Vintage design refers to an item of another era that holds important and recognizable value. This style can be applied to interior design, decor and other areas. Vintage design is popular and vintage items have risen in price. Outlets of vintage design have shifted from thrift store to shabby chic stores.
There is debate over what determines if an item is vintage. Some rely on the definition of anything old and of value. Others create a more limited bracket dictating only objects old enough to have been "used", but not more than two generations old.
The terms vintage, retro, and antique are oftentimes used interchangeably and have some overlay, however the words possess different meanings. Retro refers to styles of a previous era, while vintage refers to an older object that contains important value, and lastly antique refers an item of the previous era or at least 100 years old. A related term is antiquity, which indicates something of past eras, or simply put, ancient.
Vintage items spark interest in many. The United States Department of Labor tells us that, "Design and fashion trends play an important part in the production of furniture. The integrated design of the article for both esthetic and functional qualities is also a major part of the process of manufacturing furniture."
The popularity of vintage design and vintage inspired items can be seen through media. In 2004 designer Nicolas Ghesquière created a line for Balenciaga which called back to older collections. Tom Ford's collection for her also uses references to the past. Vintage design can also be seen in ads which promote vintage inspired clothing.
There are several reasons for vintage design's popularity. Some claim the phenomenon is due to the rarity and classic value of the items. Others state the reason to be a result of nostalgia creating a positive emotional appeal for people toward a decade of their childhood, or other experience.
Art Nouveau is a style containing curved lines, flowers and other plants, contrasting colors, ornate colors, young women, and intricate details. It was created at the end of the 1800s and gained popularity at the start of the 1910s.
Art Deco was created to intentionally embrace a clean, modern, and man-made look, developed and pupular from the 1920s through to the early 1940s. This style features mostly geometric shapes, symmetrical patterns, and idealized human figures.
International Style design contains broad block letters in fonts such as Helvetica (see Swiss Style for further information on the typographic style) and sleek, modern lines invoking Mies-ian simplicity and a cosmopolitan aire.
The styles of the 1970s are incredibly popular in vintage design, recalling the aesthetics of hippies and other counterculture groups of the era. Use of natural color combinations such as the well-known 'harvest gold, avocado green, and burnt orange' was widespread, as were psychedelic colors and designs such as paisley.
Postmodernism as a style incorporates bold colors and abstract geometric motifs with intentionally humorous references to past architectural and design traditions, popular in the 1980s and 1990s. Whereas 'less is more' was a tenet of modernism, postmodern architect Robert Venturi quipped 'less is a bore'. Postmodernism has heavily influenced the vaporwave aesthetic.
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