Lately I’ve been inspired by England’s Teddy girls- badass teenage girls whose style reflected the post-industrial wasteland that was London in the ’50s. I consider them a precursor to the ska movement, but instead of reggae and punk, they jammed to jazz and rock’n’roll. And they looked amazing doing it, sporting this sort of urban Edwardian garb with a working class edge. Check out some photos from Ken Russell’s 1955 series, The Last of the Teddy Girls:
That’s some original tomboy shit right there. And here’s my take on the Modern Teddy Girl:
[Coat: Toast UK, Jacket: Karen Millen, Blouse: Donnaida, Denim: Mint, Shoes: Guiseppe Zanotti, Bag: Vlieger + Vandam, Bow tie: Lanvin, Smokes: Lucky Strike.]
Someday I shall own that Vlieger + Vandam bag. It’s good commentary on how safe we feel as a society with gun violence being so out of control, you know? And it’s in MoMA. (<– These will be my excuses someday when I drop $400 on a bag.)
I love the photos. Very stark contrasts between the fashion being silhouetted by the rebar and chicken wire. Despite the damage and devastation of WWll, people and the times moved on. Love your comparison to the ska movement.
Now, the photographer Ken Russell. Is that the same Ken Russell that directed ‘Tommy’ and ‘Altered States’?
Thanks for your comment! Ha, YES, it’s totally Ken Russell of The Who’s “Tommy” fame. This was back when he was just a fledgling photographer.
Wow. Now that is cool.
“And it’s in MoMA” is going to be my excuse for everything from now on.
Ha, RIGHT? Thanks for reading!