The Look goes on...

Discussion in 'Streetwear and Denim' started by Mr Knightley, Mar 13, 2014.

  1. Mr Knightley

    Mr Knightley Senior member

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    ‘The Look goes on’

    This is a picture of Gill and Del Evans who were Birmingham Mods in the mid 1960s. But before that they were self-styled ‘Continentalists’, referencing the part of the world from which they originally took their inspiration – in particular France and Italy. Their shared love of clothes prompted them to record many of their outfits over a number of years – see their Facebook page ‘Mod Togs’ and article on Jack that Cat was Clean blog.

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    This is a later group of stylists, taken at Butlins in Filey in 1968 revealing a point in time when Mod was just beginning to evolve, in some circles at least, into skinhead.

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    Fast forward to 2014 and Northern Soul Girl, Levanna Mclean at an all-nighter.

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    The look has adapted and moved on for the new century but a thread runs through all of these pictures. They all reveal exquisite style of course, and I think a style driven by a belief in exclusivity, secrecy and a desire to be set slightly apart.

    But how and why did it start? Why does it continue still, against all the odds in an age of gross scruffiness and an ‘anything goes’ culture? I thought when I left my youth behind - and the suedehead style that I loved - I thought this is the end. But I was wrong. I played a very small part in what has been termed an unbroken circle of style.

    So, I hope this thread offers an opportunity to debate these fundamental points about such style. Where it came from, where we are now and what the future may bring.

    Discuss.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2014


  2. Mr Knightley

    Mr Knightley Senior member

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    Anticipating The Look - Audrey a Roma late 50s:

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  3. cerneabbas

    cerneabbas Senior member

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    Mr Knightley.I don't know how or why (or even when exactly) the look started,but the late 50s and early 60s were a time when there was full employment and relatively high wages and also rationing and austerity were over and people could look forward ( particularly younger people ) to a brighter future.

    Interesting to look at pictures of the 60s and 70s,some look very dated stylewise,and yet they were at the cutting edge of fashion then,there will always be some people who want to stay ahead of the pack when it comes to clothes and so they adapt and move the look forward keeping it fresh.
    Of course some get off the bus at different stages,they lack the confidence or creativy to be at the forefront of style,they are followers as they don't have the necessary attitude which is a kind of elitism or wish to be exclusive.

    After the horrors of the early/mid 70s,some people wanted that exclusivity and found it in the "Casual" ,which I think can be compared to Mod,although more based on expensive designer names rather than expensive tailored clothes.

    I am fascinated by how many different items from various eras and styles have been used in the look,as you mentioned Italian and French influence,city gent,Ivy league,country gent, have all played a part.
    I am just as interested in the present and the future as the past and I look forward to seeing what other peoples ideas for the look are,a bit of nostalgia is fine but I don't want to live in the past like some kind of Uncle Albert type figure.

    I
     


  4. Cleav

    Cleav Senior member Dubiously Honored Moderator

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  5. Mr Knightley

    Mr Knightley Senior member

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    Quote:Very interesting. But, I can see why 'the Sartorialist' tends to focus more on Milan, Florence, NY, Tokyo...... That pic 12/16 is, in my view, the opposite of what this thread is about. I like cerneabbas' idea about looking forward rather than back always. But, perhaps the two people in question feel they are doing just that ......
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2014


  6. Cleav

    Cleav Senior member Dubiously Honored Moderator

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    True indeed, The Satroralist wouldn't get much copy in those parts. I agree with look forward entirely, it's very interesting to see/note how matters have developed and in some cases how some generations today do not perhaps appreciate the origin of their look etc. How in particular did you envisage this rolling out? Pics, discussion, both etc? (apologies in advance if I've misunderstood)
     


  7. Mr Knightley

    Mr Knightley Senior member

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    Quote:No, not at all old boy! I think it is very difficult to talk about how something evolves over time. Far easier just to put up pictures of your favourite era and reminisce about a football match or other enjoyable experience. I wanted to try something else as I felt (partly prompted by cerneabbas) that there should room on these discussion boards for both types of thread. I suppose in some ways it is a bit like the current state of black tie thread, which I know you have contributed to, and which tries, by referring to the past, to understand the present and future direction for semi-formal evening wear. Returning to this thread, it could just as easily have been called ‘six decades of Modernism’ I suppose, but I was trying hard not to use the M word (albeit with only limited success!) My particular interest is trying to pinpoint a major shift – when did mod start to evolve into skinhead? What were the very first signs? Who drove it? That kind of thing. But equally, I enjoy watching Northern Soul Girl Levanna dancing. Check out her videos on You Tube and Facebook. People like Lev seem to me to be carrying the torch for a new generation by taking the past and re-shaping it for 2014. So, everything is up for grabs....
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2014


  8. Mr Knightley

    Mr Knightley Senior member

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    Quote:I remember on another thread saying that the early to mid 70s (especially 1972 – 74) were very barren years for me. I was rounded on by a couple of posters who, perhaps being more positive than I was, had discovered a tiny handful of shops that kept The Look alive – Stanley Adams just off Regent Street, Woodhouse, even the Squire Shop / Village Gate. I shopped in these places too but felt I was then swimming against the tide. Few of my friends then took the trouble to seek out anything different and it was a lonely period, surrounded by Kevin Keegan look-alikes! I didn't really re-discover my own motivation to be 'at the cutting edge ' again until a trip to Belgium in 1975. This and related stuff superbly covered by Alex Roest in this essay, The French Cut: http://www.filmnoirbuff.com/article/the-french-cut
     


  9. covskin

    covskin Senior member

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    After a long time viewing the other thread this has provoked me to sign up. It is the transitional look that interests me. Nothing was fully-formed back then. Everyone was on their own journey, limited by both lack of money and lack of information. This is what stripped things down into the essence of the look and moved things forward too.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2014


  10. Mr Knightley

    Mr Knightley Senior member

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    Quote:I am honoured sir! Good first post!! covskin is an interesting name - are you a covert skinhead?
     


  11. covskin

    covskin Senior member

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    Thanks! Definitely ex-skinhead but still noticeable and more so lately. Was a little skinhead around 1970 but just a fashion then back into it as a style in the early 80s. Lots I can think of to discuss here such as where the 2 Tone 'rudeboy' fits into all of this, why 80s skinhead had street but no dress clothing, the (much maligned elsewhere!) 80s skinhead t shirt/sweatshirt layer as ivy, etc.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2014


  12. Mr Knightley

    Mr Knightley Senior member

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  13. covskin

    covskin Senior member

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    In the forward-looking spirit of this thread this is where I am, a sort of skinhead-normcore look (not heard of normcore before today but it is where I have been for a while). One item to sum up the look would be the Loake 771 in black, skinhead but not the obvious oxblood or brogue. Another would be the plain grey marl M&S sweatshirt (definitely not a hoodie!) as a 1981 rather than 1969 influence. With a black H&M ma1 (not the too-wide Alpha ones) this is about the limit of 'skinhead' I would go these days. Also I have been moving my work wardrobe from anonymous euro/american business international to something more English/City in suits, shirts and ties and looking to integrate this into my casual look above. Always thought an English-cut suit was more 'skinhead' somehow and looking foward to mixing in some bengal stripe/contrast collar non-button down shirts.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2014


  14. cerneabbas

    cerneabbas Senior member

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    Cleav,I have to say that some of those pictures made me quite sad,so many people today look dishevelled and demoralised.
    The African bloke in the colourful garb looked like he was interested in his look and had taken time to consider his attire,ok not my choice but I admire his attitude.
     


  15. cerneabbas

    cerneabbas Senior member

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