More often than not, subcultures grow out of a burgeoning music scene. The Modernists were inspired by Jazz. Fiercely stylish and seriously cool, they were all about sophistication and, most importantly, individuality. Inspired by the sharply dressed Jazz artists of the time, such as Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie, the Modernists took this cosmopolitan style and made it their own by combining it with the American ‘Ivy League’ look.
Around this time, Lyle & Scott’s knitwear designers began to experiment with colour, creating a range of bright and vibrant knitwear that appealed to the Modernist crowd. They weren’t interested in the bland, chunky loose fitting knitwear that was popular with the trad jazz and folk scene. The Modernists wanted something that would set them apart, and demonstrate their cosmopolitan and ‘enlightened’ outlook. The superior quality and simple silhouette of Lyle & Scott’s knitwear did just that.
The counter-cultural stance of the Modernists soon transferred onto the Mods. A group of rebellious, albeit well-dressed, youths who had found a way to escape the monotony of everyday life through music and fashion. Evolving out of the Modernist scene, the young Mods retained an affection for Lyle & Scott’s knitwear, and the brand was introduced to a whole new generation.
See more of The History of Lyle & Scott
Chapter 3: A Modern Appeal