Fashion: scooters and wearing suits. Musically, Mods favoured
Fashion: Expression of Freedom or Rebellion? 3 FASHION: EXPRESSION OF FREEDOM OR REBELLION?by (Name) Fashion(Tutor)(University)(City and State)(Date) Table of ContentsTable of Figures?3Introduction?4Literature Review?4Research Methodology?7Analysis and Evaluation?8Conclusion?9Reference list?10Annotated Bibliography?12 Table of FiguresFigure 1 Rockers on motorcycles, 1960s?5Figure 2 Mods on scooters, 1960s?5Figure 3 Movement In Squares (1961), by Bridget Riley?9 IntroductionIn the early 1960s, two conflicting youth subcultures emerged in Britain; the Mods and the Rockers. The emergence of these subcultures stems from a need for the youth at the time to identify themselves differently from the social norms and cultures pre-set by their parents. The conflicts between the two subcultures created ‘moral panics’ as described by Kenneth Thompson and other scholars at the time. The violence that ensued, particularly the clashes of May 1964 created a negative image and perception of these two subcultures among the older generations in the society. However, despite the negative press, these subcultures have been very influential in the evolution of the fashion industry. The following discourse aims to explore these youth subcultures, their evolution and characteristics particularly with regard to fashion and ideologies and how these characteristics affected the fashion industry. The aim of this evaluation is to unearth whether fashion was used as an expression of freedom or as an expression of rebellion.Literature ReviewIn order to explore the subcultures and expression of the youth in 1960 Britain, and the subsequent influence of the events and culture of this era on the fashion industry today, this study will rely on the following core texts among others.Perone (2009), in Mods, Rockers and the Music of the British Invasion traces the development of the two subcultures while illustrating the musical influences that led to the rise and sustenance of these two subcultures. The Rockers, according to Perone’s description are seen as having various influences from American culture. They were associated with motorcycles and according to Perone, ‘…favoured black leather, much like American motorcycle gang members of the era. Their musical tastes ran to white American rock and rollers such as Elvis Presley, Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran’ (Perone, 2009, p. 2). The Rocker characteristics resembled those of Marlon Brando, the motorcycle gang leader from the American film The Wild One. The general fashion that characterised this culture was style born out of necessity and practicality as most of their outfits would be perceived as protective clothing. Additionally, their culture arose as a rebellion against mainstream society.Figure 1 Rockers on motorcycles, 1960sMods on the contrast were music and fashion centred, Perone (2009) described them as, ‘favouring Italian motor scooters and wearing suits. Musically, Mods favoured modern jazz, Jamaican music and African American R & B’ (Perone, 2009, p. 3).Figure 2 Mods on scooters, 1960sHollis’s 1964 article in the Canberra Times captured the violent clashes between some Mods and Rockers in Britain in May of 1964 (Hollis, 1964). This article explores the rise of the subcultures, their disparities and the effect of these clashes across various parts of Europe on the public view of youth culture. Hollis describes how the general culture of youthful hooliganism was not a new phenomenon at the time; the novelty of the Mods and Rockers era and clashes was with regards with their ability to command transport which further, in his view, catalysed the movement. Haywood, in a 1965 report on the Mods and Rockers clashes, further illustrates the issues of social identity and changes in fashion ideals during this time. Haywood identified Brighton, where the research was conducted, as a Mod town in his report mentioned folk singing and jazz music as the preferred entertainment (Haywood, 1965). This coincides with the reports from other scholars and observers as to the characteristics of Mod culture.Cohen (Cohen, 2011) and Thompson (2005) have also analysed the conflict between the Mods and the Rockers and how the relationship affected society’s view of the cultures. Cohen believes the growth and survival of these subcultures was further propelled by commercial exploitation. According to Cohen (2011), the market exploited the already existing division to promote the purchase of certain clothes and records that further fed the narrative of rivalry; ‘consumer goods were advertised using group images; some of the very shops in Brighton which had protested about loss of trade caused by the disturbances were selling “The Latest Mod Sunglasses”‘ (2011, p. 157). A recent study by Young (Young, 2016) illustrates that the underlying cause of the conflict was the creation of a sense of tribe among the youth whereby they identified themselves through fashion and music which created a sense of identity and loyalty to the extent that outsiders were considered rivals or enemies.Buxbaum (2009), in the book Fashion in Context, explores the concept of fashion as a social ideology which is comprehensively correlated to the Mod and Rockers ideology. It provides a discussion of the concept of fashion identity with regards to the Mods and Rockers by introducing the concept of fashion as a cult and the effect on members. This piece of literature aids the study to identify how the Mod and Rocker era paved the way for the advancement of fashion identity. Mod culture especially made quite the impact through fashion in the 1960s with the emergence of Twiggy the model who became a trendsetter for the Mod movement. Leslie Hornby, famously known as Twiggy, identified herself as a Mod. She became an icon of the Mod era, the trend particularly picked up in Japanese commercial culture where Twiggy themed and Twiggy branded merchandise is sold as well as that of other Mod era icons (Feldman, 2009).Thurschwell (2014), illuminates that Mod culture is still influential and alluring to date due to the tenuous distinctions between the youth and adults today. Thurschwell further asserts that the attractiveness of the Mod culture arises from the environment the gang created where one would belong but still maintain a sense of individuality, out of the norm. Additionally, the sense of fashion was appealing as it was unfamiliar among the youth, unlike the rockers whose style was an adaptation of the American motorcycle films. These observations among others provide the basis for the analysis whether fashion was an expression of freedom or an expression of rebellion.Research MethodologyThe following study adopts a historical design as it seeks to collect and analyse information from the past to unearth whether fashion, with regard to the Mod and Rocker subcultures of the 1960s, was a tool for expression or a mode of rebellion. The research methodology for this study was based on qualitative research methods. Qualitative research is an approach based on the analysis of subjective meanings of issues, events or practices (Rahman, 2017). It does not incorporate statistical evaluations but rather considers and analysis of texts or images as opposed to empirical values. This mode of research is ideal for studying the feelings, opinions or experiences of the chosen participants and also complex events or concepts that are characterised by multiple variables. The modes of data collection under this approach include interviews, observation, analysis of texts and records among others. Qualitative research is ideal for this particular discourse as the analysis requires an interpretation of events, experiences and opinions. Additionally, as the core event occurred in the past, the most accurate and conclusive source of information in this regard is records and texts through books and articles. As such, qualitative research is the most suitable avenue as it encompasses these dynamics.Analysis and EvaluationAs aforementioned, the Mod and Rocker cultures were distinguished by their fashion, musical and transportation preferences. Mod would be described as more effeminate, dressed in suits and clean-cut modern European outfits. The Rockers were more scruffy and dressed in leather and motorcycle boots (Cohen, 2011). The rise of these subcultures is stated to have been as a result of a rejection of the traditional timid British culture and a rebellion against mainstream society. From the literature review, it can be deduced that the ‘fame’ of the subculture was propelled by the media attention that followed the clashes of 1964. Additionally, commercial markets took advantage of the division in the youth cultures to exploit teenage consumer habits. However, regardless of the catalytic factors, it is undeniable that the two subcultures had and still have an effect on the fashion industry.In the sixties, the fashion scene was greatly influenced by the Mod subculture with the rise of Twiggy and other fashion trendsetters as evidence of this. Their influence is still felt worldwide as seen with the Japanese youth who still value Mod culture through the purchase of Twiggy themed and branded merchandise (Feldman, 2009). Young believes that teen subcultures create a sense of tribe; this is expressed through fashion and music thus creating fashion identities. Subcultures, therefore, have great influence over the fashion industry in that they determine to some extent what is acceptable among the youth of a certain ‘tribe’ thus creating a target market for commercial interests (Young, 2016).The Mod look appears to have outshone the Rocker culture due to its ideology of embracing the new and the modern. This is illustrated through the works of Mary Quant, another Mod icon who was not only the face of Pop and Op Art but is also credited for the introduction of the miniskirt, tights, coloured tights, mixed bold geometric prints among other milestones in the fashion industry (Monet, 2017).Figure 3 Movement In Squares (1961), by Bridget RileyConclusionFrom the discourse, it is noted that the rise of the Mod and Rocker subcultures was as a rebellion against old-fashioned culture and mainstream societies expectations. However, it is evident that in as much as the subcultures arose from a place of rebellion they were propelled by the need for identity; the youth wanted avenues to express themselves. It can, therefore, be concluded that fashion can be both an expression of rebellion and an expression of freedom. It provides one with the freedom to express themselves through the style they prefer which may be a rebellion from the societal norm. The radicalness of the Mod and Rocker era created a ripple effect that is still felt to date in the fashion industry with regards to youth style. It influenced the fashion industry through the nighties and set the pace for the bold and expressive industry seen today. Reference listBarnard, M., 2014. Fashion Theory: An Introduction. s.l.:Routledge.Buxbaum, G., 2009. Fashion in Context. s.l.:Springer.Cohen, S., 2011. Folk Devils and Moral Panics. First ed. s.l.:Routledge Classics.Feldman, C. J., 2009. “We Are The Mods”: A Transnational History of a Youth Subculture. Oxford: Peter Lang.Haywood, J., 1965. Report from the National Association of Youth clubs on youth behaviour on the August Bank Holiday in Brighton, 1965, London: National Association of Youth Clubs.Hollis, C., 1964. Violence by Mods and Rockers Stirs Britons. Online Available at: http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/104294842Accessed 6 December 2017.Monet, D., 2017. Fashions of the 1960s: Mods, Hippies, and the Youth Culture. Online Available at: https://bellatory.com/fashion-industry/Fashionsofthe1960sModsHippiesandYouthCultureAccessed 6 December 2017.Perone, J. E., 2009. Mods, Rockers and the Music of the British Invasion. s.l.:Greenwood Publishing Group.Rahman, S., 2017. The Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches and Methods in Language “Testing and Assessment” Research: A Literature Review. Journal of Education and Learning, 6(1), pp. 102-112.Thompson, K., 2005. Moral Panics. s.l.:Routledge.Thurschwell, P., 2014. Lure of the Mods remains strong 50 years on from the battle on the beach. Online Available at: http://theconversation.com/lure-of-the-mods-remains-strong-50-years-on-from-the-battle-on-the-beach-25349Accessed 6 December 2017.Young, C., 2016. Style Tribes: The Fashion of Subcultures. s.l.:Frances Lincoln. Annotated BibliographyBarnard, M., 2014. Fashion Theory: An Introduction. s.l.:Routledge.This text is an exploration of various influential and significant theories with regard to fashion. It considers common themes and ideologies with regard to fashion such as; fashion and clothing in history, fashion as identity, production and consumption, globalization and communication among others. It provides an invaluable source of information in identifying how fashion identity manifests and how fashion evolves in different cultural groups.Buxbaum, G., 2009. Fashion in Context. s.l.:Springer.The author of this text embarks on a discussion on the concept of “social phenomenon” and how it correlates with the Mods and Rockers phenomenon. The text appreciates that this era led to great advancements in the fashion industry with regard to identity an economy. The book addresses various questions with regards to the challenges arising from fashion design with regard to training and sustainability. These questions are answered by addressing the fashion phenomenon from various viewpoints and themes.Cohen, S., 2011. Folk Devils and Moral Panics. First ed. s.l.:Routledge Classics.The author of this book provides a detailed insight and analysis on the various youth subcultures, their characteristics and influences on the society. It delves into the establishment of the Mods and Rockers era and how the various groups were distinguished. Further, the study provides an analysis of how the media and political powers can influence societies perceptions of a particular group as a perceived threat to societal values thus leading to the marginalization of that particular group.Feldman, C. J., 2009. “We Are The Mods”: A Transnational History of a Youth Subculture. Oxford: Peter Lang.The author draws from qualitative research methods to examine the adoption of Mod culture across the globe and map its interpretations and evolution over time; that is from the 1960s to date. It traces the culture from its creation in London’s dimly lit clubs where the youth utilized it as an attempt to restructure modernity after the Second World War. It follows the evolution of its country-specific adaptation in the US, Germany and even Japan where various Mod Icons have garnered a religious following. The aim is to paint a convincing image of a transnational subculture by illustrating the culture’s fashion, music and gender aesthetics.Haywood, J., 1965. Report from the National Association of Youth clubs on youth behaviour on the August Bank Holiday in Brighton, 1965, London: National Association of Youth Clubs.The author of this report is an education officer who was part of a team of observers dispatched to observe the conflict between the Mods and the Rockers towards the end of the clashes. the report illustrates how the two groups interacted over the course of the weekend on which the study was conducted. It illuminates some distinguishing characteristics between the parties with regard to entertainment preferences. However, the report mainly serves as a narration of the conflict offering suggestions as to how to tackle future conflict and observing the general conduct of the youth involved.Hollis, C., 1964. Violence by Mods and Rockers Stirs Britons. Online Available at: http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/104294842Accessed 6 December 2017.This text is a newspaper article penned and published at the height of the clashed between the Mods and the Rockers. It illustrates in detail the clashes that occurred in May 1964 while highlighting the reaction of the society to the clashes. It touches on the levels of violence exercised by both sides of the divide and attempts to provide a background as to the root of the behaviour. Hollis recognises in the article that all youth are prone to hooliganism, the primary difference in this era, however, is the accessibility to transport by way of motorcycles and scooter which facilitated the conflict.Perone, J. E., 2009. Mods, Rockers and the Music of the British Invasion. s.l.:Greenwood Publishing Group.Perone in this book provides an account of the development of British rock through iconic artists who influenced the movement and the influence of this music on American and British cultures. The account provides an analysis of the British youth culture in the 1960s and how music influenced youth culture with reference to the Mods and the Rockers of that era. The author provides detailed insight into an era that was particularly important for both the fashion and the music industries.Thompson, K., 2005. Moral Panics. s.l.:Routledge.The author traces the development of moral panic studies and examines the role of the mass media in this regard. The author explores the atmosphere of tension during the rise of the Mod and Rockers subculture. The panic arising from the establishment of the Mod and Rocker subcultures, and particularly the clashes that begun thereafter, are illustrated and analysed as the classic case of moral panic.Thurschwell, P., 2014. Lure of the Mods remains strong 50 years on from the battle on the beach. Online Available at: http://theconversation.com/lure-of-the-mods-remains-strong-50-years-on-from-the-battle-on-the-beach-25349Accessed 6 December 2017.This article set out to debunk some myths about the Mod culture and provide an illustration as to why Mod culture is still an alluring concept today. It focuses on the occurrences of a particular weekend in May 1964 during the clashes between the Mods and the Rockers and provides a contrast as to the conflicting features of the two groups. The article compares the dynamics between the adults and the youth today against the dynamics of the Mod era to establish the viability of a similar rebellion in this era.Young, C., 2016. Style Tribes: The Fashion of Subcultures. s.l.:Frances Lincoln.The author explores the fashion styles and ideologies of youth movements and cultures over the last centuries from the flappers to the sing kids, the mods, the rockers, the hippies, the surfers, the punks, Harajuku and hipsters among others. The exploration is an account of the evolution of these cultures and the distinguishing factors and legacies established by them. The text analyses how various subcultures are inducted into fashion and also how they inspire one another, where the ideologies of one subculture morph to establish a new subculture.