Real photo of wooden retro cupboard with fresh plant and candle standing in dark grey living room interior with colorful armchair, gold lamp and poster with vinyls

The Vintage Revival: Explained

Items are being marketed as ‘vintage’ everywhere we look. Whether it’s 80s dance music, Victorian-looking camisoles, or 90s inspired TV shows, a long-standing trend is evident.

So, why are the younger generation currently obsessed with everything retro? Read on to find out how contemporary media and design has been impacted by this aesthetic.

 

Music and pop culture

Ongoing shows such as Stranger Things and Bridgerton are set in the 80s and 1810s, respectively. These series are two of Netflix’s most popular programmes ever released, highlighting the appeal of reminiscent media.

Pop music itself has also begun to feature retro sounds such as synth and 80s dance music. Mainstream artists such as the Weekend and Dua Lipa seem to love incorporating the old within the new, perhaps to match a societal crave for music that reminds us of simpler times.

There has also been a surge in popularity of turntables and record players. We could put this down to nostalgia, or their more authentic sound, but either way, it is clear they are making a strong comeback.

 

Interior design impact

Homes have been hugely impacted by the retro resurgence. We are seeing an increasing number of retro interiors both in magazines and online. Prevalent designs include:

  • Art Deco – a luxury style back in the 20th century that features streamlined forms and bold geometrics.
  • Mid-century Modern – a popular post-war trend between the 1940s and 1970s that celebrates vibrant colour schemes and abstract ideas.

Although some designs are taken to the extreme, many modern projects simply take inspiration from past trends by using a combination of old and new to create a timeless space.

 

Current fashion trends

The fashion industry is also saturated with the vintage aesthetic. Celebrity moments such as Kim Kardashian wearing Marlyn Monroe’s dress to the Met Gala, or Bella Hadid’s 90’s model-off-duty paparazzi shots have made the style a worldwide trend.

This high-end circulation has caused a consequential bleed into conventional clothing, and fast fashion brands are capitalising on the movement. However, a significant aspect of this trend is the desire to stand out by wearing unique items, so mainstream circulation could cause a loss of potency.

The ‘Y2K’ look has been particularly popular for the last few years, and this has caused a multitude of further micro trends. For example, the ‘office siren’ visual is frequenting in clothing outlets and media such as TikTok at the moment, and this style originates from 00s women’s workwear.

 

Evidently, the obsession with recycling old trends, whether this be within music, TV, interior design or fashion, will not be decelerating anytime soon.

And don’t be quick to bash this movement, as it has a widely positive impact. Purchasing second hand items from charity shops or online marketplaces in the hope of obtaining ‘true vintage’ has also become immensely popular. This promotes sustainability and environmental health, making it a great biproduct of Gen Z’s retro fascination.

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