Today, I threw a t-shirt over a pair of black leggings and topped it off with a slouchy beanie. Perhaps not everybody's cup of tea, but it got me thinking about beatniks and their much-parodied style of dress.
Jack Kerouac's "The Beat Generation" created the inspiration for the beatniks, whose aim was "to characterize the underground, anticonformist youth gathering in New York at that time" (Wikipedia). A social movement based on an underground literary movement, they came to be parodied as know-it-all art types who read out their own post modern poetry to the sounds of bongos.
Their personalities might make you want to throw up just a little bit, but on close inspection the clothes aren't all that bad. Think Jean Seberg in Breathless, plenty of eyeliner and cigarettes, or even Audrey Hepburn. It's a mixture of French insocouiance and monochrome everything-matches-cos-its-black-and-white just thrown together glamour, I took to style.com to investigate...
As expected there are many takes on monochrome for AW09, I was most impressed with Giles Deacon's traditional take on the beatnik look, D&G's face printed tee and Alexander Wang's oversized white shirt, black trousers and slicked back hair (so good I put it on there twice!).
It seems dark shades, even darker clothes and a face like thunder will never go out of style. I'd better brush up on my poetry, take up smoking and start to ponder the meaning of space and existence...