When looking to youth subcultures there are numerous groupings you could easily draw inspiration from - the mods, the teddy boys, the beatniks yet within these sub-cultures there are often key gangs which establish themselves and for me no group did this better then the Edelweiss Pirates. Emerging from the swing kids the Pirates effectively created their own youth culture. The back drop of the Nazi state defined this movement as they became a formative symbol of resistance often clashing with Hitler Youth and the gestapo.
Their style directly took cues from the 1930's American swing movement and married it with German folklore. They exemplified bohemian dressing and lifestyle, favouring peasant looks, making them contemporary embracing homburg hats and skirts with mid-calf hem lines and flounces. They also lent their roots to the boy scouts wearing jungschaftsjacke, almost poncho style blouses and badges associated with hiking, as they romanticised life off grid. Dressing in lederhosen was a central part of their look as German heritage and resisting its malign was always at the forefront of their minds.
I love how they remained in tune with cultural tradition while incorporating the forward thinking ideals of the youth swing movement, as they fearlessly opposed and rebelled against a regime in a way that only youth can.
Posted by Susan Walsh