Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Sunday 30 October 2016

Book Review: Ready Steady Girls - The Other Side Of The Mod Equation

Being a Mod was a lifestyle synonymous with style, soul, Italian scooters, amphetamines and an all-encompassing twenty-four hour lifestyle.The scene was reported to be predominantly made-up of art students and working-class teenagers, who were deemed to be narcissistic, hedonistic and avowedly consumerist.

The boys however were not alone. Perhaps fitting for a movement that was so very hard to define and that existed under the radar for so many years, an even greater revolution was happening within its own ranks
 
In the foreward to Ready Steady Girls - the other side of the Mod equation - the new book by Mark Baxter, Jason Brummell and Ian Snowball - Claire Mahoney(Journalist, Broadcaster and Mod) says: 

'Mod has always been a very male domain. But behind the peacocks in their three-button jackets stood a no less flamboyant breed of bird: the Mod girl.'

Many female mods dressed androgynously, with short haircuts, men's trousers or shirts, flat shoes, and little make-up — often just pale foundation, brown eye shadow, white or pale lipstick and false eyelashes.

Miniskirts became progressively shorter between the early and mid-1960s. As female mod fashion became more mainstream, slender models like Jean Shrimpton and Twiggy began to exemplify the mod look. 

Maverick fashion designers emerged, such as Mary Quant, who was known for her miniskirt designs.


And so begins 'the first book of its kind to offer an insider's view on what makes a girl a Mod and why.'

Ready Steady Girls lets the girls do the talking. Their passion for fashion and eye for detail is just as committed as those of their male counterparts.

The boys among their number threatened to subvert the class system, the girls challenged on a whole other level; and when the boys descended into tawdry uniformed beach fights the baton was picked up by the girls with their own unique styles and individual challenges to the societal norm. 


Mocky Marzan De Cabo says: 'Mod is my whole life. That crazy feeling that invades my soul everytime I dress in my Mod clothes, listen to Mod music and party with other like-minded people.'

In chapter two - Icons & Idols - Celia Lucchitta, among many others, lists her icons from the sixties that includes models, actors, musicians and singers. 

Celia lists Twiggy, Jean Shrimpton, Jane Fonda and Cathy McGowan. While Rhoda Dakar adds Emma Peel's outfits, as well as a continued desire to become Emma Peel herself!

Chapter three delves into the Modernist's preferred mode of transport, the scooter.Annabelle Lichfield offers the truism that: 'Scooters are just like the clothes - streamlined and stylish with no frills. It's almost impossible to look un-cool riding a scooter.'

Shelia Hughes sums it up nicely: 'Sea-spray, candy-floss and two-stoke.'

In the wonderfully named chapter - Daylight Turns To Moonlight And I'm At My Best - the female Mods delve into the night when parents were left in front of the telly and their new found independence was explored to the maxim.

Val Weedon reminisces about seeing the Small Faces and, after the show, walking back to the car with them while holding Steve Marriot's hand! 

On the other hand Connie Sullivan says she's been to many Mod gigs and lists her favourite as The Specials at Brixton Academy in 2013. 

And so in - As It Was In The Beginning, So Shall It Be In The End - what of being a Mod in the present day?

Karen Amass: 'I've been back in the scene for over a dozen years. It sounds like a cliche but I don't believe it ever leaves you.'

Ready Steady Girls is a book presented with all the style and detail of the Mod scene itself. It offers, by way of testimony and beautiful photography, the flip side of the Modernist coin .. the side that's just important .. the female Mods.CLICK HERE to purchase.  

by: Mike Cobley




Share    


Feist's first album in six years reflects on secrets and shame, loneliness and tenderness, care and fatigue and is at its core a study on self-awareness. 


I was a Dodson and Fogg virgin until the Down At The Beach EP landed in my inbox. I am, in contrast, a long-time fan of the EP's creator, Chris Wade. He's written a wealth of book and magazine titles; the contents of which both inform and entertain. 

Alzheimer's Society has launched a new campaign calling on people in Brighton and Hove to set aside their differences - from age to tastes and social standing to political allegiances - and unite in the fight against dementia, as it’s set to become the 21st century's biggest killer.
Image © Alessia-Chinazzo

Arthur Miller's 1953 play seems to gain in resonance as time marches on - originally a response to the McCarthy-era Communist Witch-hunts, Miller was compelled to write about the actual 1692 witch-hunts in Salem, New England where neighbours and friends turned on each other in a frenzy of lies, peer pressure and a campaign of fear by the authorities. 
Copyright Francesca Grace McLeod

The Artists Open Houses festival 2017, the largest event of its kind in the UK, will take place in Brighton, Hove and beyond over four weekends of May, starting Saturday 6th May.

This spring, Brighton is set for a surprise as an entertainment paradise pops up in the leafy greenery of the Royal Pavilion Garden. 

Byline Festival launches at Pippingford Park, East Sussex, this summer, offering festivalgoers a unique opportunity to recapture the spirit of festivals when they had a sense of purpose. It is for everyone who doesn't want to take Trump, fake news or alternative truth lying down.

Next month, May 2017, marks Chris T-T's 20th anniversary making music. The same week in 1997 that Tony Blair came to power, Chris moved to London and before the end of May he’d played his first solo gigs (Chris that is, not Tony) and self-released his debut 7” single.  

Three friends with a passion for philanthropy and adventure have decided to take on the Mongol Rally to raise funds and awareness for St. John's School and College, a special educational needs school, college and charity based in Kemptown, Brighton and Firle Road, Seaford.

You hear it all the time: 'Bands these days have got nothing to say' .. 'It's not like it was in my day' .. 'Where are the voices of today's generation?'

Woody Allen is seemingly fixated on the end. He has little truck for the long haul that leads up to his inevitable demise. Life to him, like film making, is ‘'a different kind of pain.’

Edgar William Jones, also known as Edgar Summertyme, is an English singer-songwriter and musician who was originally the bass player and singer-songwriter for the Stairs and has since formed and fronted the Isrites, The Big Kids, Edgar Jones & the Joneses and Free Peace. 
Kate Tempest by Eddie Otchere

At a political and social moment that feels particularly precarious, Kate Tempest's Brighton Festival programme (6-28 May 2017) celebrates what she calls the Everyday Epic. 

Experts in HIV will gather at a special Brighton Festival event to discuss the city's United Nations ''Fast Track City' status.

Archive search

Search our archives for what's on and gone for the best of this city's theatre music comedy news and much more...







Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd