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View Full Version : Ken Russel's Teddy Girls pictures



Ness Rowlah
06-03-2006, 02:10 PM
Read about these in Metro a few weeks ago and The Times had a full
piece on the Teddy Girls this weekend. Quote from the Teddy Girl/Girls site (http://www.teddygirl.co.uk)


These photos were taken in January 1955 in Walthamstow, Poplar and North Kensington: solidly working class areas of London. The girls photographed embody three of the great issues of the time; class, gender and youth. They are rejecting the drab costumes of class conformity and post-war austerity. They are pioneers for women looking beyond home for a place to be valued. They are young girls blazing a trail that will be followed by youth cultures for decades to come. But somehow Teddy Girls as a group remain historically almost invisible. The June 4th 1955 Picture Post article, which featured some of these shots, is the only one specifically about Teddy Girls published in the 1950s.


I know I'm getting old - but weren't the youth tribes of yesteryear (from teddies, to rockers&mods, punks, goths, new romantics, casuals and so on) more stylish than in the last decade or so (ehh - chavs?)

More Teddy Girl pics here (http://www.teddygirl.co.uk/photos.htm).

owen
06-03-2006, 03:23 PM
those pics are magnificent...


I know I'm getting old - but weren't the youth tribes of yesteryear (from teddies, to rockers&mods, punks, goths, new romantics, casuals and so on) more stylish than in the last decade or so (ehh - chavs?)
hmm well yeah but to an extent 'chavs' and generally the more fun ghetto fabulous end of things have still got the tendency that the edwardians had, ie appopriating the dress of the aristocracy in a more stylish/more threatening way. naomi klein wrote a bit about this being why there was such a thing for ski jackets and hifliger in hip hop a while ago...
but all that undeniably lacks the genuine 'what the fuck' factor of early teds or new romantics

Canada J Soup
06-03-2006, 07:26 PM
Those photos are fantastic. I have a friend who's Dad was a Ted in the early 50s and he used to tease us when we were teenagers about not dressing nearly as well as he had when he was our age (probably true). I've always found it interesting to get a look at what he was on about and I don't think I'd previously seen photos of Teddy Girls.

Earlier youth tribes would have had to go that extra mile to get a specific look (whether they were Teds, Zoot Suiters, Mods), since the lucrative nature of youth markets had yet to be spotted and tailored clothing represented the only option. Anything that is custom made (well) is going to look more distinctive than something off the peg, as so much more attention can be paid to the details. Teds and Mods might also seem more stylish right now if aspects of how they dressed are feeding current looks...even if you don't pay attention to that kind of thing it has a way of permeating your consciousness.

Outside of Goth and maybe some Japanese subcultures, can anyone think of any distinctive youth tribes that have a focus on making your own clothing or recontextualizing older styles? I'm sure there are some, but I'm kind of drawing a blank.

mistersloane
06-03-2006, 10:51 PM
I went to the opening of this in London at a gallery in Spitalfields and some of the people who had had their photos taken there were there, still looking fabulous.
I totally disagree that the 'chav' look is less stylish though, some of the photos on chavscum are simply breathtaking, there's one of two smally boys wearing matching brown and powder blue huuuuuuuuuuge velour tracksuits that is just amazing, they look fucking great.
Mods and Teds were/are both heavily into making their own clothes, as was/is punk(s). I think what's changed is it's now about attribution - what one can get, or find - rather than making oneself, but it's all in the details, really.