(Originally blogged October 18, 2010)
I ran across a fading photocopy I took years (probably decades) ago of a newspaper article from February 1964 that has a lot of interesting info, so I thought I would transcribe the contents before the copy fades away completely. This is from a Vancouver, British Columbia newspaper, but the title of the paper is missing, as is the day of publication:
“Over in England they have a Queen Mod… I saw her the other day when she was flown to New York for a TV show… The queen’s followers were also known as ‘mod’ and if they became enthusiastic about anything it was described as ‘fab’ (meaning fabulous). Cathy McGowan is the real name of the Queen Mod and she earned her title when she was chosen from 1,000 applicants to be the teen age interviewer on a British record and dance program called ‘Ready, Steady, Go” Said one reporter ‘What she wears is Mod law” … her female followers never wore lipstick, hair was to be worn straight, and shoes were to be ‘granny’. I presume this means something like grandmother wore, heavy shoes with thick heels. The mod girls change their fashions quite frequently but are currently employing ankle length skirts for street wear, which may be an indicator of what we’ll be seeing soon in this part of the colonies when the fashions spread from Mod Queen’s Court. Some dissidents among the English feminine set are attempting to keep up a white stocking fad after the Queen Mod had gone into darker hues. When one store in Chelsea offered a free pair of white knee socks with every purchase there was a mob scene.
The dispatches indicate that there is a restlessness among the stylists and the clothes wearers and that fads, fab or not, are apt to change quickly. While long dresses are now a must, they could whip up to mid-calf or knee in the twinkling of a beaded eyelash.
In the Kingdom of Mod (or Mod dom) the young men are the peacocks of the land. When one of the leaders married recently, on TV of course on the Ready, Steady, Go show, he wore a tail coat with deep velvet cuffs, deep white collar and a narrow-brimmed ‘Blue Beat’ hat.
Some youth clothes shops with such titles as ‘The Mod Male’ where the boys hang around whistling at the girl Mods as they sturggle by in their long skirts and ‘Granny’ shoes. The boys wear long, slightly fitted jackets, Cuban heel cowboy boots(*) and straight from the knee slim pants… And this should take what’s left of your breath away, some of the Mod boys are experimenting with a bit of eye makeup.
The dances, I have found through checking, are similar to the ones here. The boys and girls disdain any form of contact on the floor and got hrough a variety of convulsions, vibrations and undulations by themselves… The titles of the dances are also similar. The Popeye, The Bird, The Dog, The Watusi, and the The Hitchhiker. The Mod group has several “pop” magazines – The Big Beat, the Top Boys, and The Fab. They all report they are catering to a Mod Mod Mod world…”
(*) – Obviously the writer is not familiar with Beatle Boots but these are certainly what he is referring to, not cowboy boots – they look similar from the ankle down.