I can’t forget the heydays of being a swinging mod in the 1960s. As a baby boomer, it was a time when our generation was really coming of age. The fashion was innovative, creative, bold and brash. The term ‘mod’ comes from modernist, and while its early description related to jazz music, it evolved into fashion-obsessed people who were set on being super cool. The fashion came to its own in London, but it wasn’t long before the rest of the world wanted it share too.
The bob and the ‘five point’ were popular hairstyles at the time. One was short, blunt and stick straight while the other was short, angular and cut on a horizontal plane. I couldn’t quite manage the short bob haircut loved by others. I had long hair, which I loved. I would carefully iron it straight each day to create a long, swinging look. At night, I would place a line of sticky tape across my forehead to keep my fringe in place and straight.
I remember how essential my mascara was. I would pluck my eyebrows and then start applying mascara to my eyelashes. By the time I’d finished it was so thick I looked like I was wearing false lashes, but that was the fashion at the time. I’d add dark eyeliner all the way around the eye and eye shadow. It was so dramatic. To finish off the look I’d cover my lips in a hot pink lipstick.
On Saturday nights, I head to Kings Cross with my girlfriends. It will always be a time to remember.
I would throw on my baby doll miniskirt — bright and bold colours were all the rage in the ’60s — that was just long enough to cover my buttocks and wear a pair of white boots. I’d have huge, swinging earrings too. The look certainly got me noticed, and heads would turn as we made our way into ‘the Cross’. Chewing gum would add a bewitching lure to all the young randy males taking notice as we walked by.
We’d head to the Teen Canteen in the city. Strolling through the Cross as though we were waiting for any action to come our way. We walked past the El Alamein Memorial Fountain and watch the famous Birdman from Kings Cross as he busked with his violin and budgies. We’d pass Carlotta’s and whistle at the drag queens, taking in the young hopefuls who were slouched in the doorways waiting for an offer to come their way.
My mother always warned me not to drink from the bubblers at the cross. She would say that the ladies of the night would wash their body parts there. Kings Cross has some great memories.