Worthy of closer inspection are these two Dunn & Co. suits from the early 1960s, which are prime examples of the ‘bum freezer’ style, so called because of their shorter silhouette. These are a very British interpretation of Continental styles, particularly Italian, of the late 50s and early 60s, that helped form the basis of the modernist, or ‘mod’ look.
“Now observe the Dean in the modernist number’s version. College-boy smooth crop hair with burned-in parting, neat white Italian rounded-collared shirt, short Roman jacket very tailored (two little vents, three buttons), no-turn-up narrow trousers with 17-inch bottoms, absolute maximum, pointed-toe shoes, and a white mac…” *
Fastidious detail fetishists, Mods cultivated the aspects of cut that defined these so-called ‘Roman’ jackets, the things to look out for are the slim lapels, covered buttons, and two inch side vents seen here. Just the sort of thing the anti-hero of Absolute Beginners would be seen wearing zipping around Soho on a borrowed Vespa.
* Taken from Absolute Beginners by Colin MacInnes (MacGibbon & Kee, 1959)
Words Simon/photos Nic Shonfeld