PUBLISHED : Monday, 11 August, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 11 August, 2008, 12:00am

The beat movement, best personified by icons such as Jack Kerouac, Bob Dylan and even the Beatles at one point, brought with it not only a rebellious sensibility against materialism but also a distinctive beatnik style.

Generally utilising a palette of dark colours such as black, navy blue and maroon, the look generally consisted of a nonchalant mish-mash of skinny jeans, turtlenecks, berets and dark sunglasses. If you've ever seen the musical Funny Face, think of Audrey Hepburn during the number Basal Metabolism and you'll know what kind of look I'm talking about.

The thing about fashion is although we often recycle from the past, each time around it's about adjusting the look to suit the times you live in. As simple as the beatnik look is to accomplish, it's not fashionable to look like you've stepped out of a time machine. Instead, play around with the look to make it modern but still identifiable.

Start with the basic pieces. All you need is a pair of skinny jeans in a dark wash, or a pair of slim-fitting black trousers that hit at the ankle (a big trend for the autumn by the way), a black and white or navy and white striped top, a turtleneck (maybe save this for when it gets colder), both a black and a white tee and a black hat (preferable a beret or a pork pie hat). Dark sunglasses are optional but go far to complete the look.

Once you have the fundamentals in place, then you can play around with it a little. Take a look at Steph (left). She has the beatnik look down pat but with a modern touch. She's paired a satin hoodie with skinny jeans and converse sneakers. I like how the zippered details update the look as well as the fact that she chose satin rather than a more simple material like cotton. It makes her look fresh and modern, while unmistakably referencing the beatnik look.

If you want the look in an abstract way, then just go for funky black and white pieces that are still understated but get the point across. Grace and Pamela (above) both have on monochromatic pieces accented by acrylic necklaces. This may have a slightly more mod look to it but it still has that no-fuss beatnik sensibility. Definitely a stylish and modern representation of the fashion movement.