Once Upon A Time, You Looked So Fine: The Nobel-Prize Winning Style of Bob Dylan


It’s been more than fifty years since a thin, moaning kid from Minnesota began playing folk in the Village, growing up to become the voice of a nation, the leader of a generation of songwriters, and now, one of the most revered writers in the world.  The Nobel Committee, in their eminent yet delayed wisdom, have finally awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature to Mr. Robert Zimmerman, known to most of the world as the brilliant and eternally influential Bob Dylan.

Anyone worth their salt has a favorite Dylan album, and anyone who doesn’t, DOES, because whether they know it or not, they’ve been touched by Dylan’s music.  They love Hendrix’s take on “All Along the Watchtower.”  They saw a nude Robin Wright sing “Blowin’ in the Wind” in Forrest Gump.  Some of us listened to “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” on a loop after a bad breakup.  His music is truly inescapable, and it’s as much a part of our national fabric as baseball, apple pie, or eating too much apple pie   at a baseball game.

Though his lyrical genius at this point has been lauded ad nauseum and he is finally the recipient of arguably the word’s most prestigious award, Bob Dylan is also an icon of fashion; a trailblazer also in the field of fashion.  From his beginnings as a Kerouac-esque workwear afficionado, to the amazing pea coats, to the all-black getups, Dylan’s outfits were sometimes as seemingly sloppy as his trademark hair.  But it wasn’t because he was careless, or that he wasn’t paying attention, or that he thought WE weren’t paying attention.  It was as crafted as every lyric, as necessary as every harmonica solo, and the more something seemed unintentionally out of place or disheveled, the more it was SUPPOSED to be there.

So in honor of his Nobel win, Manner takes you through Dylan’s most fashionable looks throughout the six decades that he has been our country’s poet laureate to show that if the Swedes had a medal for fashion, Bob Dylan would have that one, too.

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