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The Last of the Teddy Girls by Ken Russell

ken russell cover

Today we would like to speak out and show you a series of photographs taken in the early years of the career of Ken Russell, the famous English photographer and director, born in 1927. A short time ago, in England, was discovered in the archives of a photo library, 3,000 of his negatives that for fifty years, it was believed had been lost.

The Last of the Teddy Girls ken russell

Ken Russell, originally wanted to be a dancer, but his father wouldn’t hear of it—no son of his would ever be seen in tights—so the young Russell turned his attention to photography, which give him great success. Immediately he breaks the rules starting to mix his passion for photography with cinema, becoming a great director as we know him. Some of his titles, are: Women in Love, The Music Lovers, The Devils, Tommy, Altered States and Crimes of Passion.

In the early years of his career, Russell worked as a photographer for Picture Post and The Illustrated Magazine, these collaborations allow him to shoot and capture some of the most touching moments of the post-war London (in 1950). Along with his work, often he used to spend his time, sometimes whole days to photograph what was happening in the street, passing nights to print his images in his small apartment in Notting Hill.

ken russell photo

One of the most surprising project, discovered in the lost negatives, is his reportage called The Last of the Teddy Girls, a series of photos documenting London’s girl gang subculture and their male counterparts. Russell portrays these young women, demonstrating their sense of independence, their style dressing with jacket and tie, rejecting society’s expectations that women relied completely opposite roles and traditionalists. The images show the innate talent of Russell for photographic composition and offer a unique look on the female subculture, rarely documented.

ken russell photo

ken russell photo

ken russell photo

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