Style has always been about more than just the clothes on our backs. It’s a combination of clothes, character, and then the presentation of the two. A blend I can’t get enough of is the Sixties beatnik; a post-Catcher In The Rye generation in New York City selling this way of life that seemed both dangerous and fun. I can’t think of anyone who epitomizes this better than Bob Dylan.
The folk singer, now in his 70’s, is notorious, but I want to focus on the early Sixties when he was starting his career, peddling his folk songs that spoke out against war and challenged the current views of civil rights. All this while wearing buttoned-downs, turtlenecks, dark colours, heeled boots, and sunglasses. It’s not hard to see why his style has barely changed, or why modern day hipsters try to emulate his bohemian style.
A harmonica, guitar, mop of unkept hair, dark glasses, raspy voice all joined together to create the wonderful style of Bob Dylan. I can only imagine how cool he must of looked, alone on stage, but beatnik style was about so much more than looking cool and drinking coffee. It was about standing for something, and you can hear Dylan’s stance through his songs. Back then a cig, an air of disregard and a witty remark about the failures of government was essential to pulling off this look.
Beatniks went against the grain and weren’t afraid to question previous generations way of life. A small part of me wishes that I was alive during that time, when feminism and equal rights was a fight, not something taken for granted. Your style said as much about you as the sign you were holding in protest. I wish Holden Caulfield was here to call us all phonies.
– Dress like a man, act like a woman – KL