Friday, June 29, 2012

Weekly Blog Roundup: 6/29/2012

Another week down and time for the weekend. And to start you off, some good link readin':
That's it for today. HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!

Sharp Stylings #46: Georgie Fame in Madras

We can learn so much from yesterday’s fashion icons.  And living in a post-Mad Men world means we can even enjoy aspects of current male fashions! Every Friday, I’d like to start your weekend off right with a little style inspiration from either then or now. Hopefully, my fellow Mod enthusiasts will find the whole or some detail of the whole to appreciate and maybe even adopt.

Stickin' with the madras tip, let's take a look at a guy known for this look, early on in his career: Georgie Fame.
Thanks to Oliver Twist for posting this photo from the East Anglian Daily Times.
An early shot of Fame, wearing Ivy Style influences all over his sleeve! Madras plaid-patterned blazer with natural shoulders and thin lapels, short tab-collar shirt (rather hard to find, these days), and a narrow knitted tie (back in style, these days).

Fame's outfit here doesn't just look cool in a 'hip' sense, but also cool in a 'comfort' sense... there's just something easy, laid-back, and un-uptight about it. You could sport this on a nice summer evening and not worry about beads of sweat rolling down your neck. (Okay, maybe a Bay Area summer... Los Angeles summers are a tad warmer.)

As I mentioned before, seems knitted ties are back in vogue and you may have an easy time finding them at a Macy's near you. I've found a few there in the past couple of years in solids and horizontal stripes. There's a nice, casual feel about knitted ties for those days when you feel like dressing up without wanting to get too fancy. Pair the tie with a button-down Arrow shirt (sometimes found at a local Ross shop), a jacket in a light-weight material (like above), and a pair of sta-prest trousers, and you're good to go for the day!

So, a question for you: How many of you guys still wear madras jackets? Gonna try something new here, but if you do, post a photo on the Mod Male Facebook page! I always dig appreciating other guys' sharp styles out there!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Madras Jacket

Alright, as much as I hate to admit it, summer is upon us. I'm sure I've said this before, but I just don't do well with summer... or hot weather, in general. (What do you think spurred my move from Southern California to Northern California?) However, summer is a great time to finally bust out a nice madras suit jacket!

For those of you who don't know (and are having a hard time connecting to Wikipedia), madras is a lightweight cotton fabric, named after the Indian city of Madras. As the Ivy Style blog illustrates, madras was imported into the U.S. as far back as the turn of the century, but once Ivy League students latched on to the fabric in the middle of the century, its popularity grew more and more, despite the bleeding quality of the fabric (which became a large selling point). Although madras can come in plain colors, stripes, and other assorted patterns, the plaid design is probably the most recognizable.

Image taken from The Ivy League Look blog
This look was an early influence on the Modernists of the late '50s/early '60s which continued to spread to the point where madras jackets could be seen on many English youth (and bands) throughout the early to mid-sixties. Georgie Fame and the Small Faces are probably some of the more famous examples of the madras jacket in action, but here are some more:
Cliff Bennett's band in matching madras jackets.

J.J. Johnson image from the Jack Davis blog.
Now, the first time I ever really noticed a madras jacket was in the inside sleeve of my very first Small Faces CD, From the Beginning:

Yes, my eyes were a tad blinded when I first saw this photo, but it was an image I kept turning back to, curious as to how wild their whole look was, while still keeping within the ol' suit-and-tie realm. Although Ronnie Lane's jacket fit my tastes more, the plaid madras of Steve Marriot and Kenny Jones totally challenged my perceptions of a 'mod' look back then. It was a loud look but, as a teenager, that's what I was after. Would I have worn a checkered tie with a madras jacket like that? I can say now that I probably would have avoided that look... but the 16-year-old me, if truthful, would have totally tried it. Good thing none of those pieces were anywhere near me!

A few months later, I was definitely sold on the madras jacket. In June of 1991, I went to my first ever 'Mod' show and saw a band that helped blow away my power-pop, revival leanings: The Loved Ones. (But, that's a story for another time.) Not only was I taken with their mid-sixties R&B sound (I still remember them covering 'I Just Want To Make Love With You', one of the few R&B songs I actually knew from a cover done by The Rolling Stones) but their outfits on stage were in stark contrast to just about everyone in the audience. All around me, people were dressing in black, navy, or dark brown suits, but up on stage were these guys:

A hard-to-see Nick Rossi, Bart Davenport, and Xan McCurdy of The Loved Ones - June 1991 at the Mount Baldy Lodge in Southern California.
And the outfit that most opened my eyes was that light-brown plaid madras blazer! I had to admit it... he looked more styling than either of the Small Faces in the previous photo. There, in front of me, was a loud Mod look done so right, that eveyone else in the crowd, including me, looked just so wrong. Turned out, this was a look that other Berkeley Mods had adopted. When my buddy, Juan G., picked up a copy of the Loved Ones debut 45, further proof of the slickness of the madras jacket was demonstrated:
Drummer John Kent in his madras jacket which he handed down to me later on in life.
By the time I moved to the Bay Area and met up with these guys, well, I must have gone on and on about how much I loved that light-brown madras jacket. For me, it was a reminder of the first Mod show I ever attended and a symbol of the look that really increased my interest in Mod clothing. Well, eventually, that jacket (along with others over time) was handed down to me and still remains in my closet, waiting to fit again.
Photo from around 1994 in that same madras jacket. NOTE: This was NOT my scooter.
John Kent passed on his jacket as well and I still continue to appreciate it to this day. Here's one of the only photos I could find, wearing that jacket:
Only photo of me in the jacket, from around 1996. The label inside the jacket reads 'IMPORTED HAND WOVEN Bleeding India Madras' from Lord & Taylor, Fifth Avenue.
As I mentioned previously, plaid isn't the only variety of the madras jacket. Here's a shot of The High Numbers' John Entwistle in a striped madras for you:

And here are couple of batik-patterned madras jackets you can find around:
Madras batik pattern from the Film Noir Buff forum.
George Fame in a madras jacket patterned in a mix of plaid and batik.
I'm still a huge fan of the madras jacket and love that many others are into the look as well. As I got older, there was a brief moment when I thought they might be too loud to get away with... but then, I regained my senses. I don't care how loud they are... the jackets are the way to go, especially now that the weather is perfect for them! Here's one of my favorites, worn during our trip to Europe last year:
Bart Davenport, me, and my wife Irene, spending time in Paris.
If you look around the internet, you'll see that the madras jacket is really coming back and not just for fans of Mod styles or the Ivy League look. And my guess is that you'll be seeing more and more madras jackets, thanks to that show of shows: Mad Men.
Pete Campbell hippin' people to the madras!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Sharp Stylings #45: The City Gent

We can learn so much from yesterday’s fashion icons.  And living in a post-Mad Men world means we can even enjoy aspects of current male fashions! Every Friday, I’d like to start your weekend off right with a little style inspiration from either then or now. Hopefully, my fellow Mod enthusiasts will find the whole or some detail of the whole to appreciate and maybe even adopt.

Okay, so it's not really a summer-inspired photo this week. However, this is the type of outfit made for a San Francisco summer... if you're in the City and looking out the window right now, you'll know what I mean. Plus, a super swank shot to inspire you for the weekend:

Photo taken from Gillian Long of Cock of the Walk bespoke tailoring.
 According to Long, this is "an old stock photo from about 1966 that tailors and cloth merchants would use in mens mags and trade mags. Most likely from Man About Town but I can't be 100% sure."

Sure, it might be a bit too 'city gent' for some, but there are just so many great touches in this entire outfit. Nice fedora hat with a short brim (my fave!), thin tie, checked suit with contrasting waistcoat, pocket square, and narrow, slightly-pointed shoes. All the ingredients of an immaculate look!

The suit itself is of a nice narrow cut all around. Three-button with a lower stance than I'm normally into, but which probably works to show a sliver of waistcoat when buttoned. Ticket pocket, which is recommended as often as you can. The trousers are tapered, but not too tapered or too 'skinny' (blech!) and also barly touch the shoe. Many times, people go for the high-watered trouser look, but here, the trousers barely carry a break with the shoe. A clean, unexaggerated look for your pants.

The last bit is the most obvious: the pattern of that suit! A small-checked look that's not too loud or crazy, but enough to catch the eyes of passers-by. What also helps is that the pocket square, tie, and waistcoat don't carry any patterns that conflict with the suit, so that the suit itself is what stands out. The only thing I'd probably change is the shirt. The collar is a tad too plain for me. I'd rather sport a tab-collar or pin-collar shirt to work with this.

Overall, a killer look and one I wish more Mod-leaning types would explore. And you know what? This guy's probably dressed this way just to grab a cup of morning coffee! Yes, I know this isn't really daily wear these days, but hopefully it's inspired you to ramp up your own look a bit.

If you're visiting a tailor this weekend, be sure show off this photo!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Weekly Blog Roundup: 6/21/2012

Okay, so I'm a little light on content this week. Plus, I skipped out on a roundup last week. So, let me cheat by piggybacking off of other people's great posts over the last couple of weeks!
  • Years ago, some friends and I used to run a very fun club called Diabolik which ran the gamut of '60s soul, psych, freakbeat, r&b, garage, and more. But what made that club so great were the people who showed up to dance into the morning hours and the people who ran The Werepad, which was the location Diabolik was held in. Great decor that matched the vibe of the club. Some of those people now run a new venue, The Vortex Room, which features fantastic movie nights and parties. In fact, some friends and I used to put on a jazz club there called soundscape*. Want to see what the Vortex Room is all about? If you ever make it to a movie night, order a Manhattan. You won't be disappointed!
  • Check out the latest Clifton's Corner for a great tribute to some recent music legends who have passed on. Great music to get you through the day!
  • A Modernist offers up a great tribute his father and the Ivy League tradition he's passed on. (And I've learned something new from this post: the difference between a short-sleeved shirt and a half-sleeved shirt.)
  •  Ivy Style gets into some good Summer clothing suggestions for you. Great tips for cool wear that looks cool!
  • Parka Avenue continues to profile some of the top DJs spinning ModChicago here and here. Speaking of which, by my watch, looks like ModChicago should be starting... TONIGHT! I hear it may be the last one. Kudos to Eric Colin Reidelberger for keeping ModChicago alive after all these years and to John Manion for beginning a great yearly tradition in the first place!
  • If you're in Portland, please visit this awesome-looking restaurant, reviewed by Le Continental, before it closes!
  • Monkey Picks has a couple of great posts, showcasing some original Ricky Tick Club flyers (Photoshop? Psh!) and his run-in with Martin Fuggles, '60s Ricky Tick DJ!
  • Voices of East Anglia provides some beautiful eye candy with a gallery of mannequin brochures. And when you're done there, check out their great piece on jazz harpist, Dorothy Ashby.
  • DNA Groove's Claudio De Rossi catches up with Jimmy Frost Mellor to discuss the Ivy League influence on Modernism. Great reading and great styling!
  • The Anorak Thing breaks down the musical styling of Graham Gouldman, writer of songs such as  'Bus Stop' (The Hollies), 'For Your Love' (The Yardbirds), and future member of 10cc.   
  • A couple of great tracks featuring a little bit of soul and a little bit of boogaloo on Derek's Daily 45, your one-stop shop for a quick 45 snack!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Sharp Stylings #44: Marc Zermati

We can learn so much from yesterday’s fashion icons.  And living in a post-Mad Men world means we can even enjoy aspects of current male fashions! Every Friday, I’d like to start your weekend off right with a little style inspiration from either then or now. Hopefully, my fellow Mod enthusiasts will find the whole or some detail of the whole to appreciate and maybe even adopt.

So last summer, during our trip to Paris, we stayed with our French Boutik pals, Gabriella and Serge (LIKE their page here!). One day, I was leafing through a French book they had on the Swinging Sixties and was blown away by all the great photos. Serge walked over and made sure to point out one of the key figures in the book: Marc Zermati. I was floored by his swank Parisian styling!

Seeing as summer is upon us, I figured this would be a great shot to kick off the season:
Thanks to Alexandre of Bouton Rouge for posting this photo!
For anyone who doesn't know, Marc Zermati was a key figure of the early Punk scene, establishing Skydog Records which released music by Iggy & The Stooges, MC5, and the Flamin' Groovies. In addition, he organized punk festivals in France which included acts such as The Clash, The Damned, Eddie & The Hot Rods, and more. He appears to be active in the music scene to this day!

But, even more importantly... look at how slick he was back in the '60s! And here, he's just rockin' a casual look perfect for summer: a nice light-colored suit jacket and trousers with a 3-button polo shirt.

It's easy to fall into the trap of dressing 'down' in the summer due to the hot weather. Grab a t-shirt, some jeans or shorts, and a pair of sneakers. And I know I don't have much room to talk, living with an almost perfect Bay Area climate where a hot day for us just means the breeze is a little less cool. Nonetheless, summer shouldn't stop you from crankin' out some style.

Zermati's look above isn't right for everyone's summer heat, but if you can get away with a nice off-white colored suit jacket and pants in a lightweight material with a colorful polo, then get to it! Zermati just eases into the day looking breezy, easy, and cool. Granted, his jacket does look a little heavier than you'd want for summer wear, but you get the drift.

Now, I can't speak French very well, but maybe you can. If so, enjoy this clip of Marc Zermati speaking at his exhibit:

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mod Gone Wrong: Mod Jeans

So, a couple of weeks ago, some discussions were generated about jeans and the Mod thing. Over on the MM Facebook page ('LIKE' it... it's a neat thing to do!), people were talking about vintage 501s and A Modernist shared this link to Union Made Goods. In the comments section of this post, a couple of original 1960s Mods started posting about their views on Levis jeans back in the day.

But, of course, I'm not going to write about good jeans today.

Personally, I'm not a heavy jeans guy in general. I do like them if I'm cleaning up around the place, doing something manual, or if I'm feeling really lazy on a Sunday. I don't do 501s as much anymore and tend to stick with the Levis boot-cut 527s (slim fit and low rise) or even H&M 'Lads' because I like the way the flares look with my shoes. (But the discussions mentioned above do have me re-thinking 501s.)

That said, there are some jeans I've found online that look to be geared toward people who share my obsession... but, oh, just miss the mark! Listen, just because you make a mighty fine scooter, doesn't necessarily mean you know how to make a pair of jeans that Mod scooterists should be wanting. Take these, for example, from Lambretta (yes, they're in the clothes game too):
Yup, a nice pair of faded, easy-fit (aka, loose), denim with the ol' Mod stamp of approval right on the ass! If you wear these to the next scooter rally and strut on down that aisle of scooters, be ready for a bevy of mini-skirted, bobbed-hair ladies swarming around you. Hip-shake that target to new levels of lovin'!

Check out the more macho 'dark' Lambretta Mod jeans for a close-up of that back pocket: 
Baby got Mod back.
How slick would these things be with your matching target t-shirt and tennis shoes while you're out riding your scoot? Who cares that your scooter will be better dressed than you are! At least you'll be sitting on a piece of Mod denim.

Okay, okay, tired of the target look? Well, Lambretta also released this beautiful pair 'Mod' jeans with a trio of 'official' Mod badges pinned to the rear end: 

These look to be out of stock, but keep your eyes open on Ebay!
You have there a badge representing the Union Jack, the roundel, and the Lambretta shield: the axis of Mod, if you will. Personally, I ain't too comfortable sitting on badges, what with the pointy pins and all, but that's just me. But if you're wearing these and some yahoo tries giving you guff, you can just reply, "kiss my Mod ass!" Heck, you'll mean it!

Friends, I don't know about you but I think I'll stick with the Levis 527s (sometimes 517s), 501s, and occasional H&M 'Lad's. And Lambretta, you may want to stick with the scooter-makin'.*

*Reader Syd W. informs us that Lambretta doesn't even get with the scooter-makin' these days. Seems they're into the branding business instead.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Weekly Blog Roundup: 6/9/2012

Good morning! Good morning! Check out this new batch of great blog posts before you head out today:
Alright all... go out and enjoy the day!

Sharp Stylings #43: Lloyd Johnson

We can learn so much from yesterday’s fashion icons.  And living in a post-Mad Men world means we can even enjoy aspects of current male fashions! Every Friday, I’d like to start your weekend off right with a little style inspiration from either then or now. Hopefully, my fellow Mod enthusiasts will find the whole or some detail of the whole to appreciate and maybe even adopt.

I've said it once and I'll say it again: the Mod thing is the best subculture to grow old within. It's a look that continues to age very well... provided you don't go the parka, badge, and bowling shoes route. The older I've gotten, the less interested I've become in that loud, in-your-face appearance in which M-O-D is literally spelled out somewhere on your clothing. Nah... as I continue to age, I'd much rather work on refining this look I love so much.

And there's some great inspiration out there to learn from. Take, for instance, original Modernist and fashion designer, Lloyd Johnson. Obsessed with clothing since the late '50s, Johnson went on to play roles in the fashion industry of the 1960s, and eventually helped provide outfits for the Punk generation of the 1970s and beyond.

Today, he still wears his Modernist roots on his sleeve. Here he is with Graham Russell at the Lloyd Johnson: The Modern Outfitter exhibit held earlier this year: 
Graham Russell and Lloyd Johnson. (See, Mods and Rockers get along just fine!) Photo courtesy of Mr. Russell.
Let's move in a little closer to appreciate Johnson's professional attention to detail.
Sorry, Graham, for cutting you off, but  I had to zoom in a bit just to show off those details!
First off, check out the beautiful olive green three-piece suit he's wearing. Three-button jacket with moderately thin lapels and a high button stance. And speaking of buttons, look at how great they contrast with the suit. The buttons look to be made of woven leather that not only plays off the green of the suit but also matches well with the red paisley tie which also contrasts well with the suit.

Then there's his dress shirt in what looks to be blue and red stripes with a solid, white collar. The blue is subtle and offers a break in the color scheme, while the red connects with the paisley tie and jacket buttons.

The collar itself is in a nice club collar style held together with a sharp collar pin. Personally, I'm a huge fan of the club collar, especially in the tab style. Button-down club collars are pretty sharp as well, but I've had a harder time finding them. And the final touch to Johnson's look? That gold fob chain hanging on his waistcoat.

This entire look hits all the right notes, especially for the older, dapper gentleman. In this photo, Lloyd Johnson let's us all know that aging gracefully is very achievable with a Mod(ernist) aesthetic. And this is the path I've chose to follow. If I can look half as sharp as this by the time I reach his age, I'd be very happy!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Top 10 Modern Dance Jazz Songs

I dig jazz as much as they next guy with great musical tastes! My favorite styles of jazz, as you can probably guess, are the different schools that evolved throughout the mid-20th century. Lots of jazz styles from cool jazz, soul jazz, hard bop, modal jazz, latin jazz, and heck, even free jazz.

But I'm not here today to get into those sounds because you can get better info on sites like this and this. Instead, I want to get into more current music. A short while ago, I delved into more contemporary jazz bands to help broaden the ol' DJ range and I found some great stuff going on. There were bands taking the sounds of the '50s and '60s, and either adding in a mix of '90s acid jazz or throwing in new dance beats and instrumentation. Many times, I heard the term 'nu-jazz' tossed here and there. Call it what you like, so long as you can dance to it!

So, here today, let me present to you my Top 10 Modern Dance Jazz Songs of the 21st century (in no particular order)... and keep in mind, my use of the term 'jazz' might be much more loose than yours:
  1. The Five Corners Quintet - Shake It - Some straight-ahead, quick-paced dance jazz without any sampling or funky drum breaks. The Five Corners Quintet, based in Finland, take a modern jazz sound and amp it up to hip-shakin' levels, like this song shows. Features tenor sax from Timo Lassy, who's listed again further down.
  2. The Filthy Six - Knockout - Tight soul jazz from these guys throwing out the best in horn work and burnin' Hammond organ. If you get a chance, look into getting their entire LP... highly worth it for new hammond jazz dance tunes.
  3. Timo Lassy featuring Jose James - The More I Look At You - A Timo Lassy track, but the highlight here is the smooth, crooning voice of Jose James, probably one of the top jazz vocalists around right now. He's played with various performers including Chico Hamilton, Nicola Conte, Jazzanova, and, here, Timo Lassy. Missed him last time he played in San Francisco, but I'm hoping not to repeat that mistake!

  4. Ken Morimura - Descarga Pa'ti - Okay, I don't know much about this guy at all, mainly because I can't read any of the Japanese on his website! But I don't need to read Japanese to hear Morimura blast out a heavy latin jazz groove. What I was able to find is that Morimura is the pianist and composer of the following track. Absolutely hip-shakin' beats are bein' tossed down right here!
  5. Hidden Jazz Quartet - Hi Footlocker - Some German 'nu-jazz' for you from the Hidden Jazz Quartet, again, mixing some soul dance beats with nice jazz instrumentation. Lots of nice touches here, including the guitar and organ solos.
  6. Dusty - Keep It Raw - Nice, funkier jazz number here with a few samples, including very familiar one courtesy of The Meters. Don't know much about Dusty, but I do know this track blends all kinds of good sounds from the mentioned sample, funky drum beats, heavy horns, and groovy piano work.
  7. Frootful - Colours - Frootful is a project headed up by an amazing graphic artist, Nick Radford. Not only can this guy bust out beautiful murals and LP art, he can also hit you with wild '60s-styled soul jazz! Combining great vibes, guitars, horns, and well-paced drumming, this whole LP hits you in all the right spots.
  8. Nicola Conte - Bossa Per Due - By this point, Nicola Conte doesn't really need a whole lot of introduction. Sharp-stylin' Italian producer and composer who brings out some of the best bossa nova vibes in his music.
  9. Koop - Come To Me - Okay, these guys interest the heck outta me! Unfortunately, I don't have any of their work on vinyl so I've never DJed them. But, they are one of my favorite bands to relax to at home when we're just taking it easy. Now, from what I'm aware of, all of their music is just a well-done mix of previous samples, clips, overlays. Whatever it is they do, great music like this is the result. It's just hard to think that this is all just a crazy blend of samples!
  10. Nick Rossi Set - Sweet 'Tater Pie - Aw man, I'm not gonna say too much about this guy. Still performing great music in the fields of jazz and Western swing throughout the Bay Area on top of keeping up one of my top blogs. This song harkens back to those fun times in the early 2000s when the Set was playing around often, starting out as a 4-piece combo and ending as a full-on horn-infused group. I had to wait until my wife first moved in with me before I was able to get my hands on this 45... still one of my fave tunes!
That's it for today! Yes, like I said, I'm loose with my use of the term 'jazz', but hey... in the end, it's all good stuff. If you have any more info on any of these musicians or songs, or have any similar recommendations, then pass them on!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Weekly Blog Roundup: 6/3/2012

Another week of great posts out this past week. Have some coffee, put the newspaper down, and read these instead!
That's it for today. Have a great one!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Sharp Stylings #40.1: David John Dry [UPDATED!]

We can learn so much from yesterday’s fashion icons.  And living in a post-Mad Men world means we can even enjoy aspects of current male fashions! Every Friday, I’d like to start your weekend off right with a little style inspiration from either then or now. Hopefully, my fellow Mod enthusiasts will find the whole or some detail of the whole to appreciate and maybe even adopt.

I don't think I can find a better illustration of how staggeringly stylish a person can look on a scooter:
Photo courtesy of David John Dry, original 1960s Mod.
 One of the best Mod photos I've seen with everything right going on. Scooter not hidden beneath a wall of lights and mirrors... check! Sharp suit... check! Parka... ch--- wait! No parka??? Dang! That's what makes this image the shizznit!

Check that guy out there... he's sporting a beautiful overcoat with tight, thin lapels. A perfect extension of the style he's wearing underneath. That suit ain't covered up by a grubby parka. No way... this kid's settin' the standard!

Any young Mods out there looking for inspiration? The search is over.

[UPDATED: Thanks to the power of the internet, someone was able to track down the person in the photo, and he was very kind to offer a better version of the photo along with information on this look. I want to thank David John Dry for allowing the use of his photo and to remind you to keep an eye out for Paul Anderson's upcoming book, Mods - The New Religion, which looks to include more stories like this! To keep up to date on the progress of his book, LIKE his facebook page:

Now let David Dry explain his photo in his own words:

"The picture, I think, was taken in 1965/6? It was shot in a road called Friars Place Lane quite close to the Western Avenue in Acton W3, London.

The coat was made to measure from Harry Fenton's in leather with two vents in a Wine (Maroon) colour. Levi jeans (Indigo - so called: 'Shrink to fit) at the time, now known as 501's are in evidence - a relative rarity in England at that time. Often purchased from American servicemen via their PX, such was the supply problem. The nearest airbase was West Drayton, near London Heathrow, not that far away. The button down shirt is white with a box check in brown from Lord John's in Carnaby street. The jacket is a four button grey wool mix FROM TAKE 6. Tie was, I think, a woven slim style cut. Shoes hand stitched Italian and are from Toppers of Carnaby Street. The look, less the coat, was a mix of American Ivy League and Italian style - British MOD!

Just as a point of information - wearing a crash helmet was not a legal requirement in the UK at that time. This legislation came in in 1972. The Vespa (Douglas) Sportique Supreme is also featured in the picture - silver paint and chrome plated side panels (called 'bubbles') and front fender (just for you in the US!). This scooter was not mine and belonged to a friend called Mick Derry. "] 

Seriously, guys... this is the kind of stuff that brings back the excitement I once felt as a teenage kid learning about Mods for the first time!

Sharp Stylings #41: The Who

We can learn so much from yesterday’s fashion icons.  And living in a post-Mad Men world means we can even enjoy aspects of current male fashions! Every Friday, I’d like to start your weekend off right with a little style inspiration from either then or now. Hopefully, my fellow Mod enthusiasts will find the whole or some detail of the whole to appreciate and maybe even adopt.

I can't believe that after all this time I still haven't featured The Who in a 'Sharp Stylings' post! Come on... these were the guys I first got into way back when. These were the guys who sold me with 'My Generation.' And these were the guys I used to study while leafing through my beaten-up copy of Richard Barnes's The Who: Maximum R&B book.

And one of my favorite photos from that book is this one right here:

I used to study the detailing in all these outfits, particularly John Entwistle's. Although I'm not a fan of the 'goth' look, if you're gonna go all black, follow Entwistle's model. Even though he's dressed without an ounce of color, the details of his gear add in that needed splash of pizzazz.

Let's start from the bottom up: slightly-pointed winklepicker boots with a Cuban heel. Nice way to add in a little height... not that John needs it, but I sure would! Then, you have his narrow-fitting trousers cut at the right length. Top that off with a wide-buckled belt and you have my favorite trouser/shoe look. Wide belt, narrow trousers (preferably, with slight flares), and pointed boots.

Now, let's move on to the upper portion of the ensemble, first with the black button-down shirt with what looks to be white buttons. Great collar on that shirt, although I'd prefer to leave it unbuttoned at the top (unless a tie is involved). But now, the best part of this look: that amazing suit jacket! Great width on the lapel, high gorge with a 3-button front, and a buttoned flap breast pocket. Love that detail! If you look closely enough, you'll notice the side pockets also button up. Just an overall flash look on John Entwistle!

Okay, don't get me wrong. The other guys look very slick as well, even the generally casual Keith Moon. His neutral trousers with the flap pockets and buttoned-down belt loops can't be beat! And Roger Daltrey's looking sharp with a dark, striped coat and that patterned scarf/ascot over his shirt. Pete Townsend's keeping it mellow with a 2-piece tan suit, but as you can tell, the guy who stands out, even while wearing just one color, is John Entwistle. Wonder if Johnny Cash was taking notes?

I'll end this post with an awesomely cool clip of The Who on French TV. A clip that proves just why Keith Moon is one of the greatest drummers of all time... so great, he drums beats out of thin air!