The media often use the word skinheads, and in the vast majority of cases it carries a negative connotation. We will not allow ourselves superficial judgments and we will figure out who they are and why, in the minds of the British, a skinhead is still more often dressed in Crombie or Harrington than in a familiar bomber jacket.
As we told in a previous article (see), in the sixties the youth of Great Britain was subdued by the image of fashion - a young esthete, hedonist and dandy.
In the second half of the decade, several paths for the development of this image were outlined. The world of music was captured by a wave of psychedelia, and fashion could not stay away. Parties became a real kaleidoscope of surreal patterns and bright colors. A completely different style was developed for themselves by young people, who began to be called “hard mods,” (English “hard mods”). It was simpler, more practical and strongly contrasted with the images of bohemia.
It cannot be argued that this was a deliberate opposition to fashion. The differences between hard mods and representatives of the “golden youth” and creative intelligentsia were natural: the difference at the level of the social environment led to a difference in tastes and outlook on life. However, by the end of the 60s, it became more visible inside the subculture itself. Those mods that were rampant during the famous pogroms in the south of Great Britain in the mid-60s can be safely considered hard mods. They loved to fight, were engaged in thefts and robbery, carried cold steel weapons and often united in real gangs. These were young people born after the war.
The teenage age of this generation came at a time when the difficulties of the war and post-war years were left behind: you could live without thinking only about how to feed and restore the country. The fashion revolution of the sixties, focused on teenagers, began. Everyone wanted to keep up with the times. Around there was a lot of music, clubs and stylish clothes, and all this could become yours - there would be money!
The British economy, which was gaining momentum, provided jobs, making it possible to honestly save up for a stylish suit and scooter. One could go the easier way - crime in all its manifestations helped to get money for new clothes, drugs and trips to the most fashionable clubs in the city. On Friday night, fashion behaved like life-goers, pop idols and people from high society, but the day was coming, and many of them again had to go to work or look for illegal earnings.
“They called me a hard-mod ... the media seized on the pogroms story [the famous clash of mods with rockers in the south of England in 1964] and described the mods as a crazy crowd of drug addicts prone to violence and unrest. Of course, in the rubbish that the newspapers wrote, there was a grain of truth. Among the mods were those who went to Brighton, Margaret and other cities just to make a complete mess there. I must admit, I was among them.
Reputation was everything. I started to carry a weapon (ax) and was ready to use it if necessary ... Appearance was very important - everyone around was literally obliged to wear a woolen suit "