I’ve stated repeatedly that one of the attractions of the Mod look is that it provides a framework for putting together smart, cool outfits that can be appropriate from the beach to the boardroom. I still believe that this holds true, but the one arena that confounds Mod provenance is that of Black Tie events. The original Mod look evolved from the very late fifties into the early sixties, and as aspirational as the whole scene was, I don’t think there’s much evidence that the inspirations that coalesced into the look as we know it today spread over to the world of evening wear. So what are we to do when the invitation states ‘Black Tie’?
It seems that what most people do is eschew the whole concept of Black Tie altogether, but where’s the fun in that? For people who enjoy the Mod look and wish to don the dinner jacket there won’t be many icons of Mod style from which to draw inspiration but there are plenty of examples of the DJ done well, and many are from the original Mod period.
Let’s start with the Rat Pack – kings of the tux! Thank you Frank and Dean…
Then there’s the always suave Cary Grant who often set a high standard…
Of course James Bond, particularly the early Sean Connery iteration, is iconic…
And while not contemporaneous, Mad Men is well known for the obsessive attention to detail given to Don Draper’s wardrobe …
And finally, just to prove that Black Tie can look equally classy in the real world as well as in the fantasy of entertainment, my Dad (left, second from left) on New Year’s Eve 1966…
Last night we went to a James Bond-themed party in a semi-swanky venue. The concept is a bit cheesy but in years past we’ve been to nominally Black Tie NYE parties and I’ve been in a small group of Black Tie wearers in a sea of blazer ‘n jeans. Last night almost all males were in some form of Black Tie. Those who turned out in open neck shirts were definitely the odd ones out which made a refreshing change.
I assembled my Black Tie rig with Mod influences in mind: slim lapels, Thin batwing bow tie, Marcella shirt (no frills or pleats), slim fitting, etc.
Dinner suit – Calvin Klein
Shirt – Thomas Pink
Bow tie – no name
Pocket square – Macy’s
Cuff links – Kent Wang
Studs – no name
Socks – Uniqlo
Shoes – Johnson and Murphy patents
Watch – Pulsar (inherited from my Dad who died on NYE 1982)
I remain constantly amazed at the number of countries from which people check in to read my ramblings. I wish good health, success and happiness to regular readers and visitors around the world throughout 2018. Happy New Year!