Shopping: We're all Euro-Mods now

Thirty-five summers after the Mods first hit the headlines, their style remains as influential as ever.
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The Independent Culture
It was 20 years ago today that Phil Daniels kickstarted a minor Mod revival by driving Sting's scooter off Beachy Head. It didn't fly so much as fall with style but, being too young to blag entry into Quadrophenia, most of my generation never got to see the Technicolor moment until years later. We had to make do with pawing over black and white stills from the film in Smash Hits. Any desire to don a parka and join the rebellion myself evaporated when Ace Face (Sting) said that, given the choice, he would rather have been seen astride a Yamaha 125 than a Lambretta.

Despite Sting's antipathy, not only have subsequent generations of diehard Mods resiliently refused to grow up and buy proper motorbikes, but the culture has been a primary influence on the Nineties, be it in the furry scruff of Liam Gallagher's jib, loafer guru Patrick Cox's sideline in customised Velociferos or Blur's dalliance with Phil Daniels on Parklife.

For those wanting slavishly to adhere to the Sixties Mod template there are still several shops catering to the retro style dotted around London's Carnaby Street. In its heyday, though, Mod was renowned for the speed with which it generated new hybrids. With this in mind then, here's a fantasy style blueprint for the Millennium Mod.


Name: Davida Classic Red, White And Green

Price: pounds 94

Stockists: 0151-678 4656

Style: HHH

History: There isn't one. Mods didn't wear helmets in the Sixties.

This is the post-modern world: The Davida Classic Red, White and Green is an old-fashioned, round, open-faced helmet with a leather interior and striped with the tricolore of the Italian flag. Forget the red, white and blue of the classic targets, the Millennium Mod is Euro Mod!


Name: Vexed Generation Ballistic Parka

Price: pounds 305

Stockists: 0171-251 8861

Style: HHHHH

History: It's ironic that the parka came to epitomise the classic Mod look since these ex-army khaki overcoats were originally popular for their functionality rather than their fashionability (they provided decent protection for sharp mohair suits).

Right here, right now: Several fashion labels have reinvented the parka, but the Ballistic Parka is the only jacket that emulates the original's practicality. Constructed from black or blue knifeproof nylon bought from the Ministry of Defence, it features a slit hood, spinal padding, an optional fleece that can be zipped into the lining and a fishtail to stop rainwater gathering in your crotch area while riding.


Name: Camper Twins

Price: pounds 76 (pounds 82 in black leather)

Stockists: 0171-584 5439

Style: HHHHH

History: The first seaside rumble at Clacton in 1964 was notable for more than the outbreak of war between Mods and Rockers. It was also the first time that a half-inched bowling shoe was sported in anger. By the time the scooters parped into Brighton six weeks later, half the invading horde was wearing them.

The specials: Camper's Twins range comprises odd couplings of shoes that complement one another but are not identical in design. Their two-tone, blue-and- beige suede bowling shoes feature the company's trademark Pelotas rubber- ball sole.


Name: Aprilia Area 51

Price: pounds 1,874

Stockists: 0177 688 8670

Style: HHHH

History: The quintessential Mod transport was a Lambretta or a Vespa decked to the eyeballs with lamps, alpine horns, mascots, mirrors and badges.

The state of the art: Despite the annoying X-Files name (Area 51 is reputedly the US airforce's UFO base) and the lack of oomph compared with more powerful scooters (like all 50cc sports automatics, the engine is restricted to 30mph), the Area 51 has serious disc brakes, superior single-arm front suspension and an innovative rear-suspension system, a back-lit digital dashboard, an impressive 11.5 litre fuel tank and storage for a helmet. It comes in two colours: silver and "cyber" yellow. Don't expect to be welcomed at hardcore Mod rallies, though.

Anything more trad, dad?

Piaggio continue to crank out a range of Vespas. For those preferring the old-school styling, the PX200 Disc (pounds 2,115, 01689 881700) combines performance, manual four-speed gear change and a top speed of over 60mph.

Shaun Phillips is Deputy Editor of `ZM Magazine'