Mod UK

London-based photographer Owen Harvey has been documenting the style and community of the contemporary Mod scene since 2012.

The Mod subculture emerged in the 1950s and hit its peak in the mid-60s.

“One of the first successful images I took in the series is still one of my favourites. It’s a close crop of a dancing torso,” says Harvey.

“The image illustrates the energy of the dance floor and a passion for the music. When you look a little closer you can also see how important the presentation of the clothing is, from the perfectly placed pocket square, down to the cufflinks.”

“My aim for the project was to learn and document how and why this interesting subculture exists today.

“At a time when many young people spend a lot of their lives online, I was interested in what turned this group of people on this scene - one which has evolved and changed over time.

“I was excited by how the people invested their time in something with heritage and longevity.

“Subcultures offer much more than what's at face value.They can comment on nostalgia, identity - and in some cases masculinity.

“Hopefully these images can offer an insight into other people’s lifestyle choices.”

Owen Harvey

“I was originally attracted to the Mod scene because of the amazing fashion and clothes.”

Char Farrow

“If I had to describe the Mod scene in three words I'd say: Smart. Iconic. Classic.

“I’ve always loved 60s music and used to watch old concerts of bands like The Who. That’s when I first saw Mods and was hooked from then.

“The style and fashion of Mod will always be my favourite.

“It’s a timeless look that everyone from all over the world recognises.

“I feel as though I am part of an important piece of British culture.

“Mod is something that stretches across generations; there are no age, class or race boundaries, which is so rare.

“I think it’s amazing how people who may never normally get to speak to each other become best friends.”

Char Farrow

“It started with scooters and then it became the clothes, because you see your friends in all these nice suits and parkas and you want to dress like that.

“Some people collect scooters, I wish I had the money to collect them.

“To be a Mod though, you don’t have to have a scooter, you could just be into the clothes or the music.

“With the Mod thing, they say you have to wear a three-button suit. It’s not the case, you can look immaculate in a two-button suit and still carry off the Mod look.

“You can take little things from the scene and still be into it.

“That Mod look is timeless, it’s not a fashion, it’s style.”

Darren Auzins

“I moved up to London just before I was 18.
I started going to clubs and with that comes the music.”

Scott Fraser Simpson

The people in the clubs were playing music on vinyl - it was interesting and something I’d never seen.

We used to go out two or three nights a week.

We’d go to club nights up North.

In Sheffield a place called Pow Wow, which held legendary status, was euphoric.

The beauty of this whole scene is that it’s old but it’s also very contemporary in its own right.”

Scott Fraser Simpson

“If you've got the confidence to dress the way we do amongst people, you’ve got the confidence to dance.

“As far as the clothes, you can just tell when something is a bit different and a bit cool, whether it’s the cut of the shirt or the cut of the trousers.

“I couldn’t believe how stylish these people were.

“I read every book I could, I was in awe of the whole thing.

“It’s influenced me in every aspect of life, even in aspects you wouldn’t even think of.

“I’m nostalgic about a time when I wasn’t born, which is kind of insane.

“When I went to school every project I did was 60s Mod orientated, every attitude towards it.”

Scarlett Bayliss

Mod UK by Owen Harvey opens on 27July 2017 at The Subculture Archives, Carnaby Street, London.