Saturday, 6 February 2010

VINTAGE: A "Nostagic" Generation?

I stumbled across this BBC on-line article regarding the recent development into the "obsession" and increased promotion of nostalgia and vintage into everyday life. It's popularity growth is aided not only by advertising, but through an apparent "sickness" and desire for the past, a longing for a better time, which isn't so apparently suffering with economic downturns, terrorism and social upheaval.

Or maybe it's just the current "in" thing. Just a passing phase?

Its all to easy to say we, and i'm using the BBC grouping as those of us who reached adulthood during the 1990's and 2000s, look back on say the 1930s or the 1960s wearing rose tinted glasses. Anchored in a world of tension we reflect upon previous decades for what they were, what they had, albeit through rose tinted glasses - something that rarely enters the nostalgic equation.

I know personally that I adore the 1930s, it's just my era. But it would be all to easy to be lost in the glamour of the fashion, of the stars and films of Astaire, Leigh, or even Tierney to name but three without passing an eye to the memory of the economic depression, the social upheaval and the dawn of the Second World War. You have to take the good with the bad, you can't be blindfolded against the negative, because equally it comes to shape the era just as much, possibly even more then the positive. Yet today's society allows us, anyone to reflect through endless TV documentaries, the internet and visual signs upon these lost decades, allowing us a glimpse and a hope of making them real once more.

But this reflection doesn't have to be for the era of your grandparents, it could just be for the 1980s, from your Victorian christening robe to your 1980 shoulder pads. To be "into" nostalgia, according to the BBC article is to feel better about yourself, to return to this former time especially considering the routine and the tedium of contemporary life, of rush rush rushing around.

I don't personally adore vintage life, vintage finds, vintage things because it makes me feel better about myself, I just feel its just where I actually fit in. Maybe I just don't fit in with contemporary life - yet I say this and I know I don't have traditional social outlooks - in that manner i'm very "now". I love vintage finds, because it is who I am. Maybe I am rather lost in today's society. While I don't dress vintage, at least not yet - work doesn't really allow that, I still lose myself in the life and the times of the 1930s - that is my era.

I guess i'm just a magpie.

If you want to have a look at the article for yourself you can here upon the BBC. Would be great to hear your views on it too! Why do you think nostalgic reflections are growing in popularity?


  1. To me, i love the clothing from other times. Beautiful clothes. Romantique. There is something attractive and magic about it. I love to dream, dress up :).
    I don't dress vintage. Although in Paris i could without being noticed and i did when younger. I think in NY, it would work too. Thanks for saying hi! Come again! xoxo

  2. that is a really interesting article, thanks for highlighting it x

  3. Will have a read of tha article, it's something that's always interested me.

    I have a million and one things to say but will have to comment tomorrow now, I'm shattered!

  4. Hey lovely,

    I loved your blog post! I think we hark back to the good ol' days for a few reasons, mainly though most of us seek an escape from our mundanity. Some people dream of upping sticks and leaving for a sunnier climate, some dream of getting enough money to make them happy, other dream of living in a simpler time.

    Also, I think that as we're living with the problems and worries (eg the recession, street crime, injustice of ministers fiddling expenses etc) by looking back to say the 1900s or 1920s we get a sense of relief from them. We see a stronger, hardy generation of men and women who worked hard for what they needed. Fame was only for those who deserved it and had real talent, and community was much more important than it is now.

    Also people don't adapt well to change. Looking back at our own pasts most of us would be happiest when we were children (TV was better back then, food was better, playing games was better etc)

    I think longing to be back in simpler times is healthy for us, as long as we don't dwell on it too much!