In recent years we have seen everything vintage become popular and enter the mainstream, as at some point, society decided to start bringing back or reinventing old trends in a big way, from fashion and accessories, to household items and vintage cars, despite the technology we have today. But when did this obsession with all things vintage start?
More or less around ‘65 was when certain groups within society first started embracing vintage, with hippies and mods expressing their identities through mixing and matching clothes of different eras in order to deviate from conservative trends.
Since then there have been various clubs throughout the decades, right up to the punk era of the 80’s, which have kept up this practice. And in recent years we’ve started to see vintage and retro styles creep into the mainstream, from apparel to old-fashioned objects and polished up, fancy old cars.
But what exactly is the difference between vintage and retro? These days a lot of people seem to use the terms interchangeably, butMerriam-Websterdefines vintage as “a period of origin or manufacture”- think of someone’s great grandmother’s 20’s style tiara on sale at a flea market – while retro is an imitation of a tiara made to represent 20’s. The site also defines retro as, basically, “reviving” a section of the past.
So why do people want to revive the past? Is it a case that newer styles are becoming increasingly plain and people want to experiment more with striking images from the past? Is the reason more deep-rooted and psychological or is it just mere nostalgia?
Gretchen Fenston,a famous hat designer, believes it can be a source of “comfort”, referring to the mid 1800’s where people started adopting older-fashioned styles due to being “afraid of the Industrial Revolution”.
And in recent years, the main vintage style we have witnessed being expressed has largely been based on the 20’s and 30’s. Movies like The Great Gatsby and TV shows like Peaky Blinders on Netflix have inspired retro dress and haircuts from the 20s and 30s.
[IMAGE SOURCE: Pexels]
The 20’s and 30’s happened to be revolutionary decades of American history, especially for women, with the introduction of the right to vote and express themselves more freely. Could the throwback to this vibrant era of modernism have been a response to anxiety about our rapidly changing and technologically advancing society?
Whatever the reason for it, nostalgia for bygone decades is still alive. There was a brief resurgence in 60’s and 70’s fashion last year with bold, colorful and floral patterns making a return in spring and summer. Now the trends areleaning towards the 80swith bomber jackets, drainpipes and Doctor Martins making their way back to the fore, and series like Stranger Things with an emphasis on 80’s style soundtracks have gained huge popularity.
This upsurge also had an effect on interior decor with some embracing Art Deco designs in the home or in the office. Likewise, many old devices, despite major technological advancements, are once again in demand, giving rise to the term “repro” which basically means a reproduction of an old item like turntables.
Turntables have once again become so popular that the old technology is marrying with the new and most repro versions are manufactured with USB ports. Many people who grew up with vinyl say they miss the feeling of owning a large record and the sound that it produces. Polaroid cameras are comingback to the futureas well, with new models incorporating the features of a modern digital camera that delivers instant retro prints, leaving you and your friends with something you can actually hold in your hand.
And Despite Eight Generation video games and online gaming being popular hobbies nowadays, oldies such as Donkey Kong and Pac-Man are reigniting the old charm that arcade games once had, and some original versions are now worth a small fortune. There’s even been a resurgence in tabletop role playing and dice games, as well as card games.
So for your next girls’ night in, why not change things up a bit with a good old-fashioned game of Monopoly or if you have never played poker (or at least not with real cards),why not organize your own game, leave the smartphones aside for one night, bring down some of those old-school records from the attic and raise a toast to the good ol’ days? Because, for the moment, it’s all about the old and the new going hand in hand. Vintage fashion and vintage products have been and for the moment continue to be, at the height of chic and can sometimes add a stylish touch of reality to an increasingly virtual world.