Throwback Thursday|| Vintage Files! Teddy Girls

Vintage Files! Teddy Girl 

Today's post is influenced by the original Riot grrrls, Teddy Girls. We discovered Teddy Girls  during our  research of  youth counter culture fashion in the 1950s. We came across a few black and white  images of young girls exuding fearless confidence from Ken Russell's 'The Last Of The Teddy Girls' series that were photographed on the streets of London in 1955 and became intrigued.




 Who: Teddy Girls 
AKA: Judies
 When: 1950s 
 Where: London 
 Why We're Influenced: The style of Teddy Girls is classic. Mashing preppy and rocker. their androgynous styling make their look very modern and contemporary just like the modern day Riot grrrl's. 

 Trademarks: Drape jackets, pencil skirts, hobble skirts, long plaits, rolled-up jeans,  tailored jackets with velvet collars, straw boater hats, cameo brooches, espadrilles, coolie hats and long, elegant clutch bags, pegged pant, over sized jackets, creepers and winklepickers. In their later years they adopted the American fashions of toreador pants, voluminous circle skirts, and hair in ponytails. 

Fun Fact I: Teddy Girls were often seen carrying around an unopened umbrella for an accessories. It is said that they would never open it, even if it was raining.  

Fun Fact II:  The 1960's subculture The Mods were created form the Teddy's and Rockabillies.


 




Teddy Girls History 

Teddy Girls, were mainly working class Londoners, often Irish immigrants. Many dropped out of school at 14 or 15 to work as shop assistants, secretaries or assembly line workers. The second World War had just finished, and Europe was starting to rebuild itself. Just like their male counterparts, the Teddy Girls had to be tough because they had to endure the final years of rationing which lasted until 1954. These working class teens turned to fashion to make a statement, which shocked their parents generation.






The Teddy Girls style was a reflection of their  social situation and their counterparts Teddy Boys, a 1950s rebel youth subculture in Britain that was identified by their "unlikely style of dress inspired by Edwardian dandies fused with American rock’n roll".  Their choice of clothes  were "collectively rejecting post-war austerity". Teddy Girls spent much of their free time buying or making their  clothes.







Despite their dapper style, the Teds were given a bad reputation by the media because of their formation of gangs from East London to North Kensington. The media claimed Teds were involved in vandalism, racism, violence, rioting, and petty crimes all across Britain; true or not, they became high profile rebels in media.  






There are only just a few known collections of documented photographs of Teddy Girls. In 1955, freelance photographer Ken Russell was introduced Josie Buchan, a Teddy Girl who introduced him to some of her friends. Russell photographed them and one other group in Notting Hill. After his photographs were published in a small magazine in 1955, Russell’s photographs remained unseen for over half a century



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Russell remembers 14 year-old Teddy Girl, Jean Rayner: “She had attitude by the truckload. No one paid much attention to the teddy girls before I did them, though there was plenty on teddy boys. They were tough, these kids, they’d been born in the war years and food rationing only ended in about 1954 – a year before I took these pictures. They were proud. They knew their worth. They just wore what they wore.”











 
What do you think? Aren't you obsessed? We defiantly cant get enough of these images.  We cant wait to work on our Those Girlss Teddy Girl lookbook :D You can expect it to come out this spring. Thanks for reading!


XO Those Girl