Living as a Mod in the 21st Century

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Having a custom Mod suit made for a wedding

I didn't have a tailored Mod suit made for any wedding. It was actually for MY wedding. And why have only one suit made when you can have two made at the same time, right? I figured that I could have one for the ceremony and another one for the reception. It's not written anywhere in any secret Mod handbook that you need two outfits for your wedding but it was recently added as rule #216 of the Parka Avenue code.

So off I went with a bunch of mates of mine and my future father-in-law to meet with M. Sethinamvong from Prince Henry Tailors to have our measurements taken. To get an idea of what Prince Henry Tailors are all about, you might want to check this earlier post on Having a bespoke Mod suit made.

My mate Jonathan having his first bespoke suit made
My friend Eric and fellow blogger from The Vermodernist followed suit
Every time I have one made, I try to improve on my previous design just like the original Mods from the 60s would often do. I was ready to go the extra mile and have some unique features and details added. First, I had to decide on the color. I thought that a more conservative light grey would be appropriate for the ceremony and a funkier color palette would be acceptable for the evening festivities. I had my eye on a really bold and wild blue color until I saw my future mother-in-law's reaction when I showed her. Her face said it all. It's when she politely said: "You know Patrick, it's your choice" that I reconsidered. So I went with a slightly less audacious burgundy color. It wasn't as adventurous but it would still make a statement.

Crucial decisions to make
Most of my suit jackets are of the 4-button kind because you simply don't see them as often. For this occasion, I took the more traditional route with a 3-button jacket. I had the buttons covered for that extra Mod touch.

Most off-the-peg jackets these days usually don't have working cuffs. I thought it was one detail I wasn't going to let slip by.

The back of the jacket's collar was inspired but some of DNA Groove's stunning dress shirts. The downward point was also added to match the shirts I had made specifically to go with these jackets. A detail that his certainly not commonly seen but I'm sure a true Mod fashion aficionado would appreciate.

Another elaborate feature that might be out of the ordinary is the tapered "step" pant leg with decorative button. The 60s Mod would sometimes add these types of details simply to have something different and innovative. In this case, I simply think that it's a wonderful way to accentuate the boots or the shoes without the trousers being too short.

All the traditional features associated with the Mod suit were part of the overall look: narrow lapels, short jacket, slanted ticket pocket with flap, etc. To complete the look, I had a matching narrow silk tie and pocket square made at the same time. A new pair of Loake Chelsea boots was also in order. With an elegant watch, nice pair a vintage cufflinks and tie clip, the picture was complete.

To give you an idea of the intricate details that went into the suit, have a look at this video that was inspired by a Ross Jardine short film I saw on Youtube called Maximum Mod. My accomplice Veronique and I shot this on your basic digital camera, all in 2 days. I did the editing on my Mac in a couple of hours, a few days before the wedding. Let’s face it, it’s not professional by any stretch of the imagination but considering I had never edited a film before and wasn’t even familiar with the software, I’m very content with the outcome.

The film was shown right before my big entrance at the ceremony. The premise is simple. My dog Jedi comes up to me and warns me “Lassie style” that I’m going to be late for the wedding. And in true Mod fashion, I get ready while listening to the sweet sounds of Booker T and the MG’s Green Onions. Then it’s off to the ceremony by foot with Edwin Starr’s 25 Miles to Go as the soundtrack.

It was also meant as an ode to our fair city, Montreal. You’ll get a quick glimpse at some of downtown's most iconic spots like Chinatown, Palais des Congrès, City Hall, Old Montreal, Habitat ’67, the Atwater Market and the Lachine Canal. The final destination being, of course, La Vieille Brasserie, where the guests were awaiting my arrival...

Curious about the bride's dress? Coming up real soon...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Preparing a Mod wedding

Did I marry the right lady or what? I can’t say that my beautiful wife has ever been a Mod but when she suggested we have a target on the top of our wedding cake and a Vespa beside the  tiny  bride and groom, I knew that I was going to wed the perfect girl for me.

I wasn’t planning on having Mod nuptials but when she opened the door, who was I to say no to the bride? In fact, after my unconventional proposal (expect a future post on that story), I was prepared to say yes to all of her demands.

I noticed that she started doing Google searches with  “Mod”, “Vintage”, “Retro” and “Wedding” often being used in the search bar. You might find it hard to believe but I didn’t pull in any favors for this one. Yes folks, she is that wonderful! So we settled for a retro themed wedding. One thing we both agreed on is that we didn’t want a dressing up, costume party. We all know how a medieval or civil war type wedding can sometimes turn tacky and into a mockery. If you’re going down that road, you better make sure that all your guests are into it.

That’s why we didn’t put any restrictions on the dress code. We still wanted it to be Mod-ern. The personal twist we added was that we wanted the guests to feel like they were coming to a rock concert and that we were the main event. Both being huge music lovers, it suited us to a T. Plus we had planned to have 3 live acts play at the celebration. Simply put, music was going to take center stage.

I am proud to say that I designed our wedding invitations. Inspired by a 60s concert ticket, guests were invited to send the stub back as their RSVP. On the back, the "disclaimer" informed our guests of the different formalities. You could read such useful information as: "The use of cameras, audio or video recording devices are strictly encouraged. The management reserves the right to ask for doubles."

At the same time, I came up with a logo. Every star duo has one, right? It was going to be used mainly on our guest's favors. As I was working on its simple design, I realized that my wedding date was the 9-10-11. Now I have absolutely no excuse for ever forgetting my wedding anniversary!
I also commissioned a poster from a very talented American artist friend of mine. Ashlea did an absolute fantastic psychedelic / mod masterpiece of Nikki and I ridding a Vespa. My wife's resemblance is uncanny. But the real feat is when Ashlea actually succeeded in rendering me attractive. Now that takes a truly skilled artist! Bravo!

We had a 24' X 36' version printed on foam board and a few smaller versions to scater around.
Although getting married is stressful, the preparations went pretty smoothly, a testament to our relationship. The next step was to have my wedding suit done. But I don't consider that a task. That's just fun! Read all about it in the next post...