Swinging Paris: Renoma, Les Minets, and La Bande du Drugstore, with Vadim Kosmos

Rock ‘n’ Roll hit France late and not without resistance.


Mar 21st 2016 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art & Natural History, London

11 Mare St, London, E8 4RP

Standard - £11

Concession - £5.95


Rock 'n' Roll hit France late and not without resistance. For a country dominated by the cool intellectualism of Jazz; the reaction to R'n'R was either mockery or feeble carbon copies. But soon the youth of Paris would find their own way to express themselves, at odds with their parent's generation and in reaction to their Mod & Peacock cousins across La Manche.

This lecture will elaborate upon the evolving youth-oriented menswear trends in 1960's Paris; placing the subject in a wider cultural context and discussing findings from an oral history interview with surviving members of Les Minets/La Bande du Drugstore subculture.

It will investigate how a small group of upper-middle class high school student's - Les Minets - adoption of 'le style Anglais' and the Ivy League-look transformed Les Champs-Élysées into a curious and colourful mix of U.S. college campus and English gentlemen's club. It will reveal how a young tailor, Maurice Renoma's, response to this new demand influenced Parisian menswear with a look that dominated the French 1960s; a new, figure hugging silhouette in innovative fabrics and hues.

Vadim Kosmos is a writer with a particular interest in post-war French popular culture. For five years Vadim ran the highly popular 'World of Kane' blog – exploring the world of psychedelic-era fashion, art, film and music and has made many broadcast appearances on these subjects and on French Pop music and soundtrack composers. He is also one-half of synth-pop duo 'ZARDOZ'.

He recently completed his research project, "Hell Époque: Death-themed Cabarets and other Macabre Entertainments of Nineteenth Century Paris" which was published in the 'Morbid Anatomy Anthology (2014)'.