I am going to sound really old and say that I remember the days when…..... you could go into an opportunity/thrift shop and find vintage clothes and ceramics for very cheap prices. Now if vintage things are there - and often they aren’t – it will be $50 for a 1960s vintage hat or $7 for a tea plate. Vintage is now big dollars.
I was reminded of how popular vintage is when I came across The Vintage Baker at my local fruit and vegetable market on the weekend. She bakes a range of delicious biscuits, (well, I did have to sample them!) my favorite being the ones I purchased called Muddy Gumboots which is a chocolate and oat biscuit.
It got me thinking again about why vintage is popular, whether that’s clothes, food, books and movies. So one day sitting at the park I came up with this brief list.
Why is vintage so popular?
When it comes down to it, for me I think the designs of the past are more beautiful. It should come as no surprise really that I actually love vintage – I am a museum curator after all! I love old things. There’s something about the design of clothes, books and homewares, even posters and buildings, before 1970 which is (mostly) elegant and beautiful.
Maybe grandma was right. Do we have the feeling that maybe “they” in the past knew something that we don’t know or have lost? My grandmother told me once that she hoped I as a “young person” was not wearing black in a tone of great disdain. I have to admit that I think she was right, I look very pale and almost sickly in black!
I heard someone mention that one of the things they loved about Downton Abbey was the sense of ritual and tradition: that there was order to the day and a right way to eat dinner. Maybe people don’t actually like eating dinner in front of the TV? (I shall ignore the whole social baggage which went with that for now!)
I think we are actually very scared of giving advice to each other, particularly when it comes to raising children and life choices. I remember the midwife refusing to give advice on anything including how to put on a cloth nappy “You’ll work it out, everyone works out what’s best for them” she said. Ummmm, that doesn’t help at all, I have never done this before. I’m not asking you to sign my daughter up for French lessons at 2 days old but how to actually feed and change her.
Self-help retro books and reprints of Victorian texts like Mrs Beaton’s are very happy to give your some guidance on almost anything. Some of which seems quaint and silly and some which still rings true today.
Try these two which come from the Don’ts for Wives and the Don’ts for Husbands published initially in 1913:
“Don't let your husband wear a violet tie with grass-green socks. If he is unhappily devoid of the colour sense, he must be forcibly restrained.”
“Don't drop cigarette ash all over the drawing-room carpet. Some people will tell you that it improves the colours, but your wife won't care to try that recipe.”
Behind Jane Austen's Door Reviews
It was great to hear from the Indie Jane (check out their kindle fire giveaway too) Reviewer Nancy Kelley that I had achieved what I set out to do. I so hate reading boring books so I was really glad that I had achieved a quick and easy read. " I felt as if a friend were explaining things to me, which is always a more pleasant way to learn than by reading dull, dusty tomes."
Photo displayed is sourced from Flickr: M1khaela, the patterns date to 1959.