited in your resources and want to buy an off the shelf suit then you don’t have too many options. Specialist 60s store Atom Retro has a few in stock, but that’s about it.

A few words of warning though. They tend to look good on tall, skinny fellas like Wiggins and Weller. If you are short or bigger built then maybe stick to a more conventional two/three collar standard jacket.

Also while they look great with the buttons done up they can, like some  pea coats, look a bit messy with the buttons undone. That’s fine for tired and emotional moments at the end of the evening, but not good for meetings with the boss.

Paul Weller

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Picture 1 of 7

Paul Weller from a couple of years back with a very smart double breasted jacket - sadly unbuttoned.



Footwear, Sales

Loafers in the winter! Why not!?

By Stefano on November 9th, 2012

One of my favourite bloke looks ever is Paul Weller in Style Council era, basically around the Cafe Bleu album – see here for evidence. Here the Modfather went back to the original continental influenced mod template and teamed up a light mac with Sta Press and on his feet – well it was always either Brogues or Loafers.

Loafers, especially of tasseled variety – the non tassel version is known in the US as Penny Loafers – are a bit of an odd one really. They have never really been ultra stylish, but never really been too uncool either. Having said that unless you want to find yourself an object of ridicule you really need to wear them the right way.

In the summer this means no socks. But if you do fancy wearing them when the weather gets a bit colder here a few top tips.

1 Be careful what colour socks you wear. They look fine when teamed up with dark socks. Unless you are 22 and sporting a very angular haircut with the cheekbones to match stay away from wearing them with white or light socks as you will look like you are trying way too hard. Stripeys are a no no too.

2 As a rule don’t wear them with jeans.They work with drainpipes, but not really any other denim style. They arguably look best with fitted trousers – think Sta Pres or coloured trousers or dockers.

3 Stick to boring colours – black, brown or at a pinch dark blue. You can get loafers in more, ahem, interesting shades – but they tend to be worn by Italian gentlemen of a certain vintage and generally cost a fortune.

4 Don’t wear them in the snow…

As for brands. We got a lovely pair of black suede tasseled loafers the other day from Coogans London online shoe store. They are made from good quality leather, feel very comfortable and come in black or brown.

Incidentally the store also has a very cool pair of Chelsea Boots which are also on our shopping list.

For slightly more expensive Suede Loafers then M&S have a decent Italian inspired pair of Penny Loafers called Collezione which retail for a penny under £60.

It you are after leather loafers then this dark blue pair from Merton Delicious are rather stylish as are Delicious’ black shoes here.



News

Paul Weller attends Vauxhall Fashion Scout to watch his son model

By Laura on February 23rd, 2011

Today at the Vauxhall Fashion Scout showcase, Paul Weller showed up with his wife and children to watch his son, Nat, model in the D-Gnak show.

The famous rocker watched as his son modeled a variety of outfits from Korean born designer Dong Jun Kang. The rock star looked on proudly and applauded at the end of the show when his son walked past him on the catwalk.



Lifestyle & Gadgets

Lambretta launches Quadrophenia bike

By shinychris on September 30th, 2009

Lambretta Bike Mens 01 -.jpgMust confess I’m not a big fan of bikes or the goddam ridiculous gear cyclists wear while jumping red lights or ignoring zebra crossings. But this retro-chic Lambretta would be enough to get me back on two wheels cruising the streets of Brighton in my Sta-Press trousers rather than Lycra of course.

Brought to you by Fisher Outdoor Leisure, the world’s first Lambretta Bicicletta (Li126) is modelled on the Lambretta driven by Jimmy in cult film Quadrophenia and will be launched to the public at the London Cycle Show 2009 at Earls Court, 8-11 October.

Every one of the 500 £599 limited edition models is individually numbered and comes with its own certificate of authenticity. Rather fittingly number 1 of this limited edition model is owned by the self-styled ‘modfather’ himself, Mr Paul Weller.

Comments Fisher Outdoor CEO Richard Allmark: “We are very excited to be launching the Li126 Lambretta Bicicletta. We are huge fans of Lambretta, and as such have been faithful in our efforts to create a bicycle with style and class, that is in keeping with the brand heritage.”

Though the brand is vintage, Lambretta claims the Li126 is a thoroughly modern bicycle incorporating the latest developments in bike technology and design to create a beautifully honed and high-performing ‘city cruiser’ bike. Further models in the Lambretta Bicicletta range will be announced in Spring 2010.

More images of this beautiful bicycle over the turn.

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Clothing, Designer Spotlight, News

Fred Perry X Paul Weller

By admin on April 8th, 2008

perryweller.jpg

Paul Weller and Fred Perry are so deeply linked that you wonder why he hasn’t just gave up the music stuff and just started working for them full time. It’s not like anyone wants to hear a new album from him. This collection of polo shirts, due for release in June, are pretty much what we’ve come to expect from their collaborations, in a good way.

With these shirts, it’s the details that count. The detail on the neck manages to make it stand out whilst still looking like a polo shirt. If you’re absolutely dying to get your hands on these, you can register at the Fred Perry website to get them a full 72 hours before everyone else does.

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Clothing, Heroes and Celebrities

Paul Weller for Ben Sherman

By ShinyMedia on April 27th, 2007

Paul_wellerThe Modfather Paul Weller has teamed up with Ben Sherman to produce a range of shirts. Entitled Paul Weller Candy the range is made to the Weller’s specifications and features 5 bold stripe combinations. Weller gave precise specifications including cuff size, collar buttons and back pleat for the shirt which retails at £55. If you fancy yourself as King of the Mods then Ben Sherman have produced a limited edition version of the shirt which is only available at their Carnaby Street store and will set you back £120. For that price you get an individually boxed and numbered shirt made in in England and hand finished in Brighton.




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