Teds & Judies: Not Your Ordinary Gang

We have heard so much about subcultures such as punks, Japanese lolitas (we have some articles about them here and here), grunge or hippies. But way before those, Teddy Boys (Teds, as they were called) and Teddy Girls (Judies) had a strong influence on the working class of Britain. Dressing up as if it was the Edwardian era, the gangs rebelled around town creating fear and expressing their disappointment in the post-war years in the 1950s.  Most of the members were around 14-15 years old and the majority had blue-collar jobs. To support their “dress code”, they bought second-hand suits and rolled up jeans to match with the rest of the group, and roam around London’s busiest streets.

Photographed by Ken Russell, 1955

To think about it, Teddy Boys and Teddy Girls played a significant role in shaping androgynous dressing. Both men and women had the same attire, while the rest of the society didn’t dress the same. The oversized suit, pencil pants, creeper shoes and a string tie finished with dapper hairstyles were what they’re after. It was referred to as “Ridiculous Dressing” by common people.

While the Teddy Boys got all the attention because the media were seeing them more as troublemakers, Teddy Girls, on the other hand had to face the gender stereotypes in those years because girls were supposed to stay at home and do the dishes.


Photographed by Ken Russell, 1955

Long story short, these gangs were forgotten until 2005, when the photographer & director Ken Russell’s archive of 1950’s photos of Teddy Boys & Teddy Girls was revealed. The timeless style of the gang has changed the perception of people on gender fluidity, creating a masculine style for women in a very chic manner.

Here below you can check how today’s designers are still influenced by the 1950s gangs:

John Galliano AW16/17
Prada AW16/17
Dolce & Gabbana Fall 11

So what do you think of the trend? Do you find it interesting? Share your thoughts below!

Written by: Florencia Owen Irena

Images via TIME, Vogue.com

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