Emergence from the devastation that hit Britain during the Second World War, Britain in the 60’s was one that broke many fashion traditions, generated new social movements and defined the period with its style.
“There was to be an end to the age of shoddy, to the post-war period of ‘making do’… swinging London was confident enough now to wage a war of independence.” (Jackson, 1998 p35)
The post war industrial boom was affecting lifestyles and in particular, it was the the Youth culture that benefitted mostly from this shift in movement. There was emphasis on the youth and ‘The Look’ that began to displace the ‘New look’ of the post war period. Becoming more open minded, independent and culturally aware were all things that the youth began to adopt, along with disposable income. Benefits from the post war industrial boom encouraged this new attitude towards money and the way it could be spent.
“…commercial success stories, many related to retailing of one sort of another, with fashion and home furnishings being at the fore front of the consumer revolution. Because this was a time of virtually full employment and economic prosperity, consumers had more money to spend than ever before.” (Jackson, 1998, p35)
The style and attitude towards fashion had changed, and it became a passion rather then a necessity. Music in the 60’s had a strong influential bond with fashion and style that had never been so closely linked. This unison created distinctive style of dress, developing from Beatnik, Teddy Boys and Mods. The attitude towards style had become very open and people began to gain confidence in their own development of sense of style.
“… music and attitudes that could be understood at a glance. And the freedom that fashion allowed in the sixties meant that everyone could dress up.” (Connikie, 1990, p7)
The Beatles were the band that represented the forefront of men’s fashion. They developed styles for each new record release and in 1963 they had portrayed the distinctive collarless Cardin Suits and collar-length hair. This recognisable hair cut became instantly noticeable in the youth culture. “…became a universal sign of rebellious youth.” (Connikie, 1990, p36) The Beatles also adopted a similarity to the “mod’ style, however denied connections with the culture as they wanted to appeal to all, the music and the culture both interrupted Britain at the similar time.
Before the Mods culture emerged in Britain, former sub cultures such as Teddy Boys built the bridges to allow people to challenge style and create a culture. Teddy boys also lead the way for a growing male interest in fashion, making it socially acceptable. “…male interest in fashion in Britain was mostly associated with the underground homosexual subculture’s flamboyant dressing styles” (Mod subculture, website, 2010) These cultures would have developed from the New Romantics as they became more out spoken and familiar.
As the subcultures faded in the early 1960’s, the Mod style, short for ‘Moderns’ were prime examples of what the Swinging Sixties were classed as: youth, mobility, fashion and a strong interest in music. The majority of people who adopted this culture were young adults. The styles included; the Harrington jacket, Fishtail green parka, polo shirts, turtle necks, roll necks, slim fitting, high collared shirts, loafers, dessert boots, tailored 60’s jacket and straight leg trouser or jeans. They would drive scooters as it was an easy accessible mode of transport, it became a distinctive part of the culture, all based around style and the overall look.
The attitudes around this culture was desirable to the youth but could be described as troublesome for others. Rifts between the Mods and Rockers caused public display of violence in Brighton 1964, the riot scene was recreated in the film ‘Quadrophenia’, produced by the classic cult...