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Mod to Suedehead

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

  1. covskin

    covskin Senior member

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    ^ I think Ivy has too many English country antecedents for it to be ancestral to the skinhead look, a look from which English country items are notably absent.

    In understanding clothing styles and influences it might be useful to consider the textual analysis concept of recension (whether one thing is or is not ancestral to another) and the biological concept of convergent evolution (how different lineages can become similar other than through shared ancestry).
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2014
  2. ThinkSmart

    ThinkSmart Member

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    It wasn't just jazz that introduced the early modernists to Ivy League it was visiting USA people in Soho for the nightlife, which of course included jazz (and much more....)
    There is a great picture of original modernist Terry Taylor sat next to his associate USA poet Johnny Dolphin in a patch and flap sack jacket for example.
    Ultimately whether modernist, Mod or another scene, they are all about making the core style your own and using the influences to create distinctiveness out of a comparatively drab living environment. I am still a modernist (not Mod), mid-century inspired, still dress in Ivy League clothing but mix it as needed with other USA, UK Italian, French clothing to create my own look. I see it as an ebb and flow of influence across countries over time.

    For those looking for early references to Ivy League they are in Absolute Beginners and I think in Baron's Court All Change too.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2014
  3. Clouseau

    Clouseau Senior member

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    As said Browniecj: "The Ivy League was greatly influenced by British and Continental Fashion, with an American "Feel".
    A mix of clothes (mainly of British origins), habits (for example loafers worn without socks is a very old habit in south of France and Italy), and American manners and attitude. I think WW2 plays a part in the game too : US military haircuts, and the way some items were worn .
    Mods & suedeheads were used too to style mixing: French cuts, English suits, American shoes, Italian scooters...

    An interesting summary of Ivy League style ( an ad in the Pittsburgh press, 1955) :
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2014
  4. Gsvs5

    Gsvs5 Senior member

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    I believe Botolph was speaking personally,I was merely quoting another post.

    For me,the key element of items adapted by us (unknowingly) was the "Sharpness" of style and fit.
    Hence I believe that to be the reason that rubber soled "Bucks",low vamp loafers,loose unstructured Hopsack jackets,sloppy sleeved loop knit Lacoste cardigans,oversized sweatshirts etc. never made the cut
    We took the casual American and Tightened It Up, rejecting (actually not knowing about) the almost Masonic points of dress code across the pond,and developed our own which live on to this day.The other reason is obviously that the Buyers for J.Simons etc knew that it just didn't fit it with what they were looking for,didn't believe they could sell it or on trial the punters rejected it.
    The only Fray in our vocabulary was Affray
    Undo those other buttons mate...
     
  5. Botolph

    Botolph Senior member

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    The last few posts have been great. Excellent contributions from some serious analysts of style! Kudos to you gentlemen. A very interesting insight into the British take on the ascension/metamorphosis of Ivy style in relation to skinhead.
     
  6. browniecj

    browniecj Senior member

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    The American Servicemen going to Soho and in to Clubs like The Flamingo,really opened up the Style and the Music.I have said before that Airmen would take the latest Albums and 45s down-for the Djs to play.There was a large Import Shop right by their Airforce Base(in West London).They were also responsible for getting Clubs like the Flamingo to hold All Nighters.
     
  7. Man-of-Mystery

    Man-of-Mystery Senior member

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    Excellent analysis, Roytonboy. Maybe we overestimate the Ivy League influence - it would have been mostly unconscious anyway, as are many things in fashion.

    I can recall being in a B&B in Shrewsbury in 1985 (I had been posted there and was house-hunting). I came downstairs to breakfast one morning, having thrown on a pair of chinos and a t-shirt, and a check shirt worn unbuttoned over the top. An American woman who happened to be staying there exclaimed "You look so American today!" It hadn't occurred to me.

    If someone had posted this edit below from the Georgia college shot - the guy at the bottom with crutches - and asked "Is this an original skinhead or a revivalist?", we would all have been arguing about it, and would all have been wrong. Yet we've all seen grainy old snapshots of someone looking more-or-less like this and totally unaware of looking 'American', or 'Ivy League', or anything except himself.

    [​IMG]

    Most people who copy a look get it at best only superficially 'right', and sometimes totally 'wrong', and end up creating something that can be thought of as 'original' in its own right. An obvious analogy is how R&B songs sounded when played by 1960s British 'beat groups'.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2014
  8. Man-of-Mystery

    Man-of-Mystery Senior member

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    [We must be the only people on the planet who watch American Graffiti and Animal House and rave about the fcuking clothes! :D ]
     
  9. Man-of-Mystery

    Man-of-Mystery Senior member

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    Slightly off-topic. For lovers of 1960s American 'style', YouTube appears to have all the episodes of 'Route 66', a drama series started in 1962 about two young men - one from a wealthy background, the other working-class - who travel across America in a Chevrolet Corvette convertible. Plenty of interesting footage featuring cars, clothes, etc.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. roytonboy

    roytonboy Senior member

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    Apologies, I misread that bit.

    You make a very valid point about 'rejection' . One article I read mentioned the fact that Brooks Brothers, a clothes retailer in New York, was fundamental in the establishment of the Ivy League look - they first introduced the sack jacket for instance - however, not all of Brooks Brothers stock was adopted by the campus elite. As Brook Brothers was based in New York, they also catered for a business clientele and these items were by necessity more formal and not what the students were looking for. (No doubt on graduating and commencing work on Wall Street or wherever, those same people would continue to shop at Brooks Brothers for their office clothes, hence a bit of cross-over would occur.) It was a process of natural selection.

    J. Press, on the other hand, had its outlets on or near to the Ivy League campuses, could see and discuss what was required first hand and cater almost exclusively for followers of the look.
     
  11. roytonboy

    roytonboy Senior member

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    [​IMG][​IMG]


    Prior to writing my submission yesterday I got up early and watched Animal House - I had forgotten just how funny it was - corny, immature, unsophisticated and at times slapstick humour, but how I laughed!
     
  12. Man-of-Mystery

    Man-of-Mystery Senior member

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    "A pphhledge pphhin? On your UNIFORM?" :D
     
  13. Bob the Badger

    Bob the Badger Senior member

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    I would say that the early skinheads were magpies when it came to choosing what clothes to buy and wear. We borrowed ideas from earlier Mods, Workwear clothes, Army and Navy,continental Europe in particular Italian, Traditional British but a major influence was Ivy. From late 69 onwards. I was aware of the term but had only limited knowledge cleened from what the Squire shop sold and watching Peyton Place on TV. No one I knew wore a sack jacket but we did wear 3 button blazers with a centre vent and patch pockets that were an Ivy approximation. Other MTM jackets and trousers were more British than Ivy in details.Shoes were Ivy. Shirts were Ivy. Harringtons were Ivy and British. Desert Boots were Ivy and British. Macs were British and Ivy. Ties were British and Ivy. A crombie was British but a sheepskin could be British and Ivy. Plenty of cross fertilisation there.
    Most of the Ivy influenced clothes I wore then I wear today. With a bit of Mod,Italian,Workwear and Army thrown in. The classic look never changes and is not subjected to the vagaries of fashion.
     
  14. roytonboy

    roytonboy Senior member

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    The Harrington jacket is an interesting case in point. Originally designed and manufactured in the North West of England in the 1930s (Some dispute as to whether it was Manchester, Burnley or Stockport who produced the very first) named the baracuta jacket. It became popular in the US as a golf garment. It was also worn by Elvis Presley, James Dean and Frank Sinatra, none of whom, as far as I'm aware, with Ivy League college connections or were particular devotees of the style. The jacket's first real mass exposure in the UK was on the mid 60s TV series Peyton Place as one of the characters, Rodney Harrington, regularly wore one.


    The question is - did people in Britain adopt the garment because it was Ivy League or did they just think it looked good on Ryan O'Neil and started asking in shops for, " one of those jackets like Rodney Harrington wears" and some enterprising individual has given them what they want - the 'Harrington' jacket. Was Rodney Harrington even a student at an Ivy League university? (I can see that he dressed mostly in what we would describe as 'Ivy' style clothes but were these just what all American students/middle class kids were wearing at the time?)

    Cross -fertilisation indeed!
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2014
  15. Bob the Badger

    Bob the Badger Senior member

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    Made in USA carried weight in my mob in 1970.
     
  16. Gsvs5

    Gsvs5 Senior member

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    Coincidentally I was in the J Press -York St shop on Bleeker Street ,NY on Wednesday for the first time.They had a nice jacket that was a hybrid Surfer/ Harrington.All the components of a Harrington (Batwing back,flap pockets) but with the Surf style collar and an additional zippered chest pocket.Sadly the design failed for me as it had been "slimmed down" and did not "wear" like the original ones.I'm sure this was purposely done as has been the case with the Baracuta.A real shame as it was tagged at $300+ and was on Sale for 75% off.It's not on the online shop unfortunately.
    What is online though (which I never saw in the shop) is this clean looking Flyfront Mac.
    One of the best examples I have seen,as far as being identical to what I had all those years ago.Noticeably free of the cuff button straps or any other superfluous decoration.
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Clouseau

    Clouseau Senior member

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    Formal and for the campus elite :"Ivy league", then less formal and student oriented, wouldn't you rather call that look "preppy"?

    About J.Press, they do some nice stuff, they still had (two or three years ago, the last time i saw one of their shop abroad. We only have BB here. And no i don't mean Brigitte Bardot) a large choice in three buttons jackets and blazers.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2014
  18. Gsvs5

    Gsvs5 Senior member

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    http://sabotagetimes.com/fashion-style/the-harrington-aka-baracuta-g9/

    J Simon talking to Sabotage Times:

    “But the real explosion came when Steve McQueen wore it on the cover of Life Magazine in 1963,” continues Simon. “He was such a huge modernist and mod icon that anything he wore caught on.”
    McQueen’s appearance in the jacket pre-empted a wave of classic Americana in the UK as many original Mods turned back to the less accessible Ivy League style that they had purloined from the US jazz guys in the early sixties and the Baracuta G9 was a vital component. “We were the first to stock the jacket as a style item in the UK in late 1966,” states Simon, who owned The Ivy Shop in Richmond – the countries most influential men’s boutique – the sixties equivalent of Westwood’s store Sex. “At the time Ryan O’Neal starred in the hit TV programme Peyton Place and his character wore the jacket and was called Rodney Harrington so I put one in the window of my shop, with a ticket saying, The Rodney Harrington Jacket, and then shortened it to The Harrington and the name stuck. The first people who bought it were really sharp dressers, real trend setters who wore beautiful mohair suits and, although the jacket was later adopted by skinheads, they were smarter than that.”
     
  19. roytonboy

    roytonboy Senior member

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    Isn't this a bit of a contradiction?


    He also states that after Elvis Presley wore it in the film 'Kid Creole' in 1958 it crossed over to main street and became an American Staple.

    So ... British Golf jacket ------American Celebrity Golf clothing ---------Ivy League apparel ----------- American main street staple ---------- Soap star wear --------Mod and Skinhead icon. Cross - fertilisation indeed!!
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2014
  20. Oneflewover

    Oneflewover Well-Known Member

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    If this photo had been titled English Mods invade Eastern USA, it could have been mistook


    Quote:
     

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