In 1959, scientist Mark Abrams wrote a research paper called “The Teenage Consumer” which defined this group to be 13-25 years olds (despite ages 20-25 not being within their teens anymore), and so the word “teenager” entered our vocabulary and became widely used to describe people who were old enough to have their own money to spend, but not yet adults.
Rationing and conscription were a thing of the past and while adults tended to rant-on about the war years and post-war austerity, teenagers looked to the future, not wanting to be clones of their parents in baggy trousers, frilly blouses, granny-knitted cardigans and hand-me-down suits, listening to Matt Munro and other crooners of the time... they wanted to build their own identity.
With London being rebuilt after the blitz, jobs were plentiful. Teenagers became consumers... And what did they consume? Music and fashion! They looked across the pond for inspiration... Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Elvis Presley and the Ivy League fashion. Rock n Roll was in its infancy and teenagers joined gangs of like minded and similarly dressed protagonists (I think they call them friendship groups today) and we witnessed the birth of Mods and Rockers. Young designers and boutiques catering separately for men's and women's fashion. The counterculture was evolving!
Over the coming months, we plan to feature some of London's top 60s fashion icons with the help of style guru, Wayne Kirven aka 'Wayne from Buckhurst Hill' who we had the pleasure of meeting up with this week for a walk around Soho and the anecdotes did not stop flowing!
Wayne Kirven by Pablo Behrens, 2022.
"Wayne has worked in many top men's fashion shops and represented major Italian and London designers in the King's Road, Soho, Mayfair and Bond Street, with stints in Milan and Paris. Always keeping an eye for new styles and names in fashion and music. From the 50s onwards Wayne has kept the pulse of London and world fashion. He has witnessed the influence designers and musicians have had on fashion styles since the Swinging Sixties..." SOHO IMAGE
From his days working at 'Granny Takes A Trip' on the King's Road to styling Steven Knight's period drama 'Peaky Blinders' we look forward hearing Wayne's stories and bringing them to you in written and video formats. But in the meantime, here's a little introduction to the music and style of Wayne from Buckhurst Hill