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SYDNEY’S FIRST ZOOT SUITER

Discussion in 'Suits' started by dinomartino1, Jan 12, 2019.

  1. dinomartino1

    dinomartino1 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    200
    Location:
    Perth, Australia
    "In 1943, 16 year old Kiouzelis was brought to the attention of the authorities for reportedly dancing at Sydney’s Trocadero dance hall in a ‘zoot suit’.

    Australia's First Zoot Suit Appears
    Pale-faced, aide-levered, self
    conecious George Pavlos, an 18-
    year-old waiter, wore at the Troca-
    dero, Sydney, last Saturday night,
    the first zoot suit seen in Austra-
    lia. !
    His coat was of green-checked
    tweed, 26 inches long to the knee,
    and his trousers of only 16 inch
    width at the bottoms, clung to his
    ankles above suede shoes. Pavlos
    was the centre of interest in "jit-
    terbug corner," where comments
    on his zoot suit ranged from "What
    is it?" to 'He ought to get a fiver
    for wearing that rigout!"
    "I had it made at a Sydney
    tailor's," George Pavlos said. "It
    was 30 coupons, same as an ordin-
    ary suit. I've got another one, too
    full drape. I've got a key-chain like
    they wear in America, but I left it
    at home."
    "We fixed him up with the pat-
    tern of how it ought to be done,"
    said American Army Privates Ray
    Ciena and Frarkie Vascante, who
    said they were two of the "Broad-
    way jivers," who had pioneered
    jitterbugging and zoot suits in New
    York.
    "We East Side boys wore them
    when they were considered very
    extreme. George here, he isn't quite
    extreme enough." But they ap-
    proved the large "Windsor knot"
    in George's tie.
    Pavlos is Australian-born of
    Greek parentage.
    As a camera clicked, an Ameri-
    can Marine pushed his way through
    the crowd. "Who you photograph-
    ing there ?" he asked.
    "A zoot suiter," he was told.
    "Wal, wal," he said sadly. "I
    thought from all the fuss it must
    be General MacArthur."

    ZOOT SUITER
    PUT TO WORK
    SYDNEY.-George Kiouzcios,
    a youth of Greek descent and Sydney's
    first zoot suiter, will not be able to
    dance at night for some time to come
    as he will start work on night shift
    on Monday. He has been detailed by
    the manpower authorities to factory
    work on making steel barrels, and his
    hours will be 7.30 p.m. to 5 a.m.
    Previously he had told the Deputy
    Director of War Organisation of In-
    dustry, Mr. Ifould, thnt, he danced
    every night and was so tired that ho
    never rose before 10 a.m. His new
    job will keen him from wanting to
    dance at night, said Mr. Ifould today.
    Kiouzcios, admitted he possessed
    two zoot suits, one of which was now
    held by the Manpower Department,
    The other, at present at the dry
    cleaners, he has promised to hand
    over later. Thc suits had been made
    by. a refugee Greek,tailor from Sal-
    onika who has been in Australia only
    a few months and spoke little Eng-
    lish, ._



    Kiouzelis’ suit was a problem to Mr Ifould, Deputy Director of War Organisation of Industry, as its excessive use of material infringed wartime clothing restrictions. Upon receiving numerous letters about Kiouzelis’ distinctive outfit (and it was surely seen by many, as Kiouzelis went jitterbugging at the Trocadero dance hall every night and claimed to be dancing with 200 girls a week), Mr Ifould had demanded the young man come and visit him at 10am on a Wednesday. Kiouzelis arrived around noon, explaining that as he went out dancing every night, it was difficult for him to rise before 10.

    Mr Ifould turned Kiouzelis over to manpower authorities who forced the teenager to give up his casual work as a waiter and take up a full-time, night-shift position in heavy industry, working at Rheem Manufacturing Co. in Waterloo (alongside Neville McQuade). Mr. Ifould stated that he would investigate the possibility of prosecuting the tailor who made the infringing suit - a recently arrived Greek migrant with little English speaking ability.

    But Kiouzelis’ new job in heavy industry didn’t cramp his style. Perth’s Sunday Times, who had labelled Kiouzelis an ‘Irrepressible Jitterbug’, reported Kiouzelis as saying ‘“Next week… I do night work in my new job, but the following week I’ll be on day work, and then, boy, will I pound the leather! You know what that means if you’re hep to the jive and not too old.’

    Kiouzelis received the title of ‘Sydney’s first Zoot Suiter’ and the news story spread across the country.

    first zooter.jpg
    George Kiouzelis in his famous zoot suit. Image: Sunday Times, Perth, Sunday 5 September 1943


    Trocadero Sam Hood 2CH Children's Christmas party, Trocadero, 1936.jpg
    The Trocadero, 1936. The Trocadero dance hall on George Street, Sydney,


    This is Neville McQuade mentioned above, who was sent by the authorities to work at the same factory
    074.jpg
    Mug shot of Neville McQuade (18) and Lewis Stanley Keith (19), North Sydney Police Station, early June 1942.
    Taken after they had appeared at North Sydney Police
    Court on charges of being idle and disorderley persons, having
    insufficient means of support, and with having goods in their
    possession - including a military uniform and an American dollar bill -
    believed to be stolen. After being remanded in custody for a week,
    both were released on bonds. Of the photographs, McQuade later
    said to a Truth correspondent: 'We were bundled out of the police cell,
    and snapped immediately. My friend and I had no chance to fix our hair
    or arrange our make-up. We were half asleep and my turban was on
    the wrong side.'
    McQuade told the paper of his ambition to be a professional female
    impersonator, and spoke of his admiration for his mentor, Lea Sonia,
    who had been killed not long before getting off a tram in the wartime
    'brownout'.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
    Godfrey and William G. like this.

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