Vintage, the strength of the past

The power of vintage works not only in the fashion world. Today there is a lot of talk about vintage, even in furniture. But often it is not quite clear what we are talking about.

The word vintagecomes from the Old French vint (twenty) age (years) and was coined for the world of wine. It therefore indicated a bottle produced at least twenty years earlier.

The definition was then extended to other sectors, such as fashion, objects, cars and furniture. Vintage indicates products that increase in value over time, in the same way that some wines, as they age, acquire characteristics that make them more valuable.

the strength of vintage

What does vintage mean?

The term vintage was then used to identify the superior quality of objects considered “cult” for different reasons, when compared to other previous or subsequent productions, especially for the unrepeatability and non-reproducibility that distinguishes them, or for reasons related to reasons of culture or custom.

The phenomenon can be traced back to the Second World War, but it was in the 1980s that the concept of “vintage style” began to appear. The past becomes a source of inspiration for contemporary styles, which pick up on trends from previous eras.

In the nineties the vintage trend consolidates and becomes a constant in the fashion industry. It is then that it loses the connotations of rebellion against the consumerist society that had animated it in the sixties and seventies, when wearing used clothes represented a real political act.

Vintage and high fashion

The vintage trend has also spread to the world of entertainment, so much so that on red carpets and in the most important events, celebrities have begun to wear clothes previously worn by other celebrities, a practice which has then been amplified and consolidated to this day.

This habit tends to confuse the market a little, leading to consider everything second-hand as vintage. In reality, second-hand ones, which have been owned by another person, may have been produced in any historical period, more or less recent. The value of these objects, especially of clothes and bags of famous brands, does not depend on the time, but on the quality, condition and original price.

the strength of vintage

Vintage or retro?

The term vintage is often confused with the concept of retro, which also derives from the French (rétrospectif).). This indicates products that are also modern but inspired by the aesthetics, shapes and styles in vogue in eras of the past, often also connoting them in a derogatory sense. The definition of vintage instead refers to authentic objects produced in past decades.

The two concepts are compatible. While vintage items may have a retro feel, not all products with a retro aesthetic are necessarily vintage items.

The term remake, on the other hand, indicates the production in the contemporary era of objects that imitate models made in previous eras.

the strength of vintage

Combinations for the house

As in fashion, also in furniture, the trend of combining vintage objects with modern furniture has also spread in furnishing, to which they seem to give an extra touch of value and originality.

How to manage these pairings in order not to run the risk of exaggerating in one direction or another?

Meanwhile the colors. Neutral or pastel ones are best if you want to mix contemporary and vintage furnishings. If we want to use an object with a saturated or dark color, we need to make a careful choice.

the strength of vintage

Does vintage also mean iconic?

In the furniture sector, this term indicates a style that includes valuable objects thirty, forty, fifty years old, or even more. It refers in particular to objects that have become iconic both for the high quality that distinguishes them and for the role they have conquered over time in the common imagination.

Vintage choices are often not limited to a purely aesthetic fact. It is a style that takes you back to the past and past eras, which evokes nostalgia but also a feeling of comfort for the memories of times gone by.

In furnishing it gives originality to the house, enriching it with unique pieces found in the markets or in grandmother’s cellars.

Romance and nostalgia

You can like vintage or not. Surely every object thus defined contains a romantic idea in itself. Those who appreciate this style also love going back in time and imagining the history experienced by that object and by those who owned it before them.

Turning on a 1950s lamp, sitting on a 1970s armchair or wearing an early 20th century coat projects us into another era. It’s like wearing a brand that differentiates us from others, in whose eyes we are unique and therefore more attractive.

2 thoughts on “Vintage, the strength of the past

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