"What is best in life? To drink poisonous liqueurs, hallucinate fabulously about dancing girls, and engage in triumphant saber duels with your enemies!" Things I post: art; music; snippets of Gothic, Decadent, and Victorian literature; learned miscellanies.
14-year-old Jean Rayner in the exploratory stage of Teddyism. The following images are from Ken Russell’s January 1955 series ‘The Last of the Teddy Girls’.
Long before Ken Russell, who passed away in late November, became the notorious film director responsible for Women in Love, The Devils, The Boyfriend and The Who’s rock opera Tommy, he was an art student and, later, a freelance photographer. In 1955, the fledgling photographer created a series called The Last of the Teddy Girls, which featured photographs taken against the war-torn backdrop of London’s East End. The images are one of the first reportage series to be made of British youth culture, presenting pictures of working class girls in Neo-Edwardian dress—a fascinating counterpoint to their drape-coated and drainpipe-wearing male counterparts the Teddy Boy. The Last of the Teddy Girls also provided a rare and unique glimpse of a little recognized and under-documented subculture of austere post war Britain.