This season, The Kooples draws inspiration from the clothing rivalry of the
famous gangs of the British counterculture in the late fifties, to a backdrop of
imported American Rock & Roll when Elvis provided the soundtrack to their
In London in the summer with its heat and roaring engines, gangs of Teddy Boys
and Café Racers from the council estates endlessly argue over girls with piercing
gazes, doe eyes and scarlet lips. Wild love affairs, bad boys and sharp silhouettes.
On one side, Boy Racers in leather and jeans ride shortened Nortons and
customised Triumphs to break the «tone» barrier. On the other side, the Teddies
act tough on their shiny Vespas with tyres edged with white like their shirts worn
with slim black ties.
With their dandy jackets and waistcoats from Saville Row, drape jackets with
long black collars in houndstooth check, pompadour and ducktail hairstyles,
drainpipe trousers or black jeans, they battle to the sound of the juke box.
In their deathly battles for love, pride is wounded by the laughter of the gang’s
girls, and guys are energised by the pale glow of the white necks of rival girls. In
polka-dot or floral dresses adorned with leathers and studs, they provoke the boys
in tattooed jackets and black or checked shirts, with white piping or ties.
It is said that in the folds of their collars there gleamed concealed razor blades
and the pockets of leather jackets or trench coats contained knives before battles
over a girl, a song, or an extra mile.