Mod designs that began in the jazzy sub-culture of 1960’s England and then spread to America and the rest of the world, still continue to inspire the designers and fashion trends of today. In it’s heyday, Mod fashion was all about saying goodbye to the more restricted, gendered stereotypes of 50’s style and embracing a slightly more androgynous look that fit with the new found social freedom experienced by the youth of the 60’s, who grew up post World War II and had the extra time and money to devote to fashion.
Famously exemplified by models like Twiggy, Jean Shrimpton and Edie Sedgwick, Mod designs stood out for their clean lines, use of color, geometric shapes and bold patterns; not to mention short skirts, graphic eye makeup and pop art iconography that made the style distinctly different from the wide skirts and tiny waists of 50’s women’s designs or the broad shoulders and clean-cut, conservative style of menswear. Mod is a style with distinctively youthful flare, giving the proverbial finger to the past, and has such a strong graphic influence that it hasn’t been abandoned despite being more than 40 years old.
To bring Mod style into the 21st century, designers are using the hallmarks of the style and giving them an updated twist while still remaining true to the Mod-ern roots of the movement. The best part about this look is that it can be either full-on vintage or only use subtle touches that hearken to the aesthetic without brining the wearer back to the 60’s. Prada oozed a Mod vibe on the Spring 2016 runways with graphic design elements like bold geometric shapes, clean lined silhouettes, distinct color contrast, and mixing new pop art oriented patterns with more traditional plaids. More conventional Mod fabrics, like tweeds and plaids, could also be seen alongside sheer modern fabric that added visual interest as well as giving a nod to the mindset of the style.
Rebecca Minkhoff also showcased creations with subtle mod inspiration seen in short A-lined skirts, knee-high cut-out boots, sleeveless halter dresses, and chandelier earrings in geometric shapes that gave hints at Mod influences without making the designs appear dated. Not so subtle this year was designer Jeremy Scott, whose line and styling were much more an homage than a simple nod to the style. Super short skirts and sleeveless dresses, bright colors, bold patterns, modern fabrics with clean lines, pop-art iconography and big hair made his line decidedly Mod with a new, edgy twist.
Fashion fans wanting to rock the Mod look have a lot of options. Mod inspired accessories with bold colors or geometric shapes are an easy way to take a current look and give it a bit of 60’s flair; the same can be said for makeup. A graphic eye with a nude or pink lip are hallmarks of 60’s Mod and can instantly give any look a slightly vintage feel; while edgier looks might include a brighter color on the lid, such as blue or green. Hairstyles, like the bouffant seen on models on the runway for Jeremy Scott or a chick bob, are also an instant visual cue that brings the 60’s back in full swing.
To bring Mod style to your own fashion repertoire, take a page from the book of designers who are making it work on the runway. Visual cues, like high contrast color blocking, bright pops of color against a monochromatic palette, pop-art pieces and clean cut tailoring with strong lines can be paired with more modern fabrics, patterns, or other more understated pieces that will give a Mod touch without taking the look vintage. Pairing the modern with the Mod keeps the look current.
One doesn’t always have only to look to the runway to add Mod pieces to a wardrobe. Updated silhouettes, such as a body con dress with geometric cut-outs from Misguided, can easily be paired with vintage pieces, like scarfs and period inspired jewelry, to give a bit of Mod flavor to an otherwise current look.
Unique pieces with clean lines and one of a kind tailoring, such as a quilted cape from Alexis, can give any ensemble an instant vintage vibe all on their own. True vintage pieces, such as a graphic mock turtleneck sweater or a pair of sunglasses, will provide a feeling of period authenticity to an otherwise modern look.
Mixing and matching pieces from current designers you love which have the kind of details that makes Mod fashion what it is, like the geometric laser cut-outs in an Alfani shift, will give you all the cool points of being Mod without making your look appear dated. Whether the fashion is fully Mod and totally groovy or only a subtle nod to the free-swinging and youthful movement that spawned some of fashion’s most easily recognizable iconography, it’s safe to say being Mod will never go out of style.
Photographer: Nicole York
Stylist: Lydia Marie
MUA: Lis Krebs
Hair: Lacy Coats
LOOK1 – Blue Body Con – Misguided, Scarf – I Mondo di Angelo, Bracelet – Bar III
LOOK2 – Quilted Cape – Alexis, Black jumpsuit – KAMALIKULTURE
LOOK3 – Graphic Mock Turtle Sweater – Henny, Earrings – Kenneth Cole, Sunglasses – France
LOOK4 – Black Lazer Cut Shift – Alfani, Earrings – Bar III, Boots – Tahari
LOOK5 – Graphic Print Shift – Milly, Earrings – Bar III, Boots – Tahari
LOOK6 – Dot Print Ball Skirt – Eliza J, Sheer Blouse – 3.1 philip lim, Earring – Vintage, Shoes – Italian Shoemakers
LOOK7 – Embroidered Shift – Marc by Marc Jacobs, Shoe – Lifestride, Earrings – M.Haskell for INC
LOOK8 – Yellow Mini Dress – Free People, Jewelry – Charter Club, Shoes – Pierre Dumas
This fashion story was inspired by the use of color in this seasons trends, and Mod inspired looks noticed on the Spring 2016 runways shown by various designers; as well as a desire to show how such a classic, iconic style can be translated for a new audience and remain current.