The vintage/retro trend has been going strong for quite a few years now. But whether it’s vintage second-hand clothing, retro photo filters, nostalgic gifts, 1920’s themed weddings or shabby chic furniture, the trend doesn’t seem to be disappearing in a hurry.
So why do we love vintage so much? Is it just the cycle of fashion or is there an underlining reason we are drawn to vintage/retro design? After doing some exploring, we found some of the reasons vintage has been so successful.
Quality and Craftsmanship
We live in a world where everything from clothes to electronics are made to be easily accessible and disposable. With high street brands churning out every product we could ever want at low enough prices, there is no room for real lasting quality and real design is often replaced with short-lived and lifeless, mainstream trends. Let’s face it, in the good ol’ days, things were made to last. Before mass production, our possessions had higher value and longer shelf life. The vintage trend has proved quite a response by a new appreciation for lasting, unique designs. Although brands are not reverting to the old way of manufacturing, they are refocussing the aesthetic design to appear as if they had. Vintage design gives consumers the feeling of a robust, high quality product with attention to decorative detail. Perhaps the vintage fascination is a little like the Arts and Craft movement, rebelling against the mind-dulling “mass produced” look. People are opting for the hand-made and hand-me-down look – whether it’s true vintage or vintage inspired.
Expression and Uniqueness
Everyone wants to be unique and expressive. Vintage has opened the door to decades of bespoke pieces and broken down the barriers of what is “in”. The vast variety allows us to experiment, express ourselves and stand out. Vintage and retro inspiration has created an almost “anything goes” trend where fashion from the 1920’s – 1980’s is acceptable and interchangeable. I sometimes wonder how we will be remembered? Every decade has it’s own design movement, but will our decade be remembered as the big mix? It’s true that fashion has always taken inspiration from the best bits of the past, but perhaps todays trend has gone a step further with so many designs and products completely replicating vintage designs.
Penny pinching & Going Green
The vintage phase is in tune to the economy and the rise in people opting for cheaper, greener and more sustainable lifestyles. Small groups of people are going as far as leaving the 21st century completely and basing their lives in the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. Once upon a time it was not cool to buy clothes from charity shops – now charity shops are no longer for charity – there is simply too much money to be made! Vintage / Retro can be a pretty cheap option in a time when people have less to spend.
Celebration of the Past
Overall, making things look dated makes you feel like you are being transported into a happy memory of past. Vintage celebrates history, great designs of the past and the early days of new technology such as photography.
What do you think? when will vintage start looking shabby and out-dated? Or will that rustic, authentic look stand the test of time?