“Mod Couples” is an ongoing personal project on couples who belong to the Mod scene, a subculture that originated in Britain in the late 1950s and became very popular during the 1960s. It is quite difficult to pin down what lies at the heart of this movement as it has evolved in many different ways during the years and morphed into different subcultures. All Mods, however, share a passion for everything related to the 1950s and the 1960s, especially the clothes and the music.
While their style is what catches the eye at first, my interest in developing this project goes well beyond their appearance. As a matter of fact, even if all the couples regularly attend various Mod events, they might have different influences in their style. The subculture and all of its elements – the fashion, the music, the scooters,… – only provide the framework for this series. From an outsider’s point of view, I am trying to get a glimpse of their identity beyond the “mask” and to portray them for who they are, rather than for what they wear.
I decided to focus on couples because I am fascinated by the way their identities blend together to produce something larger than the sum of its parts. Within the formality required by shooting with a medium format camera, I don’t “direct” the couples by asking them to pose in a specific way. Instead, I let them assume a pose that feels natural to them. I believe that in the subtleties of their posture, a lot is revealed about themselves – as individuals and as a couple.
I am also quite interested in the relationship between a person and his or her surrounding environment, in seeing how they complement each other. Consequently, I took elaborate planning out of the equation when making these pictures: the couples chose what to wear and where to be photographed. The world depicted in the pictures is entirely the world they have created for themselves.
I am besotted with this project. These couples are beyond stylish, look at them! The chic cuts, the sophisticated outfits, the classic hairstyling... I am so into this British Invasion meets Mad Men costume design sort of thing, you know. I wish I could sneak into their wardrobe at night and steal all those marvellous pieces - I'm all up for a textile raid.