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SOUND CHECK: Award-winning film director and musician Don Letts brought his “60 Years of Fred Perry” documentary to Berlin on Wednesday night. The film about British music and street style, funded by the British brand, will also be making its way to New York, Amsterdam, Madrid and Antwerp later this month. It delves into the brand’s relationship with music and street subcultures throughout modern British history.
“Although Fred Perry is an integral part of the story, it’s not the whole story,” Letts explained. “For years the brand managed to maintain a presence without actively pushing it down people’s throats. Consistently very British, they know what they are about and they stick to it.” The film features interviews with Robert Elms, Phil Jupitus, Peter York and raw footage of British youth. It’s a vibrant depiction of how music influenced the styles of rockers, Mods, skinheads, soul boys, Punks and enthusiasts of indie, ska, new wave, rave and Brit-pop music, from the Fifties to today.
“The reason these subcultures formed was because in my day, the mainstream did not fulfill the needs of all the people and we somehow had to create something of our own,” Letts explained, suggesting style rebellion is no longer necessary today. “Nowadays the Internet can satisfy your every whim and as much as I appreciate technology, it somehow killed the mystery. It is all a bit too easy and if we had had the Internet in the Sixties, none of this would have happened.”
As for the future of street style, Letts said, “I don’t know if music in the West is going to be the driving force of a new movement in fashion. We will have to wait and see.”