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The invention of the ‘teenager’ in the 1950s was a global, almost simultaneous phenomenon. Defined by groups of youths rebelling against the expectations of their parents and wider society in their behaviour, attitudes and clothing, movements sprang up in America, Australia, Japan and beyond. Identifiable by their clothes and the music they’d play, these youths revelled in a post-war freedom not enjoyed by the previous generation.
In the United Kingdom, one facet of this newly emerging youth culture was working class youngsters adopting the formal and flamboyant tailoring of Edwardian dress. Known as the ‘Teds’ (nodding to the Edwardian era their look was borrowed from) their jackets – often sumptuous velvets – had wide notched lapels accessorized with a skinny tie or bootlace, and they wore brothel creeper shoes on their feet.
This contact sheet contains photos of the Teds in Bradford, England, 1976.
Chris Steele-Perkins joined Magnum Photos in 1979.