I really cannot understand young peoples’ lack of curiosity and individuality.
When I was a ‘Yoof” in South London in 1960 , I earned very little but I kept myself as trendy as my meagre wages would allow working for British Lion Films as a clerk.
The ubiquitous ‘winkle picker’ shoe with cuban heels had just arrived on the fashion scene.
I sought out a local shoe maker at the bottom of Brixton Hill and commissioned him to fashion a pair of the aforementioned in bottle green crocodile leather.
Of course the ‘point’ of the shoes had to be exaggerated in length which necessitated the use of steel tubes inserted in the toes to stop them from ‘buckling’.
The cuban heels were raised up as far as safety would allow and a strap with a silver buckle (which clinked like John Waynes spurs when you walked) finished the whole thing off.
I can remember to this day how hungry I went for the next couple of weeks to be able to pay for those beauties!
The Moo Cow coffee bar in Streatham High street, saw a lot of my Luncheon Vouchers in those days.
OK, to the point: It never came into my mind that I should conform. Quite the reverse was true. We went out of our way to be different.
Had we ever asked to wear clothes that were advertising a product like a ‘Sandwichboard man’ or a London Taxi, then we would surely have ‘pissed’ our bespoke tailored ‘drainpipe trousers’ in convulsed laughter!
Had we seen someone wearing a T Shirt which had the makers name shouting out at us, I think we would have given the kid a deserved ’smack’.
Today we spend twice the price that we should, for a piece of crap made in China, just because it has a poxy alligator or some other logo on it.
Please! If you want something useful on your vest, then pin on a badge which states your name! At least you are more unlikely to bump into someone with the same monica, unless of course it’s Smith!
“One man’s style must not be the rule of another’s.”
Streatham High Street 1960..Busy or Wot? !
I became interested in clothes just at the time that the ‘Teddy Boy’ with his moleskin collared drape jacket, brothel creepers, pork pie hat and flick knife, was on the wane.
Note: These guys all wanted to look the same. As they do today!
Our generation was in a small window of time which was the pre-cursor to the ‘The Mod’ era.
We were labeled as the ‘Modernists’. Pre Vespa and ‘The Who’.
The ‘Mods’ arrived and developed ‘our’ look, which we had developed by having our clothes and shoes made to be individual and non-conformist.
The ‘Mods’ tried to carry on the purist look but, as the ‘mod’ thing spread, it lost its purity.
For the next generation of Mods, those who picked up the ‘mod’ thing around 1963, clothes, while still their central preoccupation, weren’t enough.
They needed music (Rhythm and Blues), transport (scooters) and drugs (pep pills).
What’s more they needed fashion ready-made!
They hadn’t the time or the fanaticism to invent new styles and this is where Carnaby Street came in to its’ own.
John Stephen, a Scotsman, had opened his first shop for men in London in 1957, only a year after Mary Quant’s first Bazaar caring for the new modern young women.
He’d done well but had attracted little general attention outside rather specialist circles (Gay).
The point was this. Throughout the late 50s and early 60s, any male fashion beyond John Michael’s discreet splendour, or Cecil Gee’s continental ‘casual’ look, tended to cater almost exclusively for the ‘butch trade’.
This then is where it all started, those 55 years ago. Young people started mimicking their pop idols. Beatles, Stones The Who, for the guys, Twiggy, Sandie Shaw and Cilla Black for the girls.
The TV was instrumental in ‘conditioning’ those kids to conform to the ‘accepted’ look
Which brings me nicely to my main rant:
Why are people today so “bloody accepting” of the mainstream conditioning that is spewed over us hourly by TV Newspapers and Governments?
Are they afraid of questioning anything? Do they worry that should they do so, their LOGO might fall off their shirt and that their peers will shun them as Nike-Less lepers?
In a future post I shall talk about Conspiracy Theories and how those two words have been hijacked and are used to denigrate anyone who questions authority.
But as a taster I will now ask why, when something incredibly amazing and unexplained happens on our doorstep, no-one questions what? why? or how?
On 13th August 2001 an inspiring, jaw dropping, mind warping, incomprehensible crop circle formation was discovered at the top of Milk Hill in Wiltshire.
This thing was huge! If you walked from one side to the other you would have covered 1500 ft!
It was the ‘Mother and Father’ of all crop circles.
Yeah right! And I frighten donkeys when I sunbathe naked!!
Here is something to ponder. If this formation was man made, then in Summertime there is only 4 hrs of complete darkness for you and a couple of mates to do your deed before Farmer Giles sees you fucking up his corn field and starts making holes in your Adidas golf shirt with his pitch fork!
In this circle there are over 400 circles, some spanning approx 70ft in diameter. This means that you would have to create a circle every 30 secs!
This doesn’t make allowances for surveying and flattening this formation!
So..NOT men with string and planks then! Only FACT!
Don’t even think of arguing because should you do so, I will know that you are a conditioned ’Stepford Zombie’ not fit to sew alligators onto T Shirts!
Ask this question to yourself. Why is no-one discussing or investigating this subject? Sure, at the time there was a flurry of media interest which went strangely quiet very quickly.
Are we not considered ‘grown up’ enough to be able to cope with the truth? If that is the case then what else is there that is being kept from us?
The tiny dot in the very centre of the circle is a person. (Farmer Giles?)
Until the next rant…Nuffzed!