Author: The Mod Closet

Icons & Influencers: Gill Evans Catling

If you are, or have ever been active in the Mod scene you will have heard of Gill Evans Catling. Gill and her late husband Del Evans were original Mods back in the sixties, having already coined the pre-Mod term Continentalists in the late 50s. Always stylish & polished, Gill is a walking master-class of Mod style; a beacon of feminine tailoring and a true Icon of Mod. I heard Gill being interviewed on the radio in 2013/14 (one of many TV, radio and print interviews she’s done) and I had the pleasure of meeting her last year at Moda in Wolverhampton. When you meet Gill it’s easy to see why she is so often approached for interviews. Not only is she one of our greatest Mod historians, she is a warm, open and generous raconteur. It was my very great privilege to visit Gill in her home and immerse myself in her life for a day. We hung out in her workshop (oh that sample rail!) chatted about life and style, and then I was given a sneak preview …

Choke On My Two-Stroke (this Female Scooterist shifts gear)

As every new scooterists knows there are some key milestones in the scooting experience and I enjoyed a major one this weekend.  I don’t want to be a drama queen about the whole experience but I do think it’s far more difficult to learn something new the older you are, particularly something physical and riding a scooter is fairly physical; handlebar gears are counterintuitive to everything I have ever known in adulthood. It’s also harder on the ego! By mid-life you’re probably an expert in almost everything you do so, suddenly being a beginner/novice takes some psychological effort on my part. I do so love being the expert …and, I do so hate being the newbie. Also, and I may have mentioned this before, I’ve discovered a phobia of travelling on two wheels; preferring instead, the protection of a big metal shell with ABS and lovely big old airbags! Anyway, I digress: This weekend was a major milestone in my scooting experience. We joined the ride-out to Bourton-on-the-Water in Gloucestershire and, firstly I couldn’t help …

Beryl’s New Clothes

I am so delighted with Beryl’s new vinyl that I am unashamedly giving her her own Lookbook feature. Beryl the Yellow Peril, to give her her full name, was already a good-looking Li Series 2, with a Series 1 headset and horncast but, the addition of the new vinyl set has made her a bit of a show stopper …but, of course I am biased. BEFORE… It has been a bit of a journey getting here. I had originally planned to have her upholstered in yellow leather hide but, ended up falling out with the upholsterer (the same company that previously upholstered and recovered Lammy; George’s Li Series 2). My request to bring the whole lot in under £400 was enthusiastically agreed; Oh my god *laughs* of course it will come in well under that price; only to receive a text, some time later that said “the hide has arrived!!! £650 all in!”. We fell out, when the owner tried to argue that £650 was nowhere near 60% more than £400 and, even if it was (it is), …

LOOKBOOK: Margot’s Vintage Closet

I’m really excited about a new project launching in The Mod Closet: The ‘Icons & Influencers’ series aims to celebrate women in the Mod and Scooter (and related) scenes. Over the next twelve months I will be talking to twelve wonderful women, who have agreed to share their stories and experiences with us. We all have the capacity to influence and inspire others, and be positive role models in our everyday lives.  I’m really excited to be able to introduce you to some of the people who have made it an absolute pleasure for me to be a part of the scene. The always-stylish Margot McClane is the subject of our first ‘Icons and Influencers’ series – you can read Margot’s interview here – As an accompanying piece to the interview, Margot agreed to open up her Mod closet and give us a peak at her favourite outfit for our Lookbook… I will never get rid of my teal blue Welsh wool tapestry cape, and matching skirt. They can be worn together, or mixed and matched with …

Icons & Influencers: Margot McClane

Connecting with people who share a common interest is a joyful and enriching experience. By far one of my favourite things, about being part of the Mod and Scooter scenes, are the people I have met and the friends I have made. The Mod Closet’s Icons & Influencers series aims to celebrate women in the Mod and Scooter (and related) scenes. Over the next twelve months I will be talking to twelve wonderful women, who have agreed to share their stories and experiences with us. These are the real people, like you and I, who shape the scene by being active in it. They are The Scene! I am delighted to be able to kick off the Mod Closet’s Icons & Influencers series by introducing you to the stunning Margo McClane… …Margot and I met on Facebook. George bought a number of items from Margot’s online store, The Psychedelic Lounge; we exchanged friend requests and, were finally able to meet in person at the MODA Mod event in Wolverhampton last year. Margot always looks fabulous! This is a conversation …

Ibiza: Our Spiritual Holiday Home?

Are mid-life Mods & Scooterists channelling their inner Peter Pan or whatever the female equivalent is? For those of us returning to the scene, are we embracing our mid-life transition? I would never use the term mid-life crisis that puts far too negative a spin on it.  My personal definition of the mid-life transition is the point in life where you were expecting to feel settled and satisfied only to find, when you get there, that you are neither settled nor satisfied… Getting older means never having to play it cool about how much you like something. …Maybe, you have been living your life according to external expectations, rather than your internal values and, you have discovered they are not the same.  However, (and here’s the wonderful part) you have had enough experience to be clear about what makes you happy and enough time left to enjoy it. My lovely friend (and talented hairdresser) Karen, has a more succinct term for it: “second-life” or “second-lifers”. Personally, I think we’re all just geeks. Simon Pegg is quoted as saying: …

Ibiza Views

Disclaimer: George and I stayed in an All Inclusive hotel for seven nights in June 2015 and, bearing in mind this was our first visit to Ibiza, our view is probably quite limited. However, we did get out and about during our stay so, I’ll do my best to give you our Ibiza low down… San Antonio George and I stayed in Cala Gracio, which is about 2km north of San Antonio. Our hotel was on the Cala Gracio beach; a short five/ten minute walk along the beach road to the big name cafes in San Antonio: Mint Lounge, Cafe del Mar, Cafe Mambo, Savannah Beach Club etc. A bit pricey; we paid €38 for a jug of Cava Sangria in Cafe del Mar, although you’ll find food and drink to suit most budgets. However, along the beach path between Cala Gracio and San Antonio there are many other beach-front cafes and bars offering cheaper alternatives and two-for-one deals. A further five/ten minutes walk along the beach path you’ll arrive in San Antonio proper. There is a lively strip of clubs, …

Celebrate Everything

Reward and recognition are important values but, how often do we celebrate our own successes?  ‘Celebrate Everything’ has been an important motto of mine for some time now.  I forget what triggered it, maybe when I was in the midst of my Coaching & Mentoring Post Grad at Oxford Brookes: “How are you going to celebrate that?” sounds like a typical coaching question.  Whilst the moment itself isn’t memorable it was hugely significant because, the moment you decide to celebrate your own success you change the game.  It is transformational. In my real-world job (not Coaching & Mentoring, that’s an extra-curricular activity) I work very closely with colleagues based in the US.  In fact my boss and team are based there and the global nature of my role means I have first-hand experience of how diverse the two cultures are and, how they influence each other – for those of you witnessing the American invasion into our language and culture I assure you it works both ways!  One of the ways in which we differ …

Too Far South: Mods Adrift on the Isle of Wight

We’re suffering from Bank Holiday Blues in the Mod Closet this week.  Having planned, talked about and counted down the months, weeks, days and sleeps to the Isle of Wight Scooter Rally – and, by planned I mean bought me a scooter; customised two scooters and endured nine motorcycle tests between us (one of us had to take the Mod1 twice) – we’re feeling a little deflated now that it’s all over. You may be questioning why a couple of Mods didn’t attend the Brighton Mod weekender. Brighton was our original plan but when we struggled to find a hotel with suitable parking we decided on the Isle of Wight instead.  In the weeks leading up to the Mod-milestone weekend we began to wonder if we’d made a terrible mistake. I appreciate that this may not sound like the biggest decision in one’s life but I do struggle with simple decisions.  Major decisions like, the sale of my house (yes), where to live (back in Oxford), where to get married (New York); should we invoke …

Overdressed and Out West: Weston Super Mare Scooter Rally 2014

QUESTION: What’s the difference between a Scooter Rally and a Mod Weekender?  Answer: At a Mod Weekender no one looks you up and down and asks “What the bloody hell have you come for, a wedding?” You might be able to tell that this was my first, full-blown Scooter Rally and, while I was expecting a certain amount of casual (it’s largely a camping venue and temperatures soared to the high twenties) I wasn’t expecting a sea of three-quarter length camouflage and band t-shirts.  Boy those scooterists are a sensible bunch!  And, boy was I naïve.  They are sensible, it seems until it comes to throwing themselves around town on their scooters in shorts and t-shirts!  I’m also a newly qualified scooter girl (if that isn’t obvious) who is still reeling from hanging on to a 600cc machine around the streets of Banbury for my motorcycle license and, as such I’m reluctant to let go of the armour plating.  I did try a lighter look for my four-mile mini-ride to Sturdy’s Castle in June and …