Clash DJ buddy, Big Audio Dynamite member, and documentary filmmaker Don Letts was enlisted by Fred Perry to make a series of feature films about fashion in British music subcultures and their relationship to the laurel wreath logo-ed brand—one that originally made tennis wear for the Wimbledon set. We're happy to report that "the unique story of British music & street style" is well worth a look.
It's no fashion fluff project—episode one begins with some expert sociology in a nice, quick explanation of the emergence of the first post-war subculture: the Brit Teddy Boy rebel amid economic prosperity. In England, the ducktail haircut joined with the drape coat, aping the Edwardian look with an American rock n roll twist.
Episode two fantasically traces the emergence of mods.
Episode three highlights the skinhead culture with some surprising details: button down shirts were borrowed from American collegiate style and haircuts from American astronauts, and surprising pronouncement: the multi-racial skinheads were perhaps England's first multi-culturalists.
The series doesn't hit one over the head with Fred Perry references, it doesn't need to. And the series is also dead honest about the possibility of an end to England's music subcultures—perhaps killed off by the Internet for good (no mention of dubstep grime). Or perhaps, as the commentators offer, the political unrest in the UK will birth a new one—"There's something coming, we just don't know what it is, yet."
You can view the entire six part series on Mods, Rockers, Casuals, Soulboys, Punks and Britpoppers at Subculture Films.