Quadrophenia – The Shoes

Before we even start, I am one of those people that has watched this film far too many times, and in the 80’s could recite every word without the aid of the film itself. Was I obsessed ? o yeh twenty times over!

The film itself has been talked about 100’s of times, and I am doing this article because Warren at ‘we are the mods‘ did a recent show about it, and to be a little light hearted just before Christmas 2012.

So for first time in over 10 years I watched the film. As I began to watch one thing dawned on me! The film is really dark, not in the subject matter, but that most of it is shot at night. Also the print that has been used for the DVD is not the sharpest. Eddie Piller has mentioned that there are very few sharp prints of the film. Meaning that even if you can see the feet, the quality lets down the tell tale signs of the shoes.

I think the ACE Face would have better shoes.

The opening sequence with Jimmy going to what we are led to believe is the Goldhawk Club, appears to be wearing Desert Boots, and these boots seem to stay on his feet for most of the movie.

Throughout the film Jimmy seems to have several outfits, from casual to a tailored suit. I like most of the outfits he wears, but I must admit I thought there would be more diversification on the feet. In fact, I thought there would be more shoe types from the main characters, the only time we see something that’s different is on Sting’s feet.

Sting’s grey or gray shoes I think nearly look the part. The buckle is cool, but I think the film’s designer was actually trying for a smarter loafer, in a flash colour to match the suit he wears. Sting’s suit does look that little more flash as you would expect as he is meant to be the ‘Ace Face’, but personally the shoes need to be better!

So what other shoes can we see?, well not a lot to be honest.

As I watched I thought there would be loads in the fight sequences. There are lots to be seen but no real what I call out and out mod shoes.

In the opening Brighton sequence the camera pans along the scooters, lots of cool scooters and loads of people. In the crowd you can see the Northern Scooter clubs that took

How many trilbys ?

part in the filming. I maybe wrong but i believe that they Olympics Scooter club and also the people that run Armando scooters in the 80’s were in the film, but i am not 100% on this.

The style of the Northern Scooter Mods I can see, is Parka, Jeans and on the feet, Doc Martens and Adidas Trainers. Certainly there have been pictures in “Scootering” of the clubs involved in the film, the makers tried to disguise the Lambretta Gp orientated look to make them look like LI’s etc.The producers must have also been dishing out the hats, how many trilbys! But why not the feet as well?

Are these Cherry Reds ?
There are loads of red socks in the fight sequence!

There is one guy in the riot sequence in a Black Harrington, and he has Cherry Red DM’s on. Another thing you do see a lot of is ‘Red Socks’. There is a guy coming out of the water, he is standing next to Nasty Nick from Eastenders. The amount of sock on show could seriously take an eye out!

I must mention a continuity bit here. For us UK people Nasty Nick can be seen wearing a light blue Polo shirt for the beach fight, but once he is in the lanes running around he has magically found his Parka.

I have read some other blogs saying the style of the clothes in the film is a little lacking in ‘Style‘. I wonder if the mods saying this have pondered whether the reason we think of the 60’s MODS being so much smarter, is because we have only seen pictures of MODS dressed up for the weekend. Meaning in the going out parts of the film, such as the Brighton sequences, Jimmy, Spider, Chalky etc are all wearing suits. But we also see the cast midweek and at work. And with the best respect even the toppest MOD dresses down sometimes. In the Documentary “British Style Genius” a MOD from that time suggest that the original mods had jobs that allowed for wearing of decent clothes. But I always think of Jimmy is being ‘Run of the Mill Mod‘ not a top face.

How did she run in them heels ?
Stepth in Suede Loafers, blink and you will miss them in the film

Anyway this is meant to be about the shoes !

Steph for most of the film lives in little white heeled shoes. How she runs around in heels even little ones is beyond me. She wears these in nearly every scene apart from one. When she arrives at Brighton on her feet are smart pair of suede loafers!The rest of the film the women seem to be in one inch high heels, and flats worn with Ski Pants.

These seems to be the closest to jimmys http://www.robertcoleshoes.com/amblers-desert-87002-boots.html

The Desert Boots that the male cast live in, don’t look that good to me either. They seem to be the heavier boot style, with brass eyelets. I have had some of these boots myself and they did last ages, but they are not overly smart.

Dave does seem to have smarter Clarks looking ones in the Brighton bits. Chalky and Jimmy though, let the side down.

Another technical point is that because Jimmy is the central character we dont see the whole of him much in the film. When Jimmy is in shot he is up close,for obvious reasons but the director is trying to help us see what he is thinking. Towards the end of the film as Jimmy is starting to reflect we see more of him.


Now I am saving the best for last.

Jimmy and Stepth actually looking smart, the shoes as well. Thanks to Carlos to drawing attention to this picture and outfit.

We see Jimmy in a decent Boating Blazer early on in the film, and some of his outfits are cool, but on his feet are a pair of loafers.

On the right here is a still from the filming where the shoes can be clearly seen. They look good to me and no doubt influenced lots of guys in the 80’s to wear them.

I am not sure if they are Bass Weejuns? They look like they are Bass Weejun Larkins, as they are quite narrow and the lip is rounded . Other makes traditionally are a wider foot.To be fair the wardrobe department may have just got some smart shoes from a local shop. These days Loake have Georgetown which looks very similar. The Bass Weejun in the UK is getting harder to get, stock seems to be very limited in any shops.

I think Jimmys Loafers are Bass Weejuns Larkins

At the time I loved this film so much, for many reasons that lots of us loved it for. As I have got older I would draw different bits from it. In my scooter days i would happily watch just the scooters. I have only seen the film once on the big screen, in the 90’s, when I was going through my raving days, then I loved the dancing all night etc sequences.

Now I look at the film differently again. In my 40’s I can see lots of the fashions are a very late 70’s take on the 60′s, but the overriding feeling to me now is what a great film about youth and all that it entails, take away the clothes (and perhaps the scooters) and it becomes timeless.

From a shoe perspective not as much to say as I thought there would be. But I really did enjoy taking the time out to watch the film again. If you have the time over Christmas try to watch the film, as i think you will get more from it than you might think at the moment. And I hope you find some little gems just like I did.

Have a good Christmas and Happy New Year
Andy @ Modshoes

Two Colour MOD Shoes – Cool or MOD parody?

Two Colour Shoes – Cool or MOD parody?

I thought I would put this piece together to look at why I think some two tone colour shoes (and the ‘Co-respondent’ shoes) look good, and others, well dont !

So, where to start; well I think the first mention in MOD terms, is the Roger Daltrey shoe that he wears in The High Numbers. There may have been others before, but this is the first photographic evidence I can see. As you can see in the pic, the shoe is white on the front and down to the sole. The lace is a derby style with 2 hole eyelets for the lace. The back part of the shoe is black.

I think the style is a play on a pair I have seen Gene Vincent wear, and there are some very similar ones worn by The Shadows. I think I am right in assuming that Pete Meaden choose the outfits, and certainly the one Roger is wearing, is his part of making Roger of the band the ACE face.

The style of the shoe has a slight point to the front and I assume was a fashion shoe at the time. Would love to know where the shoe was brought! And why it has never really been seen since. Was it bespoke ?

As you can tell I like this shoe.

A very cool picture of Brian Jones in Two colour shoes
Jagger in Co-respondent shoe.

The next two tone shoe to enter, is the Regency look that the Stones adapted in I think around 65-66. I recall them in semi gangster look blue striped suits with quite wide lapels.

In terms of MOD I think it is the dandy look that came in the later sixties, as some mods went ‘dandy’ pre hippy look, whilst the rest went Hard Mod / Skinhead.

Classic Carnaby Street from The Troggs

Pete Townsend said that a lot of the groups followed the audience rather than the other way round, so I suspect the look was very Carnaby Street . Bands like The Troggs and The Creation have elements of the sixties look that suits the Two Tone shoe.

The ‘Co-respondent shoe‘ is also known as a ‘Spectator‘, the name referring to its use in sports, you can a pair on Mick Jagger above. Lobb claims to have designed the first ‘spectator’ as a cricket shoe in 1868. The most usual styles are a brogue or a half brogue, in black or brown leather against the white buckskin. The white should not be leather, but often is these days.

I can hear someone at the back saying, surely you are forgetting Mr Marriott?

Steve Marriot wearing two colour shoes

Not forgotten at all and why we see the shoe today. Steve can be seen on the ‘colour me pop’ show wearing a very distinct pair of brown and white , I think, brogue shoes. He also is wearing late 60’s classic rock look, red velvet pants and waistcoat. The look is a mess of colours, but is held together well and shoes add to the effect.

My thoughts on this look, great on Steve, but I don’t know that it has aged well.

Status Quo and numerous others stole the look going into the seventies, and when I see it now, it just reminds me of Rock Covers band in your local pub!

Weller wears this style of two tone brogue well, he normally sets it off with a nice double breasted suit. Another that does that look well is Suggs from Madness.

Classic Mod Revival Jam Shoes

Now the MOD revival had lots of two tone varieties, The Jam shoe, The Jam Stage Shoe sometimes known as Badgers and of course bowling shoes. But let’s go back to Jam Shoes. I swear blind Weller was just ripping the style from the original by Roger Daltrey. He has said on many occasions early Jam tunes were rewrites of Who numbers, so it seems logical to borrow the style as well.

The shoe is still available now, Ikon make one and there are others on the net. The Ikon is pretty close to the Jam shoe, but not quite the same, the white carries around the shoe.

What I have always liked about the shoe, is that it firmly states “I am a MOD“. Now a lot would argue it is not MOD at all, but let’s not get into that. When you were 15, it was the uniform you needed with very clear boundries. Green Parka, Sta Prest , Fred Perry and pair of Jam shoes.

No different to a Skin with his 14 hole Air Wears or a Metal fan’s first leather jacket.

Followed on by the badgers and the bowling shoes, the multi colour shoe epitomized the MOD revival. This though, is where I think this style hasn’t aged well.

You see some lads on rallies in the shoes today. I dont have a problem with it, but some turn their noses up at them. I am not sure we are going to see a revival of red white and blue jam shoes any time soon. But as we all know MOD is built on snobbery!

Endorsed by Neville Staple of The Specials – These are Delicious Junction Rudeboys

There are also some Tassel Loafers in two tone, which some of The Specials wear. Again I think this is a dated look.

So maybe you are starting to think that I just think everything looks dated, well I suppose most of them do, there is a but coming though.

Why do we have going out shoes?

Meaning that we have different shoes for work, the pub and proper going out. So are you going to be wearing a pair of dowdy black shoes or are you going to be wearing ‘look at these, these are my going out shoes’?

When you are deciding what to wear, you want a range of good looking shoes. As you are getting dressed and slipping on your shoes you look in the mirror and think yep these are cool. You walk down the street, thinking these feel great.

When you dance to your favourite soul tune you want to slide across the floor.

I like the subtle two colour mix of these shoes, Oxblood and Black

What I am trying to say is that there are many reasons why we buy and wear shoes, and making a statement is maybe just one of them.

So does a two colour shoe work, yes I think it does, DNA groove do some really cool shoes with a leather and suede combination, so the effect is more subtle.

Not for everyone, but i like these with jeans.

The Bowling shoe looks great with jeans out and about on a sunny afternoon . I have always liked the look the Smart Skins did in the 80’s with Cherry Reds, of mixing a little black polish to go in the cracks to give shade to the boot, make it look older.

The Rudeboy loafer we sell has the Oxblood effect of black and cherry colour combined and looks great. It goes really well with jeans or a suit. Also Delicious Junction sell a two colour brogue, white/black and the very cool, Tan/White.

Is there a conclusion!

Well there are shoes that

  • I dislike and would not wear
  • those I like to look at but not to wear
  • those that just look and feel spot on !

What MOD Shoe are you ?

What MOD shoe are you?

Had the above picture done because I wanted to talk about the strains within the MOD spectrum.

So to my way of thinking it is split up like this;

Suited and booted MOD, Dandy MOD, Indie MOD, Scooter MOD & Hard MOD.

Each of the styles has a different shoe style as well.

The Suited and Booted mod to me, is the classic look. 3 button suit, ticket pocket, nice fabric, tie with tie pin and on the feet smart looking leather shoes. The shoe will have a thin sole and be a two, three at most, laced affair. Sometimes a slip on, and sometimes a different shade. So not always black.

The Dandy Mod, will have exaggerated Chelsea boot look, possibly in white, or maybe a two colour brogue. The look is very regency, and Brian Jones of the Stones pulled it off to a T.

The next one along is the Britpop MOD, taking their cue slightly from 80’s casual, amalgamated with Damien from Blur. This look was everywhere in the 90’s and to a certain extent hasn’t faded. Rare Adidas and Fred Perry. Personally I think it is a “trendy dad” look now. Saying that I love getting new trainers!

The Scooter Mod, is more a throw back to the MOD Revival and defo born agains. This look combines lots of shoe types and mingles in with the scooterist. So sometimes even DM’s are seen. But again classics are worn here, desert boots etc. But also the look has the Jam Shoe and Bowling Shoes. At the bigger scooter rallies you always someone kicking around in Jam Shoes.

And lastly the Hard MOD look. To me this borders Skinhead and Suedehead. Certainly around Peterborough at the moment this look is popular. As you would expect Tassel Loafers and Brogues. And very popular ‘red socks’.

Now I wanted to draw attention to the styles because we call ourselves MOD Shoes. And I think that all the above styles fit in with the very “broad church” that we call MOD. We sell loads of loafers, which started making me think, in terms of numbers of people, are there more MODS of one type than another?

We ran a picture on Facebook recently to gauge reaction, and it was interesting that some thought the shoes were great and awesome, where as others didn’t, one saying they were ‘vile’ and only fit for pimps!  Personally I though they looked great for a dandy MOD look. But the Dandy look is not especially widespread, whereas the Hard MOD look seems more popular, or has a broader reach.

These shoes caused a bit of a reaction on Facebook. Some loved them, some thought they was Vile ! What do you think?
Image from http://www.facebook.com/KittysVintageKitsch

What am I trying to get at here? My main aim is really just trying to think what should we be trying to find for our customers. It is ok for me to think they are smart and never sell a pair, whereas others sell loads!

Personally at the mo, MODSHOES are trying to find a decent weaver shoe and some cord boots, like desert boots. If you have any suggestions please get in contact. 

Agree or disagree? What do you like, and why?