Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I use this blog for Sophomore English class of ICU.
Subject is rock influence on fashion in England. Many fashion trends were born in England, such as Rockers, Mods, Skins and Punks. These all had strong connections with music. I will compare these trends in terms of influence of music.

The following are possible contents.
*Swinging London
*Beatles & Rolling Stones
*Rockers, Teddy boys




Through this project, it can be said that there were two types of relationship between music and fashion.

1. Imitation of musicians. Some fans looked musicians as idols, and was eager to approach them.

2. Other sides of social groups. When people made groups with others having same direction, they often became to have similar likings.
According to Hebdige, "as the music and the various subcultures it supports or reproduces assume rigid and identifiable patterns, so new subcultures are created which demand or produce corresponding mutations in musical form" (69, italicized).
In short, first new cultural groups appear, next new forms of music or fashion are created.

But one new question comes. Recently, both music and fashion became diversified. Then, even if people belong to the same groups, created forms of music or fashion may have differences. For example, in Japan, "fashion punks," such as people influenced by the comic "NANA," are attacked by punks based on punk music.
Must people have cultural bases to decide what to wear? Must taste in fashion match with in music?
I think no. We can use their relation in order to analyze some culture, but cannot criticize others.


Punks stole compounded all trends, and created chaotic style in the middle of 1970s .
According to Hebdige, punk movement was born from these musics: glitter-rock, American proto-punk, London pub-rock inspired by Mods, Soul and Reggae (25).
Also, punks broke a rule of dancing. Dance was originally the action for expressing feelings or courting, but they danced with vacant minds. Concern with the opposite sex was looked down (108,109).
Alike, their clothes were totally absurd. Their clothes involved every features of every decades: leather jackets of Rockers, ties of Mods, Dr. Martin boots of Skins...etc. They used even daily goods: garbage bags, masking tapes and razor blades decorated their dresses elegantly. They loved breaking taboos. School uniforms were ripped and combined with SM goods such as chains and bondage suits. All elements were fixed with safety pins, as its lettered.

Hebdige cited the words of Johnny Rotten, who was a front-man of The Sex Pistols: "We're into chaos not music" (109).

Monday, November 8, 2010


Mods split into several groups around 1966. Some became "fashion-conscious hippies" sticking to fashion and R&B (Hebdige 55). Skins were left behind consumerism and created unique style.

Mods and Skins were both working-class young. Mods dressed up as bourgeois, while Skins emphasized their class.
Skins' uniforms were " kind[s] of caricature of the model worker" ( Phil Cohen).That was "cropped hair, braces, short, wide Levi jeans or functional sta-pressed trousers, plain or striped button-down Ben Sherman shirts and highly polished Doctor Marten Boots" (Hebdige 55). Sometimes they wore pork-pie hat inspired from Jamaican.
They combined white tough workers and black rude boy(Jamaican gangs wearing suits as the imitation of Hollywood movies).

They used holiday watching footballs (they are said to be the originators of hooligans), so rarely danced in the club. But they loved rocksteady (Jamaican slow popular music), early reggae and Motown sounds.

In 2007, "This is England," a movie about Skins, was shown.

Rockers, Teddy Boys

Rockers were inspired by Elvis Presley and the movie "The Wild One," which featured motorcycle gangs.
They loved motorcycles, so their fashion was suitable for riding. They wore leather jacket, jeans, and regent or duck-tail hair.

The forerunner of Rockers is Teddy boys, who wore Edwardian clothes in 1950s. In 60s, teddy boy style connected with rock and rockabilly music, and Rockers were born.
Representative rockers' bands were "Crazy Cavan & The Rhythm Rockers," "Flying Saucers," "The Riot Rockers," "Freddie 'Fingers' Lee," and "Matchbox" (TEDDYBOY ROCKER.COM).

The Beatles
also wore rockers style clothes, but changed themselves because of their manager's direction.


First, Mods were born from jazz. Jazz fans wore suits as players did.
Or Hebdige said Mods were the young in the working class imitating blacks' style (52).
According to Markowitz, however, they became to placed themselves as "opposite to rockers or teddy boys" (128).
Anyway,in the 1960s, the young wearing "Modern" clothes appeared in England.

The picture on the left is Mods band, The Kinks. The picture below is The Who. Also clothes The Beatles wore in early days were Mods.-> Swinging London, the Beatles
Mods wore refined Slim fit suits with its lapel decorated with velvet, colorful button-down shirts and ties, sunglasses, short hair, and rode imported scooters. Over the suits they flung on military jacket, which are called "Mods coat" now, as you seen in the picture at the last of this article.
Generally they dressed neatly. The reason why they used scooters was to keep their clothes clean. Motorcycles, which were loved by rockers, got clothes dirty by exhaust.

Their style were matched with school and place of work, but in the evening they disappeared. They hid under the ground from "straight world." They felt at ease in clubs, discos, boutiques, and record shops listening to Soul, Modern Jazz, Ska and R&B.
They loved fashion and rare musics of blacks. They danced at the club all night long.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Beatles & The Rolling Stones

In 1963-66, Ready, Steady, Go!,the first TV program featured rock and pop music, broadcasted in England.
The young watched this program and imitated favorite bands' style. TV program played a vital role that music influenced fashion.

*The Beatles*

Their hairstyle gatherd attention from the world. Both "mop top" cut in early days and long hair in latter were followed by the young.

Also The Beatles made Cuban-heeled ankle-high leather boots famous.

In latter work, they became psychedelic. It was challenging that men wore bright color suit and grew their hair. Their style in those days were followed by hippies.

About Beatles, see also Swinging London and Mods.

*The Rolling Stones*

According to Markowitz, Roliing Stones made these impacts(129).
-Floppy hats
-Long scarves
-Tight, patterned T-shirts
-Body-hugging trousers
-Brocade Vests
-Frock coats

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Swinging London (Swinging 60s)

In the 60s, the young, middle-class factory workers became the center of culture. Carnaby street and Kings road where inexpensive shops lined attracted attention from the world.

Mini skirt which represented this style and rock music have the same policy: "rebellion against old rules." The conservative frowned at these style, but the young carried out their policy.
Markowitz wrote, "To wear a short skirt or, in the case of male, tight brocade bell-bottoms was to say that one was young and sexy and did not give a damn about old-fashioned mores- and was, no doubt, into the new rock and roll"(The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Rock History. Vol 3. 124).

The brand Mary Quant and the model Twiggy were symbols of this era.
Mary Quant made colored stockings, long boots, a ribbed sweater and hot pants famous.
Twiggy was very thin girl as its name suggested(twig=a small, very thin branch). She was totally opposite from the general ideal of woman in those days, which was glamorous or well-filled-out body. While she had boyish hairstyle and slim body, she wore long eyelashes.

It might be a radical movement that people broke a wall of gender.

Talking about men, their clothes became colorful, flower or paisley patterned, and sometimes decorated with lace. The hem of pants were flared.
Tommy Nutter was the famous brand making suits. In the jacket of "Abbey Road", John, Paul and Ringo wore its suits.

Some features of swinging London was inherited by Mods style.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Thomas, Pauline Weston. "1960-1980 Fashion History." Fashion-era.

"Retro Fashion." Retro and the 50s 60s 70s and 80s.

ファッションの歴史 Fashion Press

Column of Plata-o-Plomo モダンなお店Plata-o-Plomo

"Miniskirt" ICONS. the portrait of England

1960s Swinging London Debutante Clothing :: The DebLog

SWINGING LONDON 50s-60s The museum of modern art, Saitama
**written in Japanese**

**written in Japanese**

Punk Features www.punk77.co.uk

Hebdige, Dick. Subculture: the Meaning of Style. London: Routledge, 2003.

Markowitz, Rhonda. The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Rock History. Vol. 3. Wesport (Conn.): Greenwood, 2006.

These two books are really useful.