With their slicked-back quiffs and tailored jackets, John Lennon’s teddy girlfriends in Sam Taylor-Wood’s biopic Nowhere Boy (2009) are the rebellious antidote to the boys’ mouthy machismo. Teddy girls were the first British female youth group, and their rebellion has until recently gone quite undocumented. But with Nowhere Boy and an exhibition in 2006 called “The Bombsite Boudiccas,” which featured pictures Ken Russell took of London Teddy Girls in 1955, film and photography is shining a light on this bangin’ girl tribe.
Instead of getting pissed and causing trouble, Teddy Girls caused a sensation with what they wore, which was a fastidious combination of 50’s rockabilly and haute couture, resembling Edwardian-era fashions. Girls combined pencil skirts and rolled-up jeans with tailored jackets, often adorned with velvet collars or cuffs, flat shoes, clutch bags, doo-rags and elaborate quiffs. Smoking, riding bikes, and kissing boys was the extent of the rebellion, but they sure looked good doing it.
Vintage Style Crush: The Teddy Girls