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Mod to Suedehead

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

  1. ek77

    ek77 Well-Known Member

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  2. yankmod

    yankmod Well-Known Member

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    Ivyskin89.I was a member of the Original Modernists on FB.They thru me off for disagreeing about Atlantic records and Ahmet Ertegun.The most uptight people.That is why I transitioned from Mod/2 tone revival to Indie Hipster(a natural progression at the time) I wasn't gonna be told what to wear. I guess the clip Bunty posted doesn't play in da USA.Anyone have any suggestions how we Yanks can see it?Tanx.
     
  3. browniecj

    browniecj Well-Known Member

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    Bunty,the clip you show has been seen before.It shows the Walton "Hop" where the Suedeheads were dancing.The Walton "Chapter" was never an official "Hells Angel" Chapter-just some of them writing it on their Jackets(no proper Colours shown).The only recognised Chapters were Windsor and East London in the South(or so I believe).

    To me,the transformation from a "Peacock Mod" to one that had a No.4 came gradually.With Skinhead you had a Crop,bought Boots and turned your Jeans up and that was basically it.You copied what what was around you.Earlier it was harder to get the clothes together as there were a very few shops that catered for the Style.If I sound snobbish so be it,but I grew my hair because I did not want to get involved in punch-ups and because" the world and his wife" had become Skinhead.:)
     
  4. Clouseau

    Clouseau Well-Known Member

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    I made some research on the subject. The exact timeline seems to be 1960-1965 for "la bande du Drugstore", 1965-1968 for "les minets des Champs élysées", and thereafter to the eighties for the "mainstream" minets (less interesting).
    There are strong links with the mods.
    I found two very interesting testimonies by actors-witnesses of this time. If some of you are interested, let me know, and i will try to translate them.
     
  5. Spirit of 89

    Spirit of 89 Member

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    Just throwing this out there in case anyone happens to be in the market for a new pair of boots. Several pages back I asked if anyone has had any dealings with William Lennon boot company. Buttons was the only one who replied saying that he had heard that the quality was very solid. I just got my pair of these in the mail today:

    http://www.williamlennon.co.uk/footwear/d106-safety-boots.html

    And although I'm no boot expert (haven't worn a DM style boot in quite a while...and my last pair were some unsatisfactory Chinese made ones) these are fan-fucking-tastic. Very soft, supple, yet thick leather uppers with Solovair branded soles. From what their customer service person told me, the uppers are made in-house in their shop in England and then shipped to Solovair to have the soles put on...so for those particular about getting a true MiE boot...this is the real deal. And for the price I'd venture to say they're unbeatable...especially for those of you in the UK that will benefit from the free shipping that they offer. I only put them on long enough to check sizing and they are the most comfortable DM style boot I've put on right out of the box. Far more so than the shitty Chinese ones I have and although I haven't worn original MiE DMs in many years...I'd also venture to say much better quality and comfort than I remember from those. I believe these will break in beautifully. Also, being that it seems hard to get a 'shorter' (6-8 hole) quality steel-toe DM style boot nowdays...I feel like I was blessed to come across these.

    Anyway...thought I'd throw it out there in case anyone is in the market...and I would assume all their other boot styles are just as high-quality.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2013
  6. yankmod

    yankmod Well-Known Member

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    browniecj.Thanks for the description of Bunty's clip for us in the US(we had troubles viewing) That was a good clip.Good explanation of the transition as well. Spirit of 89.Those boots look like a pic someone posted of original DM's,with the lite brown leather trim. Clouseau.Very interested in this French wing of Mods(so to speak) Might be something of interest to the Original Modernists on FB.
     
  7. Ivyskin89

    Ivyskin89 Well-Known Member

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    You appreciate quality garments and good style. You are also open to learning and not acting like you know everything. These are good qualities, just keep doing your thing.
     
  8. Man-of-Mystery

    Man-of-Mystery Well-Known Member

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    On the 'age' issue, I was born in 1950. My 20th birthday was in June 1970, by which time, although I still wore a lot of the stuff (PoW jacket, FP, etc) I was identifiably no longer a skinhead. I had definitely hung up my boots. I regarded myself as probably being at the very top of the age-range for skins. I had thought of myself as a mod when I lived in the NW, and when I moved to London people in my college called me a mod in 1968 and only started calling me a skinhead in 1969 when the press stories broke. I didn't mind too much, because that's what people who dressed like I did had come to be called. By mid-1970 the vast majority of skinheads were a lot younger than I was, and all my mates and blokes of my age had started growing their hair, buying more 'arty-farty' clothes.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2013
  9. Mr Knightley

    Mr Knightley Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I am interested too. Merci Monsieur.
     
  10. Bob the Badger

    Bob the Badger Well-Known Member

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    We wore moccasins in 67/68 in East London/Suburbs. I had a pair of moccasin slippers for indoors and moccasins with a rubber sole for outdoors. They were worn at about the same time as the Scholl sandals.By 1969 we had found out where we could buy decent loafers and dropped the moccs. Today the nearest equivalent in my mind is the boat shoe.
     
  11. Bob the Badger

    Bob the Badger Well-Known Member

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    If it was made in England and the Hammers part was subtle and the material was good quality I'd buy it! I've always liked that combination of colours and it suits a fairisle pattern. Don't call it a sweater vest though.
     
  12. Bob the Badger

    Bob the Badger Well-Known Member

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    In 1967/69 I was a regular at the Ilford Palais. Later on we used the Room at the Top. I heard about the incident you refer to.
    In '69 the bouncers threw me and a mate out of the Palais when a sofa chair (that used to be inconveniently placed around the dance floor perimeter) was upended during a minor fracas. It was all done very gently and, because we had nowhere to go, we waited outside and they let us back in when things had cooled down. At the Rooms I remember the bouncers to be big evil looking bastards that took no prisoners. To get to the place you had to use in a small lift with one of the bouncers travelling with you and 'marking your card' as you went up to the penthouse floor. I remember the fire escape was used on occasion to empty the place when anything 'kicked of'. By that time we were looking for girlfriends not fights.
     
  13. Mr Knightley

    Mr Knightley Well-Known Member

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    I said I would try to write something about my experiences.

    Although I probably didn’t realise it at the time, skinhead was part of a modernist continuum that began shortly after WW2 in Soho.

    In the Soul Stylists, Paolo Hewitt attempts to present a common principle or theme that extends from those early beginnings right up to the present day, through Modernist, Mod, Skinhead, Suede head and Casual. The principle is one of secrecy and exclusivity, underpinning each individual movement. The clothes, music and drugs were different but these ideals bring each of them together.

    I didn’t really want to be a skinhead. I had grown up in a ‘Mod town’, Chelmsford about 30 miles from central London. My love of clothes apparently began almost in the cradle when I loved to sit and help? my granddad polish his boots. My dad had no interest in his appearance. So after my poor old granddad passed away I had little around me, except perhaps glimpses of stylish people here and there, to influence my style until, at secondary school in 1964 I spotted two six formers ride up to the school gates on a scooter. They were immaculate in their Crombies, bowler hats (exchanged for caps before they went into school!) and silk paisley scarves. That was it – I had to be a Mod! Obviously at 11 I didn’t have the dosh or indeed any of the other attributes necessary. So I waited and waited until I was old enough to be something. I joined the Atlantic and Stax appreciation society, Uptight’n'Outasight (sp?), I persuaded my long-suffering parents to buy me the occasional Mod piece of clothing – tab collar shirts, knitted ties, Beatle style boots. I walked around the school corridors with ‘Otis Blue’ under my arm! And in 1967 at 14 I got my first MTM suit from John Collier.

    A year or two later when I started work the world was my oyster. Regrettably though, the very items of clothing I loved were going out of fashion as everyone adopted some elements of the emerging hippy styles. All was not lost - we beat a path to Mintz and Davis at Romford and there you could still find those simple and stylish clothes I had first seen back in 1964. We went further afield to The Squire Shop in Brewer Street, then on to The Ivy Shop. We tended not to wear boots and braces after flirting with them briefly in 1967 but rather to adopt a softer, perhaps more Mod-influenced style. A typical casual outfit would be Harrington over a BD with jeans or bespoke trousers and Solatios, followed by Royals. For a night out it was mohair, dogtooth or POW suit, BD and striped or paisley tie. The Crombie was cut too tight to wear over a suit so we would wear a stone colour or navy short fly fronted raincoat.

    I remember vividly when a close mate showed me the now infamous Daily Mirror piece. He said he was better qualified to be a skinhead than me as ‘low-grade clerk’ was one of the occupations referenced in the piece and he reckoned he was one! Obviously, it quickly began to dawn on us that while the recognition at first seemed great, that very exposure began to eat away at the ‘secrecy and exclusivity’ that until then we had enjoyed - without really understanding that. So, we now began to grow our hair slightly longer and dressed exclusively at the Ivy Shop and Squire Shop.

    I won’t take this beyond early 1970 today, but refer you to this thread on Ask Andy where I explore the period from around July 1970 to the early 70s:
    http://www.askandyaboutclothes.com/...-Skinhead-to-Smooth&highlight=skinhead+smooth


    The third post includes a link to my earlier piece on AAAC called 'the skinhead'.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  14. Clouseau

    Clouseau Well-Known Member

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    First, i would like to say that my English is not perfect, so please excuse my mistakes.
    I tried to keep what would be the more relevant for this thread, and did minor changes, to make it more easy to write and to understand fo a non-french audience.
    So, this will be the first installation, about the beginning of the "bande du Drugstore". (Difficult to translate "bande". Could be, band, crowd, crew, i finally chose Gang...)

    On a sidenote, France was at the time very strict. The war stopped fifteen years earlier and the scars were still very present. There was a famous free spirit group at Saint-Germain-des-Prés in the fifties: singers, jazz musicians, writers, but they were happy fews. The French society did not have changed much since the 19th century.

    This is part of an interview of Benoit Jacquot, who became a famous movie director, still in activity, where he talks about the gang. He was thirteen years old in 1960, and was one of the originals of the gang of those who were later called "Les minets du Drug"...

    LA BANDE DU DRUGSTORE 1960-1965

    I come from an upper class family. We lived near The Champs Elysées. My father was a moody playboy. He always kept a Luger, he said he killed a SS with.
    Shady youths, with a dandy look, were hangin'around. I met them and we became friends. They existed rival gangs: us, middle-class boys, and rockers.
    It was much more violent than in the movie ("La bande du Drugstore", by François Armanet).
    The "Drugstore gang" it was savage. It looked like "Clockwork Orange". We fought a lot and harshly. I keep a lot of scars on my head to this day.
    We went to the Drugstore (bar-restaurant, record shop) to hang around and parade. Clothes were very important.
    We had personal tailors: two brothers of our age (15 ans 16) who later founded the famous clothing brand RENOMA. They made our bespoke suits.
    We had all styles in the gang: future film-makers like me, future singers, future F1 and rallye pilots.
    We loved fast cars and girls. There was an absolute romantism towards girls.
    The music was very important. Mainly Rythm and Blues. Then came the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. You had to choose between them. I was "Stones".
    The Drugstore gang had at least 100 members, boys and girls.
    Without this contact with violence, and the connection between extreme youth and outlaws, i'd never have directed movies.
     
  15. Bob the Badger

    Bob the Badger Well-Known Member

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    That is a good summation and I can relate to much of what you write about. However when you say that you didn't want to be a skinhead I remember that,at first,we didn't call ourselves that. It was first used as an insult against our 'type'. We didn't call ourselves anything but looked up to our older brothers and cousins who followed the Mod tradition. I saw it as a continuum from them. I still meet up with my older 'East End' cousins who now live in retirement out in Essex and they still dress 'smart' , polish their shoes etc.as in the Mod tradition. They are usually admiring of what I wear and they get all the references (and sometimes when I wear a beige cardigan they take the piss). I had an import version of 'the History of Otis Reading' (bought in the Tottenham High Road) that I carried around the school corridor!
     
  16. Clouseau

    Clouseau Well-Known Member

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    In introduction to this second installation, i would like to say that the word "Minet" apparently appeared after the style, at the end of "la bande du Drugstore". First "Minets", who seemed to be tough guys and not little cats, like we saw in Benoit Jacquot's interview, didn't called themselves like that.
    I personnaly remember we called pretty girls "Minettes" when i was a young teenager. I remember i went to the Drugstore Publicis in my 70s childhood with my parents, older brother and older sister. It was a trendy and popular place. The Drugstore was a bar, a restaurant, an international book and illustrated magazine shop, sold few clothes and gadgets. Kind of a "select shop".

    In this second part, we hear the voice of Bernard Bacos, who did not became a celebrity, but did plenty of jobs after his Minet years. He was at one time a journalist, and was one of the "Minets des Champs-Elysées", just following the originals.

    LES MINETS DES CHAMPS 1965-1969

    When i arrived on the Champs Elysées in 1965, "la bande du Drugstore" was full/packed. There were other "bandes". I integrated the "bande du New-store" (name of another bar-restaurant-shop on The Champs Elysées).
    We wanted above all to attend to the maximum of parties, to listen to music, and to date girls.
    You can draw a parallel between the "Minets" and the English mods. We were living around the time of the so-called Swinging London. We were waiting for the new records of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds, the Kinks, the Who, the Pretty Things, the Spencer Davis group, and went to see and hear these bands in concert when they came into Paris.
    Every week, i bought the Melody maker and Disco-revue (french magazine) at the Drugstore. I was listening to radio Luxemburg, radio Caroline, radio London.
    In our parties, we mainly listened to Rythm and Blues: Ottis Redding, Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, everything Tamla-Motown and Atlantic.
    Some of us were juvenile delinquants, petty thieves, they were a lot of fights on the Champs Elysées.
    We tried to have sex with girls, but it was not easy then. We were the precursors of the sexual liberation after may'68.
    After 1968, a new breed of "Minets" came: more popular, middle-class young salary-men. They lasted for years and were not only seen in the Champs Elysées area.
    The clothes we wore:
    fitted suits and fitted blazers by RENOMA. Clothes from Mayfair (a shop in the Champs Elysées area that doesn't exist anymore).
    Blue or green trenchcoats. Burberry macs, Shetlands, levi's corduroy jeans, Oxford shirts mostly BD, Jodphur type boots, above all the JM WESTON penny loafer (with the coin!). Ray-ban.
    The hairs were semi-long for the boys, long for the girls.
     
  17. Mr Knightley

    Mr Knightley Well-Known Member

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    Great stuff Clouseau. Thank you for taking the trouble.

    I remember some of this from the excellent book 'A History of Men's Fashion' by Farid Chenoune (which is on sale now for up to £700 on Amazon uk). I'm keeping mine...
     
  18. Mr Knightley

    Mr Knightley Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I agree about the name skinhead. I suppose I meant that I have always favoured a 'softer look' and John Simon's emporia just fitted the bill for me.

    I still try to incorporate elements of the style today. Today 'working' at home I'm wearing Polo 'pima cotton' cardi, Polo BD, dark Wrangler jeans turned once, MiE Clarks dessies and Viyella Argyll sox. Not far away from a 1969 look! Even wearing M. de Givenchy, one of my first fragrances!!
     
  19. Sirryacus

    Sirryacus Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Man-Of-Mystery that puts you around the same age of many of the most famous british musicians of the 70's and 80's, Important piece of the puzzle for me atleast.

    Terrible name I know,still has ivy league connotations but that isn't always a good thing nowadays especially with scamming politicians coming out of there but thats what we call them here in the states.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2013
  20. Clouseau

    Clouseau Well-Known Member

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    In conclusion, i translate a part of an article of the newspaper "Liberation" devoted to the couturier RENOMA.

    MAURICE RENOMA

    In the sixties, with his brother Michel, he transgressed the male dress-code...

    Long hairs, Renoma suits, mocassin Weston... That was the guy you met in the street of Paris in the sixties.
    He could be an anonymous, or a member of the Kinks, the Beatles, or the Stones. He could be Bob Dylan, Serge Gainsbourg or Jacques Dutronc.
    But at first, Renoma was the taylor of The "Minets du Drug", teenagers fanatics of music and clothes, Mods french cousins.
    Young men from Parisian upper class or son of suburb's salarymen. Renoma became their taylor: he said to have been at the good place at the right time, and to have seize the spirit of the time.
    "They said i was "Rock", but i wasn't. I prefered the Beatles. I attended to a private concert of the Rolling stones at a friend's birthday party. They were too noisy!"
    All musicians came to buy a suit at his shop, even Yves Saint Laurent was his customer...
     

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