Modernism a Subculture


After the second World War, there were so many industries booming around the world. Not just the industrial revolution but within the fashion world as well. For the men this blog post is directed at you; ladies, pay attention. Back in 1959 Lawrence Allway coined the saying “pop culture” and with that, began a revolution in color, art, entertainment and most importantly; fashion.

In the 1950s, Britain was invaded by Ted’s, a collection of men who dressed in the style of the dandies of the Edwardian era. The look was designed to exude an air of a modern working middle-class man, however, those who adorned the large jackets, skinny ties and loafers ranged from 17-25 in age. Soon the Teddy Boys were scene everywhere; each man/boy to themselves all resembling one another in style, hair and choice of dialect. Those who wore the style throughout Europe weren’t the first; their parents before them were the premiere to apply the look to their wardrobe. By 1955 Mary Quant released a fashion boutique; Bazaar, then John Stephen opened a shop aimed at boys and youth later that year.

            “Pop Art: Popular, transient, expendable, low-cost, mass-produced, young, witty sex, gimmicky, glamorous and big business.” – Richard Hamilton 1957.

You’ve heard of the Noting Hill race riots, am I right? Well during that time the Teddy Boys had taken a turn for the worst, soon the peaceful, wealthy, well-dressed men had turned into scary mob of men. After Blackboard Jungle was released throughout continental Europe rampages ensued in the city, the youth tore up the seats and danced in the isles, and soon wherever the film was shown riots and mobs followed.

By the 1960s men’s fashion was optimistic and vibrant, peace, love and Woodstock reigned happily through the streets of London. Teddy Boys had died out the Mods had taken over the town, throughout the decade the city was filled with happy, relaxed music loving gents in color, well some, others choose a more biker, rock and roll style of clothing. In America the men rode on motorbikes and greased their hair back, in Europe men rode on Vespa’s with women on the back. Modern jazz was played in local coffee houses as well as new music such as The Who, the Kinks and The Small Faces. The Mods had changed the face of the music industry forever.

Panic at the Disco
During the 1970’s teenage boys had shifted from the grease loving, hair combing era and warmly embraced a new kind of style; a style that concentrated on the music selection and the need for a mystical clothing. Soon the gentlemen were dressing in plaid, sequins, stripes and heavy fur jackets; nothing like that of the previous decades. Europe had gone from long coats and rolled cuffs, to loud printed tops, loose denim, and paperboy hats. Style had changed dramatically; the thing with style is that it dictates the subcultures that surround it; music, art, and performance all changed due to the clothing and attitudes of those who support the cause.

Now into the 1980’s fashion had taken a dive for the worst. Tighter trousers with less color, tops worn loose and sneakers were the new fad. The 80’s was an awful time for style, track suits in neon colors. The punk sceen had hit the streets of London hard. Massive Mohawks, ripped wear; leather and men in makeup became a norm. Parents were flabbergasted; the rocker scene was in full flight. The Mod’s had resurrected through the style, the greased hair and leather jackets with the motorbikes just with darker music and cruder language. The subculture that surrounded the punks was less pleasant; the drug and alcohol abuse was ravaging the streets and clubs of Europe. By the 1990’s the style was starting to die out and the once profound hair was beginning to change back to its normal color. Many of the teens from the 1980s were harder and braver than those before them. Fashion was dying out for the men; designers like Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren and Lacoste had became popular throughout the city.

After the Second World War, fashion had taken over. Throughout the decade’s style evolved, it climbed peeks and fell in trenches during which time the men in Europe began finding their niche within the style world. From the Teddy boys and Mods who’s parents were first into the trend to the greasers and punks who’s relatives were appalled at their children. Either way, it was a time of learning, a era where teenagers discovered their own voice within the world; from music to dance and even art, we gained a voice that was strong and independent to that of our parents and now we have a freedom of song, movement and best of all style.

x- the Collector

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