Mods are perhaps the defining subculture of 60s London.
Many of the things we associate with the decade today, like Mary Quant mini-skirts, Quadrophenia and The Who’s iconic ‘My Generation’ emerged from the movement, which came to be known as a byword for everything young and exciting. Male mods donned sharp suits, while women experimented with androgyny, clean lines and minimal makeup.
Recently I paid a visit to the POP! exhibition at Fashion and Textile Museum in Bermondsey, which is showcasing some original pieces from the era. The whole aim of the exhibition is to show how music and youth culture have impacted fashion, starting with poodle skirts and rock n’ roll in the 50s right up to the punk era.
There’s some incredible stuff, including graphic print paper dresses (not hugely practical for the British weather) and studded jackets straight out of Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren’s SEX shop on the King’s Road. However, the mods during the 60s remain one of the most enduring subcultures to popularise a look and lifestyle.
You can check out this mix inspired by the exhibition below, spanning the entire period covered: