When we think of the 1960s we think of peace campaigns, colorful Volkswagen buses, and the groovy tunes of The Beatles. The powerful youth-culture of the time period defined the attitudes, music, and of course, the fashion. However, before this era of revolution could begin, a break from the prevailing conformity of the 1950s was necessary. This was the Mod movement. Mod was about rejecting the dull and timid culture of the 50s to create a new “hip” generation. The teens of the 1950s Baby Boomers transitioned the culture that was once focused on safe, conformist values, to one that prided itself on fresh individuality.
Taking a look at this famous pop art piece by Andy Warhol, we can see the wide range of colors he uses and the color-blocking techniques. His rather unconventional use of color was rebellious, groundbreaking, and a catalyst for the visual art movement of the 60s as young society developed an obsession with color.
Here we have a bedroom and living room design that was pictured in two different home living publications issued in the 60s. Both designs mesh together a whole spectrum of colors that give the rooms a bold and lively feel. Each mirrors the quirky and “hip” attitude of the evolving youth-culture.
All of these characteristics of the Mod movement can be seen in the fashion that developed during this time. Twiggy was one of the most prominent fashion icons of the 1960s and completely embodied what it means to be Mod. Her pixie-style hair became a cultural phenomenon and the pieces she wore guided the revolution.
Here we see her in a bright-colored floral patterned dress. The bold orange and red pattern emulates the new modern style that commands attention through its playful, and seemingly contrasting combinations.
Here, Twiggy exemplifies the use of color blocking that was prominent in the 1960s. Her stance is slouched and apathetic, highlighting the difference between the new fashion movement and the stiff, corseted wear of the 1950s.
And Mod fashion wasn’t embraced by Twiggy alone. In this picture from a 1960s issue of Seventeen magazine, there are an array of Mod looks that were common for the average fashionista of the time. Notice the A-line design of the dresses and the rich colors. Everything looks bold and the patterns are very symmetrical, a concept that allowed designers to color block. Also, the use of thick fabrics, such as tweed, were prominent as they were easily paired with even the most extreme colors.
Recently, Mod has been creeping back into modern style. On the runway, many designers are restoring the look . Prada, Philosophy, and Bottega Venta all incorporated major aspects of Mod fashion in their pieces.
But the question still remains…how can you make Mod work today?
Start by adding pieces with unique colors and striking patterns. Simple checkered black and white pants or a collared dress can easily transport your closet back to the thriving Mod culture.
Other simple pieces can be mixed and matched to create a Mod look. Look for A-skirts, wide-cut trousers and cute cropped jackets while tying in geometric patterns and rich, bright colors like mustard and deep purple. And don’t forget to add a little tweed to your wardrobe, such as the gray blazer pictured above.
It is easy to incorporate Mod characteristics in more ways than just clothing. And who doesn’t love to accessorize? This Coach bag implements a contrasting red and blue that will make any outfit pop.
Or for an even simpler way to incorporate the Mod look in your everyday fashion try these Mod-inspired nails. Contrast with two bold colors, or go for the authentic mod look with multi-colored blocks. Either way, your nails are an easy way to carry the essence of Mod wherever you go!
Mod is all about the colors, the patterns, and the nonconformity. And Mod-izing your wardrobe can be as easy as as adding a few simple pieces and eye-catching accessories. So throw on that pink and orange dress, embrace your tweed, and become the new generation of the 1960s fashionista.