Mick Jagger’s 1969 ‘frock’ – a Fustanella or not?

One of the notable things about Mick Jagger in this video, (taken at Hyde Park, London, on July 5th 1969) is that he appears to be wearing a what some have described as a “little girl’s white party frock”. And some in academia (and elsewhere) have asked why.

By way of a scholarly explanation, it’s been suggested that Mick‘s frock was inspired by the Fustanella, a skirt-like garment worn by the Evzone elite ceremonial unit of the Greek Royal Guard. [since 1974: Presidential Guard] But Dr. Michael Alexander Langkjær, Assistant Professor at the Saxo Institute, Department of History, University of Copenhagen, disagrees. The professor is a leading expert in the use of military-style-uniforms-worn-by-pop-stars, and ran a course on ‘Rock Military Style’ at the institute, one of the very few academic courses to have examined the motivations of rock musicians in dressing up in military uniforms.

In a new paper for the journal Endymatologika, (Nafplion, Peloponnesiako Laographiko Hidryma/Peloponnesian Folklore Foundation,2012), he suggests that the idea that Mick’s dress was ‘military’ has been misconstrued. ‘A case of misconstrued Rock Military Style : Mick Jagger and his Evzone “little girl’s party frock” fustanella, Hyde Park, July 5, 1969’ explains how :

“Jagger had placed himself in a quasi-Shelleyan pose in treating Brian Jones’s death in a manner analogous to that of Keats having been the Adonais of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s poem read by Jagger prior to the Stones’ performance, as well as by wearing a “Byronic costume” and thus retaining his branding as a heroic hedonist.”

Also see (from the same author)

‘Then how can you explain Sgt. Pompous and the Fancy Pants Club Band?’ Utilization of Military Uniforms and Other Paraphernalia by Pop Groups and the Youth Counterculture in the 1960s and Subsequent Periods (Textile History, Volume 41, Supplement 1, May 2010 , pp. 182-213(32)) and;

‘Glamazons’ of Pop. The enigma of the female military-styled pop star – Kate Bush and Madonna (2nd Global Conference ‘Fashion – Exploring Critical Issues’, September 2010, Oriel College, Oxford.)