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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Chelsea Girls

The term "Skinhead" is often associated with worldwide neo-nazi and racist groups- however, in it's purest sense, it describes a subculture movement rooted in music, fashion and rebellion that began in 1960's Britain and grew from there. Musically, tastes ranged from ska to reggae to soul to punk rock, and wardrobes drew inspiration from many Skinhead's Mod roots, adopting a more working class-friendly aesthetic. Some of the trademark looks include brogues, suspenders (or braces), loafers, steel toe boots and straight-leg jeans. These "Hard Mods" became known as skinheads because of their close-cropped or shaved hairstyles, which were quite contrary to the longer hippie and mod styles of the day.

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Female skinheads were often called Chelsea Girls, in reference to their version of the boys' look. The Chelsea Girl hairstyle (also called a Feather Cut) is usually shaved or cropped everywhere, except for fringes on the front, side and back. This is one of my favorite hairstyles, and as you can see, I'm sporting a modified version in my profile picture. They had a sharp, modern fashion sense, often referenced by many designers today.

Here's a great example of the Chelsea or Feather Cut:

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A few examples of style, dress and culture:

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

ah chelsea girls... what a great post. i love reading about english subculture in the 60's. who else could come up with a phrase like 'moral panic?'

12:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a fringe in 10th grade :P

I love that old school working class style!!

5:20 PM  
Blogger monica! said...

you almost forgot "skin byrd", that's what we called em'...

2:48 PM  
Blogger casey said...

Hi. I just found your blog. very nice indeed. i thought you might be interested in this blog:
It's actually my boyfriends (and his friends) blog, but I thought you might like it, after reading this posting...

2:36 PM  
Blogger Ceilidh said...

i got a chelsea yesterday, and my mom is already suspicious of my motives.
she thinks all "skin heads" or "chelsea girls" are just neonazis.

it doesn't sit well with me that someone who is outwardly so informed doesn't know anything about "skin head", etc. culture.

thank you for the post!

1:15 PM  
Blogger ULTERIOR said...

My mom thought the same thing as Ceilidh's.have't moms ever heard of SHARP?DX anywayz i love this hairstyle.

5:42 PM  
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2:31 AM  
Blogger ^alexa^ said...

i really like this blog and im very interested in old english subculture but i have a question to be a "chelsea girl" was there any race preference like did you have to be a specific race??

4:45 PM  
Blogger About This. said...

No race preference whatsoever. The great thing about the two tone ska movement and its Jamaican influences is that it tried to eliminate the racial tension between black immigrants and the white working class in England. Bands such as The Selector and The Specials are prime examples

12:02 AM  
Blogger thinkagain said...


12:35 PM  
Blogger Dani said...

nice one... keep em' coming like this!!

6:27 PM  

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