We have the Brits to thank for the mod movement if not the existence of the clothing boutique itself. And perhaps most of our gratitude for both should rest at the feet of Mary Quant, maybe the most influential designer/boutique owner of the 1960s.
First, a word about the word: mod. Mod as a fashion, music, and lifestyle descriptive term derives from the term Modernist, first coined in the 1959 novel Absolute Beginners by Colin MacInnes to describe modernist (or mod) jazz fans versus traditionalist (or trad) jazz fans. The mod subculture is a British one (brought to America with the British invasion) born in Swinging London when British teens began to rebel against the boring, staid and traditional 1950s culture, be it music, fashion or film. With the beatnicks and teddy boys (1950s dandys) as their predecessers, mods look to French art films and Italian fashion for their style cues.
And at the forefront of the movement is Mary Quant. In November of 1955, Mary opened her first boutique, Bazaar, in Chelsea on King’s Road with her husband Alexander Plunkett-Greene and an accountant, Archie McNair. Unable to find the pieces she wanted to sell, Quant began designing and creating her own looks, most notably the mini-skirt. Crediting Quant with the creation of the mini-skirt is somewhat controversial as Andre Courreges was putting out minis at the same time. But there is no doubt that she popularized them and moved them into the mainstream, along with hot pants and Twiggy, the iconic mod model.
So what makes the mod look? Well, there is the afore-mentioned mini skirt (usually in an a-line shape) generally worn with flats and maybe a boxy jacket or cardy. Or you can take a more pop art approach and work with bright colors usually offset by dark trim details. Or think Italian design elements, like sleek, sophisticated cigarette pants again with flats and a trapeze jacket or artist-style smock.
As far as celebs go, the top contender for rocking the mod look today is Zooey Deschanel, especially when she’s in She & Him mode (fronting her band with M. Ward).
And what line of clothing does Ms. Deschanel seem to prefer for her mod look? Why, Dear Creatures, of course. Here she is in the Nine to Five dress:
We are thrilled to be carrying Dear Creatures at Minx. We’ve got the Nine to Five dress in the richest mustard yellow with brown piping for only $83. Just perfect for that mod look. This one’s got Mary Quant written all over it!
Thanks to the Come Spy with Me blog for the Mary Quant pics!