The Bag I'm In: Underground Music and Fashion in Britain 1960-1990

Youth movements have long used sartorial cues to help define their individual "tribes," homing in on styles that served to communicate not only who they were, but where they came from, what they cared about, and what music they listened to. The Bag I'm In: Underground Music and Fashion in Britain 1960-1990, written and curated by Sam Knee, takes a look at the people, clothes, artists, and bands that defined British youth in the latter half of the 20th century. It's a comprehensive survey of 36 different tribes (several of which Knee was once a part of)—from the true Mods of the early '60s to the Bowie kids of the '70s, who embraced the rocker's penchant for flares and feathered hair, and the Smiths-mania of the 1980s, which gave the decade's dispossessed youth something to latch on to.

Of the more than 2,000 archival photos included in the book, Knee singles out five of his favorites.

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The Smiths, 1984

"This photo was taken outside a small venue called Dingwalls in Camden, North London. It was just before they really blew up and were still within reach for the fans. I like Morrissey's 1950s gabardine jacket and general bohemian look in this one."

CND Beatniks, 1962

"The CND [Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament] look is completely undocumented and quite different to [that of] their American beat counterparts. It's revolutionary fashion through peaceful protest: duffle coats, desert boots, quilted anoraks, pin badges, head scarves, duffle bags, etc. The look came back in the '80s with the indie kids largely inspired by Stephen Pastel, singer of Glasgow legends The Pastels."

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Peter Daltrey, 1963

"A very young Peter Daltrey. I love his original West London mod look: a suede bum freezer jacket, American Levi's 501s Shrink to Fit, tennis pumps, and French crop."

The Soulboy Scene, 1976

"This was a radically progressive street and club fashion unique to the greater London area. It was inspired by the movie American Graffiti, David Bowie, and contemporary jazz-funk fusion. It's another subculture that is largely undocumented, as it is normally eclipsed by the 1960s Detroit-obsessed northern soul scene."

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Suedeheads, 1971

"The Suedehead look combines American Ivy League influences with hard-edged U.K. working-class attire. This fun snap captures that sartorial shift."

The Bag I'm In: Underground Music and Fashion in Britain, 1960-1990 (Cicada Books), $30, foyles.co.uk.

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