Sunday, 29 January 2012

Teddy Girls

If I had to nail my colours to the mast, then I'd have to say I was, at heart, a Mod. However that doesn't mean I don't appreciate the Ted or Rocker culture. Indeed, I'm no stranger to the glorious music, the culture or attempting a quiff to be honest!


The Ted fashion rose to prominence in the 1950s and would eventually see the gang square off against their sworn rivals, The Mods, on Brighton Beach in the 1960s. But the fashion itself was nothing new as such, having been borne from imitating the Edwardian era, the vagabonds and ne'er do wells of that era having first established the image of long frock coats, razors blades and flick knives. 


It is, in short, an earthy kind of glamour.


On a girl however, it is at once both alluring and chilling.


Danger has never been so stylish!


And it is the 'Teddy Girls' I wish to focus on today.


Take for example the gorgeous and talented Irish song bird, Imelda May







Emma Thompson as the divinely savvy Glaswegian girl Suzi Ketttles, Robbie Coltrane's sweetheart in John Byrne's brilliant 1987 'getting the band back together' comedy drama Tutti Frutti 



The opening credits of that show what I still maintain is one of the sexiest moments on screen ever; Thompson combing back her quiff, rocking her head back so it falls into place and generally preening. Works for me!




Indeed, Byrne (artist-he painted Gerry Rafferty and Stealer's Wheel's album sleeves, writer, playwright, former Ted, Mr Tilda Swinton and eccentric) certainly has a thing for Teddy Girls, having also used them in his colourful 1997 movie adaptation of his play Slab Boys and having singer Eddi Reader sport a glorious quiff in his series Your Cheatin' Heart





And Ken Russell, who before becoming a director was a photographer who took some wonderful snaps of Teddy Girls 










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