Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mainstream "Vintage"

We all know that "vintage" is becoming ever more popular and mainstream.  I had not realized the extent of the trickle down until I viewed this yesterday:

These photos are from my local Target.  Yes, Target. (No, I am not in any way affiliated with Target.  This will become readily apparent should you choose to keep reading.)
Hold it now folks.  I expect this in PB, RH (by the way have you gotten their new catalog - the biggest thing EVER.  A veritable tome!) and my beloved Anthro.
I should be excited.  I know that I should.
It's just so generic.  It loses all its soul. 
Mostly, it's made in CHINA.
It further confuses the notion of vintage.  There is vintage style and there is true vintage.
People are losing sight of that.  I have customers telling me that when my tags say vintage it means the item is new (more than once have I heard this).
It is a flimsy knock off of the tried and true.  Pieces have no heft.  Their "signs of life" are fake from start to finish.  There is no story to tell - only the one of mass consumerism/commercialism.
I like my junque rusty and crusty and saved from the trash.  I like the green aspect of really re-using vintage.  I love to pretty up the discarded and cast off.
I don't want to see more junk made in an environmentally unfriendly manner.  I don't like more items made "just because".  I'm not looking forward to another year of hearing folks say, "I can just get that at _________ (fill in the blank)" (which is tied with my other favorite statement, "I can make that myself").
You cannot purchase true vintage as a complete set/look.  You cannot complete your house in a day.  I've never completed a room in a day (of course my house is NEVER complete - it will always change and evolve). 
Preserving the past is infinitely more interesting than filling up the cart in aisle three.
So as junque season approaches in full this is my plea:
Elevate the ordinary!
Rescue and re-use!
Buy real vintage (it is very often MADE IN USA)!
Challenge the big box establishment and create your own vintage style!


Theda said...

Have you been watching Lara Spencer on GMA. I think of you every time I see her with a flea market find. You go, girl.

Pam~ Virginia Retro said...

Here, here! My sentiments exactly. We've been working on our vintage decor for some 25 years. Great post. Pam

DearHelenHartman said...

Testify, girl! That Target junk makes me sad (and I LOVE Target). Great post.

autena said...

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But the original is the best.

Anonymous said...

The best China products can do is copy.....copy.....copy. No original ideas,just copy the best America can offer .. Our original junkers, those with the best ideas! I am in wholesale business with American made products . all made one at a time and with good old vintage junk! I cannot tell you how many times a China dealer will come into my booth with camera in hand! Copy, copy, copy.