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Postmodern Beats, Kerouac & Co. – Style Starters

This is the first in our series of Style Starters, intended to be an introduction to iconic looks and subcultures that gives you the context and the pieces necessary to understand and incorporate it into your own style.

“America I’ve given you all and now I’m nothing.” – Allen Ginsberg

The detonation of the atomic bomb destroyed far more than the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It was the end of modernism and, at the same time, the birth of post-modernism. What was the point of all the effort of design, art, architecture, and literature if humanity could all be vaporized in a single bright moment?

This was the question the artistic world would have to grapple with in the newly minted atomic age. For a certain literary subset, their answer was drinking heavily, exploring eastern religions, sexual experimentation, and most importantly for our contexts, wearing blue collar clothing. These were the Beats (or Beat Generation) and this is their clothing.


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