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Mod to Suedehead

Discussion in 'Streetwear and Denim' started by Spirit of 69, Nov 19, 2008.

  1. starcrash

    starcrash Well-Known Member

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    Out of curiousity, when did bleached jeans become part of the skinhead style? Seems like it would be part of the '82 punk resurgence and the development of Oi!, but I wasn't sure.
    Hmm. In any case, it seems about due for a comeback. Would be a logical backlash after we finally get sick of our raw denim.[​IMG]
     
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  2. dave

    dave Well-Known Member

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    Out of curiousity, when did bleached jeans become part of the skinhead style? Seems like it would be part of the '82 punk resurgence and the development of Oi!, but I wasn't sure.

    it never did. I don't care if you have photo proof. it never happened I tells ya!
     
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  3. Get Smart

    Get Smart Well-Known Member

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    Out of curiousity, when did bleached jeans become part of the skinhead style? Seems like it would be part of the '82 punk resurgence and the development of Oi!, but I wasn't sure.

    ha, I think Condemned 84 single handedly pioneered that look til it became normal. always hated it myself
     
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  4. AntiHero84

    AntiHero84 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, never seemed like a good look for a sking, but I thought it was great for punk. I made a pair myself, when I was 16. They were seriously the best fitting jeans I ever owned. Wish I could find them.

    It's interesting how many current and ex-skins, punks, and mods are on this forum. I mean, can the same thing be said about other subcultures? I'm sure there are alot of current and ex-skaters, grunge kids, and new wavers, but what is it about these particular cultures that encourages its members to hold onto this subcultural identity for so long? Certainly theres a strong emphasis on style and manner of dress, but don't all subcultures? Perhaps its the rigidity of the"uniform."
     
  5. denimdestroyedmylife

    denimdestroyedmylife Well-Known Member

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  6. Get Smart

    Get Smart Well-Known Member

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    imo, subcultures have 2 dynamics...either they are fad driven (grunge, hip hop, new wave, swing) due to their time in history or they are ideologically driven (punk, skin, mod, goth, rockabilly etc)

    the fad driven tribalists just become "normals" after they grow out of their fad

    the ideological tribalists often hang on to their thing because there was always that "this is a way of life, not a fashion" mantra that sticks in the back of your head

    the rigidity of the "uniform" i think does play a big part. Even if you don't dress skinhead anymore, you're going to take a lot of cues from that style and apply it. besides, specifically with skinhead, it's a look that can carry over into your grampa years as long as you edit out the nonsense that seemed ok when yer 16 (14 hole boots with braces, bleached jeans, etc) and go over to the purist side (gingham buttondowns, vneck and cardis, loafers, brogues, crombies etc). I'd say rockabilly has a similar dynamic, that you can grow old with and not look too absurd.

    as much of a bad cliched slogan it is, skinheads really will never die.
     
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  7. AntiHero84

    AntiHero84 Well-Known Member

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    I would argue that hip hop is also an ideological subculture, but it would probably derail the thread.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you've made some previous statements that the skinhead subculture does not necessarily have a dominant ideology. Moving away from cliche'd themes of blue collar pride, instead focussing on the music and overall aesthetic. I may have misread you or my recollection may be faulty, but what would you consider the ideological basis of the skinhead subculture which produces this "way of life?"
     
  8. dave

    dave Well-Known Member

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    ...the skinhead subculture does not necessarily have a dominant ideology. Moving away from cliche'd themes of blue collar pride, instead focussing on the music and overall aesthetic...

    i would tend to disagree with this. while I do think there is a big emphasis on music and style the roots are always FIRMLY planted in the working class pride. and in the end, there's a real "where I came from" pride that will always be there regardless of whether or not you still run in the circle.

    That has a much deeper meaning than the sort of angsty bullshit that spawned grunge and it's ilk. people grow out of phases like that. the whole punk and skin thing really comes from who you are not how you are feeling at the moment. longevity is bred into it.
     
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  9. Get Smart

    Get Smart Well-Known Member

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you've made some previous statements that the skinhead subculture does not necessarily have a dominant ideology. Moving away from cliche'd themes of blue collar pride, instead focussing on the music and overall aesthetic. I may have misread you or my recollection may be faulty, but what would you consider the ideological basis of the skinhead subculture which produces this "way of life?"
    i may have, but I generally don't like to make sweeping statements since I always use the example of "ask 10 skinheads the same question about their scene and you get 10 different answers" as far as a dominant ideology, keeping politics out of skinhead is probably the best mantra that scene has come up with. some guys will lean more to the right, some to the left. doesnt mean they cant get along. But traditionally it's always been a scene that leans to the right in some way. My own views skew towards the right and that is regardless of any involvement in the scene, and is probably a good reason I was drawn to it. When I was a kid I remember seeing skins at punk shows and I was always interested in their clean but tough look that had no scruff to it, and I had gotten into 2 tone before I really got into punk I guess what I meant when I said "ideologically driven" wasnt that it's a political or social statement, just that it's not based on whatever subculture is the flavor of the moment, the way grunge or new wave was for example. Hip hop....eh, it's so mainstream that I'd hardly say it was a subculture anymore. Maybe back in the 80s when Run DMC, Public Enemy and NWA were spearheading it. But let's not kid ourselves, the uniform or some semblance of it is a big part, so as much as we'd like to say "it's not a fashion but a way of life", I'll concede that's sorta full of shit because the look is a big part of it. after all there's plenty of guys who have right wing views and are confrontational assholes, but they arent skinheads **keep in mind I'm not the authority in any way, these are just my opinions on it after being a participant since mid 80s
     
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  10. AntiHero84

    AntiHero84 Well-Known Member

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    i would tend to disagree with this. while I do think there is a big emphasis on music and style the roots are always FIRMLY planted in the working class pride. and in the end, there's a real "where I came from" pride that will always be there regardless of whether or not you still run in the circle.

    That has a much deeper meaning than the sort of angsty bullshit that spawned grunge and it's ilk. people grow out of phases like that. the whole punk and skin thing really comes from who you are not how you are feeling at the moment. longevity is bred into it.


    I definitely agree with you, I was only trying to use something GS said a while back as an example. The skinhead subculture, and even the mod, certainly have class based elements which are incredibly influential in their early development, and to a degree, still continues today.


    i may have, but I generally don't like to make sweeping statements since I always use the example of "ask 10 skinheads the same question about their scene and you get 10 different answers"

    as far as a dominant ideology, keeping politics out of skinhead is probably the best mantra that scene has come up with. some guys will lean more to the right, some to the left. doesnt mean they cant get along. But traditionally it's always been a scene that leans to the right in some way. My own views skew towards the right and that is regardless of any involvement in the scene, and is probably a good reason I was drawn to it. I remember seeing skins at punk shows and I was always interested in their clean but tough look that had no scruff to it.

    I guess what I meant when I said "ideologically driven" wasnt that it's a political or social statement, just that it's not based on whatever subculture is the flavor of the moment, the way grunge or new wave was for example. Hip hop....eh, it's so mainstream that I'd hardly say it was a subculture anymore. Maybe back in the 80s when Run DMC, Public Enemy and NWA were spearheading it.

    But let's not kid ourselves, the uniform or some semblance of it is a big part, so as much as we'd like to say "it's not a fashion but a way of life", I'll concede that's sorta full of shit because the look is a big part of it. after all there's plenty of guys who have right wing views and are confrontational assholes, but they arent skinheads


    Ok, I'll concede on the hip hop comment. It's probably a perfect example of how a subculture can be assimilated into the dominant culture.

    Believe me, I would be the last person to try and bring politics into a debate about skinheads and subculture, but I do believe that each culture does in fact have some sort of general social statement. Whether every member holds this ideology as their own or not, there still seems to be a common sentiment in each subculture. In this instance, I think the skinhead subculture places its emphasis on working class pride, sharp dress, and music (you ska vs. oi people can figure it out on your own). Now this is coming from someone who was moderately involved in the punk/skin scene in his teens, so take it with a grain of salt.
     
  11. Get Smart

    Get Smart Well-Known Member

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    if you go back to the roots of the scene, it could be summarized as guys who were into the mod movement but as it transitioned into late 60s hippy bullshit, they kept their mod ethos intact, just infusing it with some harder street looks....cutting the hair shorter, paring down the look of mod attire etc. Basically stripping mod of all its peacock feathers.

    there's plenty of guys who I'm sure got into skinhead because they like to drink, fight and fuck shit up while wearing Docs and listening to punk, and while that's a meathead approach, i guess it has its legitimacy too since even some good friends of mine in the skinhead scene are more "punks" and see the traditional skin scene as being fagotty because we like to polish our shoes and dance to soul, heh
     
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  12. AntiHero84

    AntiHero84 Well-Known Member

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    Actually, that brings up another question regarding skinheads, or maybe just gender and style in general. The skinhead is popularly viewed as a very male dominated subculture. Where men are manly, working class, and tough as nails. Interest in style and fashion, on the other hand, is often viewed as a very feminine trait. I find it interesting that skinheads are able to keep this macho image intact, openly professing their interest in style, while most other men (even the iGents) are called into question for their sartorial devotion.
     
  13. Get Smart

    Get Smart Well-Known Member

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    Actually, that brings up another question regarding skinheads, or maybe just gender and style in general. The skinhead is popularly viewed as a very male dominated subculture. Where men are manly, working class, and tough as nails. Interest in style and fashion, on the other hand, is often viewed as a very feminine trait. I find it interesting that skinheads are able to keep this macho image intact, openly professing their interest in style, while most other men (even the iGents) are called into question for their sartorial devotion.

    haha yea it's a huge contradiction by today's standards. and especially when you consider that a very purist skinhead would be quite fanatical about making sure certain details in attire were absolutely correct. There was very little room for self-expression outside these lines, but when skinhead evolved into suedehead that's when the cult really hit its stride, at least sartorially, since other ideas were accepted and it wasnt as uniform or dogmatic as skinhead.
     
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  14. Get Smart

    Get Smart Well-Known Member

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    also, a big difference is that a skinhead knows he needs to get "gear X Y and Z", whether it's the type of shirt, boots, jackets etc, but he wont ask "how does it fit" or any of the myriad questions asked around here. after all you know you got the right shirt, who gives a fuck what anyone else thinks of how it fits. On skinhead forums where we've talked about clothes it's always about "where to get this item" or "check out this item", but NEVER "how do I look wearing it". I think that last question is where teh ghey rears its (purple tinted) head
     
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  15. raWorkshop

    raWorkshop Member

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    That's an odd approach to consumption though. Seems kinda fashionista and contrived, especially since the fit doesn't matter. What determines which companies make the cut? Who made that call (and when)? Does it have to do with how the companies treat the workers or how they're run?
     
  16. Get Smart

    Get Smart Well-Known Member

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    of course fit matters (probably more so to a skinhead/mod type fellow than the average guy on street), but no one asks for anyone's opinion on it. You know if it fits or not

    and yes it's a bit contrived way of consumption, but that scene has always been a bit regimented about what brands are "correct", at least for younger guys/newer guys, who want to appear properly attired. I dont think older guys could give a fuck since they do their own thing anyways, which is how it should be.

    as for brands that made the cut...that's an interesting question, as to who is on the "ok list" and how they got there. Some of the gear was brand driven, some desired in concept regardless of make (like harringtons). These are my theories:

    -Fred Perry....he represented the "working class" since he didnt come from a rich family and won Wimbledon 2x, beating out players coming from more monied backgrounds.

    -Ben Sherman...wasn't actually British but he lived there. He made shirts that mimicked ivy league American style shirts (like Brooks Bros) with the 3 button collar design, sewn down full back pleat, tall collars etc. BS was a nicer alternative to Jaytex and Brutus, who made similar shirtings

    -Doc Marten....originally designed to be a working class factory boot. Plenty of threads about Docs on this forum

    -G9 Harrington....again, an american ivy league staple, but popular with skinheads. Brand wise there wasnt an allegiance to any particular one. Despite Baracuta being "authentic", it's said that most original skins weren't wearing Baracuta but some cheaper marketplace knockoff

    -Brogues and Loafers (penny and tassle) were popular....Again, it was more of a stylistic choice than a brand per se. American longwings were sought after and Paul Gorman's "The Look" has John Simons talking about how The Ivy Store would get American brogues and there'd be a line to get a pair, with guys buying them in the wrong sizes if sold out, just to have a pair. Frank Wright made the classic tassle w/kiltie that the current Loake "Brighton" loafer is fashioned after (and Doc Marten made their own version years ago of this loafer with air wair sole)

    -crombie coat...again not the actual brand Crombie, but usually knockoffs.

    -Levis....one of the few actual American brands that were highly sought after. Seems everything was American inspired, except the denim which had to be actual USA product. Shrink to fit selvedge jeans with cuff so .5" of the selvedge line shows. Most skins nowadays wouldnt know shit from sunshine about selvedge, but the purist traditionals all make sure their jeans are redline Levis with the small turnup (often sewn down in place). Besides the denim, Levis Sta-prest were necessary skin gear. Basically like Dickies work pants with a slimmer cut

    -Suits....the real faces had to have tailor made suits, nothing off the rack. The typical skinhead suit would be tonik mohair. high buttoning 3 or 4 button cut. sometimes 5+ buttons on the sleeve, and in some absurd cases multiple rows of ticket pockets on both sides(!!!) with slim cut tapered trousers ending at no break or slightly higher to show off some sock or boot. Narrow lapels a must.

    **then there's tons of other stuff that were worn like Fair Isle Sweaters, donkey jacket, sheepskin coats, denim jackets, etc etc. I'll scan and post some pics over the weekend from Nick Knight's book that was originally by Jim Ferguson as SoulStylist pointed out. It's pretty interesting as it illustrates the changes from 1969-70-71 etc
     
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  17. Get Smart

    Get Smart Well-Known Member

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    From Nick Knight's book "Skinhead"....style section by Jim Ferguson (as scanned)

    1968...the first skinheads were technically around during the mod period of mid-later 60s, usually referred to as "hard mods". 1968 was probably the first wave of original "skinheads" who werent mods

    [​IMG]

    1969...the dominant year for skinhead. This is when it almost became a part of the mainstream, as there were tons of records made to court the skins (aka Trojan record singles)

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    1970...skinhead began to evolve into suedehead

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    1971.....suedehead evolved into "smoothies"

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    Here's a good photo evolution of a fella going from skinhead to suedehead to smoothie

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Get Smart

    Get Smart Well-Known Member

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    That's an odd approach to consumption though. Seems kinda fashionista and contrived, especially since the fit doesn't matter.

    This reminds me....back when my friends and me were first getting into the scene this was all pre-internet and you couldnt just click on the right shirt, right pants, right boots and order it. For Fred Perry's we'd comb all the local SoCal mom/pop tennis stores (from Oxnard down to San Diego) and see if they had any deadstock shirts in the back that hadnt sold and we'd buy our freds that way. Most of the time they were too big but we'd buy them anyways, and I was lucky that my mom knew how to sew so she'd fix them up for me to fit better. Only a couple stores sold Doc Martens so you'd have to find a way to get there if you had a friend old enough to drive, or we also wrote to Shelly's in London and corresponded thru snail mail and finally would mail some $$ and hope that some day our Doc Martens would arrive. Amazingly we never got ripped off and anything we sent cash to london for, we would get eventually. It was all about the hunt for the right gear and the kind of effort you had to put into it is probably something kids today wouldnt have the patience or state of mind to do.

    It's not uncommon to find stories by first wave skins and how their first Ben Sherman shirts might have been so large that they had to grow into it after a couple years, and that would be the only shirt they would own. Some of the originals had a very sparse wardrobe since it was expensive to gear up properly. They didnt have the luxury of having a closet full of shirts in every conceivable pattern and color!
     
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  19. AntiHero84

    AntiHero84 Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]


    Ah ha! Bleached jeans pre-82 Oi! I still wonder how that developed.


    I'm loving this thread, btw. Good job, Spirit of 69.
     
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  20. Get Smart

    Get Smart Well-Known Member

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    some old school photos of skinheads (60s & 70s) from various sources

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    this guy went on to drum for Motorhead!!
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    old old pic of glam band Slade when they were skins
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