The Neat Offensive is a new documentary film project about London cult retailer John Simons. John’s best known as the man who named ‘the Harrington the Harrington’ but there’s more to him than that – I see him as an unsung hero of British menswear – as an original mod father you might say. Basically the film looks at his series of influential stores including The Ivy, Squire and The Village Gate and the impact he’s had on street style and menswear – including the mod look and controversial styles like skinhead and suede-head – ever since the early ’60s. The film explores the roots of these movements – the music, the clubs, the violence, the drugs and also the secret codes of looking neat. It’s a very understated, often invisible subculture – the complete opposite to the hippy movement and the punks who came later – but in many ways it’s just as important, I think. The film’s due for release in May.
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