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Mod to Suedehead

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

  1. Clouseau

    Clouseau Senior member

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    All this "influences" discussion is very interesting but at the same time i think the truth is, to quote Roytonboy :

    'that for 99% of skinheads their 'influences' were simply what they saw on other skinheads, initially this evolved from other Mods, eventually it mutated into Suedehead. People just responded to what they saw and heard in their own locality - at their local football stadium, youth club or dance hall/Soul club. They neither knew or cared particularly where those clothes originated. Unlike 'Mod' a large part of 'Skinhead' was to fit in, not look different from your peers and it would have been only a very small number of style leaders who may have been looking for different ideas of what to wear.'

    I don't really think that 'Ivy league' had much meaning for the majority of English (and Europeans) youths late 60s. And even if it was an influence, conscious or not, it was just one among others. Maybe the one we like to retain now, as it's probably the most stylish. We know for sure the J.Simons shops were very influential, but elitist too. They were very expensive.

    But, FWIK, there were a lot of other influences:

    Youth culture in a broad sense (but mod fashion in particular, this is maybe where we can place Ivy league: Button down shirts, Longwings, loafers, sta-prest, etc)

    Labour (Grand dad vest, father's boots (a lot of stories of young uns wearing their father's work boots, among them the first DMs that were - i think - mainly used by workers), Steel caps, jeans (well jeans fit in a lot of parts of the equation, like short hairs), Donkey jackets, etc)

    Immigrant culture : Jamaican rudies and singers mostly (short trousers, shades, hats, etc)

    Sports : football (scarves with team colors), tennis (Fred Perry, white at the beginning, then with 'football colors' on piping), Boxing (Lonsdale - i think it already existed in the 60s, even if it was seen a lot in the 80s, and after - for worse), Golf (Harrington - fits in the Ivy influence too)

    Military (army boots, Jungle greens, MA-1, etc)

    Astronaut (well at least the Astro boot ! Moonstomping anall that !)

    All this 'influences' have been touched at one point on this thread. But the interesting thing is that by mixing them all you obtain the skinhead style, who had certainly a lot of influences but became a strong style of his own.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2016
    4 people like this.
  2. roytonboy

    roytonboy Senior member

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    Was Rodney Harrington an 'Ivy League' student? If so, at which college?

    I would have thought that the Harrington jacket proves my point.


    By the mid '60's young Mods were getting their influences from what was available in the shops, what they saw on 'Ready, Steady, Go' and what the Who and the Small Faces were wearing. The 'Harrington' jacket became popular because people had seen it on the television and thought it was a smart jacket, not because it was 'Ivy League' (hence the name). Their influence was the T.V. not the 'Ancient 8' colleges in North Eastern USA. (I read somewhere that college kids in America started wearing them because they had seen their dads wearing them to play golf, along with some other styles such as Shetland wool and Argyle - so who was influencing who?)

    Do we think that Steve Marriott and Kenney Jones went searching London for Madras jackets because they had seen them on privileged students in the USA? Or is it more likely they went into a trendy shop in the West End and had them 'sold' to them because they were different and eye catching? Having been seen in them, did young Mods buy them because they were Ivy League or because the Small Faces, a Mod group, were wearing them and therefore they were the thing to be seen in?

    Obviously we can go round and round discussing which came first the chicken or the egg - I don't dispute that some items of footwear and clothing had, at various times been worn on campuses in the USA, I wonder to what degree these were purely 'Ivy League' and how influential that fact was. Whatever it was, as Clouseau has stated, it was but one of many.

    I would have said that if anything, the adoption of any Ivy League clothing in Britain was influenced by a small number of retailers, rather than by the Ivy League style itself. Had John Simons decided to call his shop something else, we may not be having this discussion 45 years later! (Interesting though it is!)

    Side question - was it only Chelsea hooligans who were wearing them?
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2016
  3. Mr Knightley

    Mr Knightley Senior member

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    I think this is true for me and my mates. We drew on many influences without really knowing or caring about the exact origins.

    I worked in a very traditional menswear shop at the time and that too informed and influenced my choices so that I happily mixed 'English Gent' (tailoring, classic v neck jumpers, non-BD shirts with double cuffs) with continental style (early Solatio shoes, colourful three button Smedley type tops), sportswear and workwear as we call them now (FP shirts, jeans) and American-influenced stuff (Harringtons, Royals, BDs all from JS shops). It was a Look we were after rather than seeking out an 'authentic' style in its own right.

    I have learned so much more about the origins of what I have worn over the years from internet forums in retrospect. And I do believe that the pastime of examining the ins and out of a duck’s arse when it comes to clothing is a relatively new one.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2016
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  4. Mr Knightley

    Mr Knightley Senior member

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    Any particular recommendations?

    Last time I visited with the London Meet-up guys in November he had some great Tootal scarves. I bought this one:

    [​IMG]
     
  5. roytonboy

    roytonboy Senior member

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    As they say of Jamaica - "from many, one."
     
  6. roytonboy

    roytonboy Senior member

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    NH - Yes, as the name suggests, I'm originally from Royton, just up the road, 15 -20 minutes by number 24 or 90 bus (as it was in those days!)

    I never considered myself to be a Mod. Having said that I got my first item of late Mod/early Skinhead clothing from Lewis's in Manchester in 1967(which kind of underlines my statement about 'Mod' becoming mainstream!)

    I bought Levi's from a tiny shop in an arcade in Rochdale, little more than a kiosk, really (there were two, on opposite sides of the arcade) I bought my first item of truly skinhead clothing there, a fair-isle sleeveless pullover. The first check BD shirt I bought I got from New Brown Street in Manchester city centre. New Brown Street was great - the buildings were painted in all sorts of bright patterns and music blared out of the shops, there was a real buzz about the place. That was early in 1970. I went there for shirts, mainly. Two of the shops were called 'Justin's' and 'Ivor's'. (a couple of years later I first visited Carnaby Street and was so disappointed, very drab in comparison-of course, it was years past it's heyday) Around about 1971 New Brown Street was demolished and the shops moved to the new Oasis precinct, just off Market Street and we would shop there. The shopping bags had 'Stolen from Ivor's' written on them - very droll. By this stage, more shops in Oldham and Rochdale had caught on to the style and it was pretty easy to find stuff locally.
     
  7. Clouseau

    Clouseau Senior member

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    Last edited: Apr 13, 2016
  8. Newton heath

    Newton heath Well-Known Member

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    Funnily enough Roytonboy I worked at steeds hairdressers on new brown st around 1970, for me Lewis's or stone dri for Levi's or wranglers,and an excellent shop called warren Andrews on church st , I remember trying to get hold of a pair of white Levi staypress to no avail I had to get a friend of mine who lived in london (cockney red) to get them and post them to me ,but my point is for such a large city Manchester to me very few shops that catered for mod/skinhead .
     
  9. Newton heath

    Newton heath Well-Known Member

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  10. Gsvs5

    Gsvs5 Senior member

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    However big the influence,I would imagine that comparatively few shopped at The Ivy (though just as many probably claim too as those who went to Wigan !) Just as the majority of America was being outfitted in the image of Ivy at Sears & Penny's without ever knowing about "The Full Gant" up in preppy Kennedy country,and very few outside of a relatively small inner circle would have known of the shoebox at the bottom of Richmond Hill.
     
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  11. yankmod

    yankmod Senior member

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    Yes the Ivy shops existed prior to Pendleton but,they were out of reach to the average American who didn't go to Prep School and then on to an Ivy colleges.Pendleton made it affordable to the Masses,the Peasantry.
     
  12. flyfronted

    flyfronted Senior member

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    So the kids buying lobber at THE IVY shop didnt know what Ivy was and it wasnt Black Detroit that created Techno .. ok feller you carry on im ooot .
     
  13. flyfronted

    flyfronted Senior member

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    No all the london clubs had skinhead gangs - we aint going to get on to a 'it wasnt a london creation ' are we ?
     
  14. covskin

    covskin Senior member

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    Last edited: Apr 13, 2016
  15. Basset

    Basset Senior member

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    Excellent post, you've made a point which i tried to make ( badly i expect ) a while back, for those who've been here a while two names, Kevin Keegan and Bill Shankly
     
  16. The Saint

    The Saint Senior member

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    Certainly , EVERYTHING has an origin or a source , if one takes the time to look. It has become almost customary on this planet to forget, mask over or deny a source . .

    If it wasn't for the Black people we would probably all be listening to white honky-tonk . .
     
  17. Man-of-Mystery

    Man-of-Mystery Senior member

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    Been there, done that, bought the G9. :D
     
  18. Man-of-Mystery

    Man-of-Mystery Senior member

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    Just saying that I knew about it and went there. I tended to visit Brewer St more often. Even so, I didn't visit all that often - no money!
     
  19. skinny legs

    skinny legs Senior member

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    In the early 80s there was a brief fad for collegiate button up cardigans. Normally with a whopping great Y or H emblazoned, presumably in tribute to Yale and Harvard. Not unlike the stuff donned by Richie Cunningham and Co in Happy Days. Regarding the Ivy Shop in Richmond, I only went there twice before it closed in the mid 90s, and the proprietor- too young for Mr Simons- struck me as being something of a miserable sod. I think it's mentioned somewhere in the forum archives that they had little time for brousers
     
  20. flyfronted

    flyfronted Senior member

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    Simons has said he set up the Ivy and Squire for young 'executives ' - he wanted to create a market for Ivy league / casual wear but ended up being swamped by herberts .
     

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