January 14, 2014 Milan
Here, they were. Surridge's suits were truer to mod dressing in their finicky precision than in specific period detail. The mods might've recognized the slim jackets, but likely not with four buttons, and certainly not pants cuffed inches above the ankle. The clothes looked recognizably mod-ish but weren't slavish historical reenactments, a point which, lest you missed it, Surridge made plain on his soundtrack, which included Soft Cell's "Memorabilia" ("I collect, I reject memorabilia").
The designer professed to be more interested in the spirit that animated sixties London, the anger of a generation champing at the bit for change. He pointed out with amusement that the driving fury of the mods wasn't so different from that which later burned up the punks, but that the mods channeled it into an aesthetic of strict conformity, while the punks chose anarchy. There has always been something of wild energy made orderly about Surridge's designs, but the expression has rarely been as literal as it was here. Those tightly buttoned suits, the fussy arm garters: They're almost literally holding it all in.
All of which makes the collection sound more abstract than it was. In point of fact, it was Surridge's most approachable to date. That's part of what appeals to him about the mods. They were so much about style for style's sake that the point of entrance wasn't restricted by anything but the outfits. "It's very inclusive," he said. "You don't need a ticket in. All you do is buy a Crombie, buy a jacket, and you've got the look." There'll be plenty for their latter-day inheritors to buy here, from great, big coats in tonal striped and solid versions, those striped and checked suits and separates, all the way down to the monk-strap brogues.