The Lost Style Subculture of Elvis Presley Rebels

By

22nd Feb, 2012

What are the Swiss known for?

Beautiful skiing and great chocolate? Handy pocket knives and offshore accounts? Founding the Red Cross and being the only country in the heart of Europe to resist fascism?

All good points.

But did you know that Switzerland was also the birthplace of an extreme rebel youth subculture, based on an obsession with American rock’n’roll icons such as Elvis, James Dean and Marlon Brando?

In the late 1950s, Karlheinz Weinberger (1921-2006), an erotic photographer for gay magazines in Zurich at the time, discovered a burgeoning counter-culture of Swiss ‘gangs’ who had started creating a rebel look that fused American pop culture imagery with their own distinctive ideas of style.

He dedicated his time to following these rebels around, earning their trust and subsequently being able to document their lifestyle.

What is probably most interesting about the images is the stark contrast between the angelic faces  framed with blonde hair, and their outrageous jeans customized with screws, giant chains necklaces and armor-like belt buckles.

 

The goal of the movement was clearly to show a rejection of authority and the social ideals imposed by the swiss upper class of the time.

Weinberger’s work, perhaps the only documentation today of this lost and forgotten sub-culture, is appreciated not only for its historical importance but also its artistic value.

Rizzoli published a book showcasing Weinberger’s work which has been quietly influencing fashion for decades…

Buy the book here on Rizzoli.

:::

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:

.

You Might Also Like

Comments

More in Don't Be A TouristEditor's PicksForget ParisInspiration VaultMy Secret ParisNostalgiaTeeny Tiny Stuff

Hot Off the Press

Editor's Picks

magiccarpet

The Incredible Magic Carpets of Everyday Junk

After seeing this, you may never look at an empty plastic bottle or your bathroom's Q-tips in quite the same way again. Think of any mundane, everyday object lying around in your home and We Make C...

Trending 1,682
bathttime12

Kangaroo Bathtime at a New York City Madhouse

Anyone who has a pet knows that bathtime can be a rather tricky affair. But after discovering this photo story deep in the LIFE archives, giving a thorough scrub to my oversized pup now seems lik...

Trending 3,724
klm

All Aboard AirBnB’s Airplane Apartment

There's nothing 'economy' about this getaway home whose front porch also happens to be an airport boarding ramp– and a very welcoming one at that, with an orange nome waiting for you at the door....

Trending 11,126
IMG_5103_Fotor

Le P’tit Bar: A Time Capsule in Paris

At 9 meters squared, "Le P'tit Bar" is literally the most petit bar in Paris. On any evening upon first glance, it looks as if it's closing up for the night, but do not be deterred– push open the...

Trending 27,593
catbooks

The Little Bookshop that Takes in Homeless Cats

Cats and books. They just go hand in hand, don't they? Like jam and toast. And at a small bookstore in Hong Kong, they only know it too well. The SAM KEE Book Company has become known as an unoffi...

Trending 19,476