Abracadabra Dept Presents: Sharpies & Brushes

Photograph by Rennie Ellis, 1973

When there were teddy boys and girls in England, the Australian counterpart were known as Bodgies and Widgies and when English kids began switching from mod to skin, blue-collar Melbournians rose up as Sharpies. From the late sixties to the late seventies, girls (known as Brush) had their hair in a skin-like bootgirl style, paired with skin tight tees and pleated skirts while the Sharps wore proto-mullets (occasionally with additional rat tail), stagger jeans or checked baggy trousers known as ‘flags’, Italian knit cardigans and leather shoes. For all their imported tailoring though, the prevailing attitude was rough as bloody guts.

Melbourne Sharps t-shirt via aussie bambam

Loads more Sharpies & Brushes pics here

Sharpies Greg Macainsh, 1974


Sharpies dancing at Myer Music Bowl, 1975.


♫ Take a listen to Sharpies Attack music compilation – Download


Kate Jinx is a designer and writer living in Sydney who blogs at Abracadabra Department and hosts Too Much. She spent most of her teenage years making zines and agonising over mix tape structure.