Ernie Hill. 1954. ‘Dressed in styles of 1830’s: ‘Vicky Boys’ all rage in London’. In Pittsburgh Press 03.09.1954, p.10.
Chicago Daily News Foreign Service.
LONDON. Sept. 3 – The gay young blades of London are going wild over a new fashion fad.
They are having their tailors cut them suits similar to those worn during the reign of Queen Victoria – 1837 to 1901.
The outfit includes a cut-away coat, turned back cuffs of velvet, wide lapels to match, drain-pipe trousers, a puff cravat, slanting coat pocket and a six-inch sash or cummerbund.
So dressed, they are called Vicky Boys.
This latest fashion is competing against the Edwardian styles which developed popularity one year ago. An estimated 50,000 young Englishmen have tailor-made Edwardian suits.
The Edwardian outfit – copied after the clothing worn during the reign of King Edward VII 1901 to 1910 – has a long zoot suit coat, drain pipe trousers, high shirt collar and a black string bowtie.
The addicts of this fashion are known as Teddy boys.
The Vicky boys consider themselves much more elegant than the Teddy boys.
[John A. Johns (1921–2005), staff artist at the Pittsburgh Press since 1952]
Both sides in the sartorial war wear their hair with a big puff standing up in front like an exaggerated ‘Little Abner’ hair cut.
The interesting thing about these raging London fashions is that most of the blades in the running are working boys who have been forced to quit school at 16 or 17.
They have their suits made for $30 to $35 and pay for them over a period of six [month]s.
Anthony Russell. 1954. ‘Now, Heaven help us – The Vicky Boys’. In The Argus – Weekender (Melbourne, Victoria) 28.08.1954.
LONDON, Friday. – A flood of orders to a Willesden tailor’s has let a fashion secret out of the bag. The Teddy Boys are to be replaced – by the Vicky Boys.
From now on the Edwardian line is ‘out’. The Victorian, or Prince Albert line, is in.
And, believe me, you’ll see the Prince Albert line in Melbourne and Sydney very soon.
Already eight suits in the new style have been ordered from the High St., Parlesden, branch of a multiple firm.
Drain pipe trousers and string ties go back … back with the fashion clock. Puff cravats, cut-away coats, turn-back sleeve cuffs and tails drawn-off at the back are on their way in … Willesden has spoken.
The new arbiters of fashion – Ginger Joe, Little Titch and The Squire – graciously outlined their plans in an exclusive kerbside interview. “Coats will be like morning suits with their tails cut off,” said Ginger.
“They will fasten with two buttons on each side, very close together, at the front, and buttons to match at the back.”
“Lapel pockets will be cut slanting. Trouser pockets will be curved and slanting and set in the front,” said Little Titch.
“LAPELS will be faced with a piece of different colored cloth,” added The Squire.
“And the trousers will have a six-inch waistband.”
“Four-inch!” argued Ginger.
Whatever size cummerbund they settle on, the new Victorian age looks like getting off to a fast start.
Branch manager Eric Kendall anticipates a rush of orders at ten to eleven guineas a time, according to the cloth.
“I am putting through the first orders on the boys’ next pay day – Monday,” he said. “You can’t be too careful about that.”
The story behind the new fashion is a simple one of pride. The Willesden ‘hounds’ are out to show up the rest of London particularly their long-standing rivals, the Kilburn crowd.
“We don’t care about the load of old men at the Elephant,” said Ginger. “The Bermondsey boys – niver ’eard of ’em. But we’ll soon make the Kilburn mob look like a shower of country bumpkins!”
“Yus,” chimed in the boy they call The Squire. “When we go carting the dolly up to the Mapesbury, in Kilburn Lane or the Montagu at Ealing, we aim to look just beaut in our new clobber.”
Little Titch put in a word. “It’s like this, guv’nor,” he said. “We are out to set the style, see?”
And the leader of the new fashion?
“In Willesden, guv, we don’t have no leaders,” they said. “We’re all democrats here.”
– Anthony Russell1URL: http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/23433774
POSTED March 2015.