FIVE SUBCULTURES THAT WERE NEW GENTRY OF THEIR DAY

TEDDYBOYS
TIMELESS TREASURE: THE EDWARDIAN COAT

AVAILABLE FROM: KATHRYN SARGENT, MAYFAIR

Unbeknown to many, this clan is not a product of hollering hip-shaking Presley, no, the Teddyboy is truly British. Impelled by Edward VII, Saville Row intended to induce the Edwardian form of fashion to the post-war plain mode of style. Sharp suits were formed with cut-throat lines, and remarkably short lapels were put onto jackets. Trousers were tailored to be cropped, with intended glimpses of a half-boot shown. This subculture craved for class, and they more than accomplished the look. The three piece suit showed its cloth-covered buttons and half-moon pockets (now you know why the ‘hand-in-pocket’ pose seen by pretty much all TBs stems from). Oxbridge students sported this style, and soon business men in Mayfair caught onto the craze. Garments were also taken from previous upper-class generations – wealthy young men and women adopted the fashion as an answer with attitude to the austerity inflicted in the fifties. ‘Judies’ formed a female equivalent, as they were identical in their androgynous attire. The ladies paraded rolled-collars and the short-lapeled jackets too, but sported calf-length skirts or forties high-waisted cropper trousers.

Then the seventies came and manifested all fashion-misfits. The Teddy boy trait was twisted into something different. Punks ripped up the look by adding rubber brothel creepers and sewing safety pins onto jackets. This ensued in a tribe war, as Teds felt their image was being ridiculed, which resulted in violence from both sides. Nevertheless, the fashion clan and its staple accessories, revamped and original, are well remembered today. We take the Edwardian coat from the image, as it shines as the definition of dandy. With its velvet collared lapel, it’s a perfect partner for pairing with a tailored dress, or follow in the Judies and wear with a rolled-collared shirt and cropped trousers.

Kathryn Sargent’s tailoring provides an exceptional bespoke service, and her history in Saville Row speaks greatly. Previous to launching her own business she spent 15 years at Gieves and Hawkes, you can guarantee you will receive a remarkable service and attain a luxury Edwardian jacket with the perfect fit.

NEW ROMANTICS
TIMELESS TREASURE: THE KITTEN HEEL

AVAILABLE FROM: CHARLOTTE OLYMPIA 

Steve Strange and Spandeau Ballet screamed New Romantic as the style span into the 80s. The source of the movement is said to stem from the nightclub Blitz, then similar scenes caught on all round England. The key was to look flamboyant and artistic in the most luxurious materials. Velvet, frills, pearls and silk were donned in adoration of the theatre and glamour of Hollywood. The quality of clothes was outstanding as ladies sported ball-gown dresses (sheered at calf-length), and modelled expensive satin blouses.

Romance was key: lace trimmed attire and exaggerated baggy trousers expressed historical attire from many centuries ago. Legendary British designers began to emerge as Vivienne Westwood embarked on her legacy and David Holah and & Stevie Stewart formed Bodymap. 

If we drop the facial zig-zags and leave that to Boy George and Bowie, there are many fabulous pieces we can interpret from the NRs. Play with only the finest of fabrics and dazzle with elaborate glitzy jewellery. We take the humble kitten heel because it was an essential on a NR’s foot. It is a feminine shoe which had that ostentatious ballroom kick. Charlotte Olympia, the genius, has designed a truly beautiful and theatrical shoe that evokes New Romanticism with a modern twist.

SLOANES
TIMELESS TREASURE: STONE EARRINGS

AVAILABLE FROM: ANNOUSHKA DUCAS – £2,100

Originating from their mothership location of Sloane Square in Chelsea, the term ‘sloane’ was coined from the affluent area. Sloane Ranger (from lone ranger) was also a phrase used to depict these impeccably-dressed ladies. This was a sub-culture that oozed simplicity and the upper-class lifestyle. This tribe based itself on very conservative attire. It was such a niche and prestigious way of dressing that it was not everyone’s cup of tea. However, this is what makes Britain so brilliant: our country is enriched in diversity.

Dear Princess D was the heroine of the Sloanes. She sported pearls and cardigans in soft shades. As a member of royalty, she created a sophisticated following with flat pumps and high pie-crust shirts. For the composed look, pussy-bow blouses were worn with blazers with silk neckerchiefs bought from Liberty of London.

This esteemed fashion cult pride themselves on their demure and alluring accessories. Earrings were always worn, and this is why we choose a pair of subtle garnets from Annoushka Ducas’ sensational collection. This is a truly gorgeous accessory that not only reflects a mirror-like effect, but class as well.

BEATNIKS
TIMELESS TREASURE: HIGH NECK KNITTED TOP

AVAILABLE FROM: HARRODS – £120

The beatniks blended chic into an outstandingly cool look. Formed in the late 50s, berets, turtlenecks and the skimpiest of skinniest jeans were worn to emit a ‘Dali-esque’ style. Yes, one may say they conquered the French muse and painter approach, but the staple items make them ageless in today’s ferocious world of fashion.

The movement was lavishly full of intellectuals and characterised by poetry – their simple clothes were a statement of not being materialistic. Subsequently, the style was so plain it alluded elegance. Their love for art and jazz clubs was apparent, as they gathered in the trendiest of haunts.

Heroines Hepburn and Edie Sedgwick supported the tribe, supporting black slippers and uncomplicated hair ‘dos. The straightforwardness of the look was so appealing, and today it can be mirrored with ease. Wear tight tapered trousers, a slim-fitted turtleneck and simple pumps (most importantly, the colour must be black). Black is more popular now than ever, and for those un-attracted to striking colours, many lessons can be learned from this sub-culture. TNG recommends this knitted high-neck top from Reiss. Pair with tapered trousers and you have the Beatnik chic immediately.

BUFFALO GIRLS
TIMELESS TREASURE: THE PORK PIE HAT

AVAILABLE FROM: CHRISTY’S – £60

This wasn’t a cult one could simply copy from someone on the street. The style took its time to be formed, influences were drawn on American Indians and specific images rather than looking to obvious movements. The clan devired from a collective of numerous photographers and artists, its leader being Ray Petri. Petri wanted to mix Motown and reggae with flight-jackets, branded accessories and oversize clothing. The Buffalo epitomised tough: their poise was so aggressive yet so unmistakably stylish.

For many Buffalo girls, the pork pie hat was a masculine, yet a powerful accessory to have. With the revive of the colour black and androgynous shapes in today’s era, masculinity is in – and so is this hat from Christy’s. If you exude a strong personality, then follow it in your fashion and be inspired by this clan. This is a classic British design which is a necessity in any woman’s wardrobe. You can’t get much better than Christy’s, and this piece will pop colour to any outfit (or go black, they have a wide selection of shades to satisfy your needs).

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