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2013: 20 Vintage Lifestyle Trends, Plus 13 Lucky Bloopers   01/04/2013
Randolph Street Market ~ Chicago Antique Market ~ Indie Designer Market ~ Modern Vintage Chicago ~ Fashion, Jewelry, Flea Market, Antique Shows
Randolph Street Market ~ Chicago Antique Market ~ Indie Designer Market ~ Modern Vintage Chicago ~ Fashion, Jewelry, Flea Market, Antique Shows

What is Time?  Is it simply a consensus on our collective reality?  Is today’s more relevant than say… a week ago last Thursday? 

Or perhaps time is just an intangible concept that we humans use to make one another feel bad: “You can’t be too rich, but you can certainly be too late.”

It’s no wonder then that the present is always so tense.

Yes, Time is a Bitch.  Space, however vacuous and in need of better lighting, always requires things. Stuff. Objects. Tchothckes. A Gucci Handbag. A Fornasetti Plate. A Milo Baughman Sofa. The Universe can’t decorate itself. And you’re losing valuable shopping... time.

Hence we present what’s left of the future:  Danny & Sally’s 2013 Predictions.  20 Vintage Lifestyle Trends, Plus 13 Lucky Bloopers: The Objects & Objections for this Most Wondrous New Year.  Enjoy!

1. COWBOY GANGNAM STYLE. Giddyup and go-go-go!  The new cowboy cool is about hides for décor and boots for walking. You’re a year round animal, so you’ll want to snap up embroidered cowboy, suede desert, platforms and kitten heel boots of every specialty.  Furthering the feline...

  Be it a painting, a print, a photograph or an object, cats are as collectible as they are plentiful.  (Spay & neuter, people!)  The dog has had it’s day, but the cat is here to stay... on your wall, shelf or lap… whether you like it or not.   

3.  MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS.  What is the music of your life?  Is it sharp or flat, dreary or dance worthy?  Though perfect instruments are rarities, the second string is where the value lies.  Don’t let the minor chips or dents stop you from making your own beautiful music with classic instruments.  Even if you can’t hum a beat, you can still decorate and enliven your home with the look, if not the sound, of music.  And now for a bridge...

Yes, the future of music was fun for awhile; the digital download, the instant satisfaction.  But where is the quality of the hiss and pop that only a 45 or an LP can bring to the modern ear?  Look for 40’s thru 90’s albums: Soul, Disco, New Wave to Rock Classics.  (The album cover is a lost art form.)  And don’t forget the requisite vintage record player.  It’s the best sound of the past, as God intended.

5. INDUSTRIAL EYEWEAR.  Goggles (Just Google for Goggles) and Vintage Aviator.  Better yet, Welding Goggles in ruby, cobalt or emerald green.  Think Laurie Anderson covering “She Blinded Me With Science--” modified to your own prescription of futuristic fashion. 

6.  OPTICS. Telescopes.  Microscopes. Kaleidescopes.  Optical devices of any type. Vintage tubes, lenses, ephemera, etc.  If vintage is all about looking to the past, optics make the hunt that much clearer.  And more interesting.

  Cool Sears Kenmore chrome toasters that actually toast.  General Electric Fans that actually cool.  Westinghouse Blenders that actually blend.  Vintage Hoover vacuums that suck.  You get the idea.  Vintage American products that work... and work... and work.  Remember: Buying American Vintage is Buying America at its historic best.

8.  1960’s - 80’s MEN’S FASHIONS.
Pork Pie Hats, Beefcake to Punk Tees, Pendleton & Bespoke-Style Shirts, Woolen/Nubby Sweaters, Cobbled Oxford Shoes... and especially retro Converse and Jack Purcell Sneakers without the retro scent.

(Wo)Mankind has been collecting homocentric images for centuries.  Remember the Greeks and their intercourse patterned dinnerware?  (And didn’t Sappho have a Pop-Up Pottery Shop on her infamous island?) Gay Marriage may be just a state of bliss away, but the variety and expansiveness of this collecting trend knows no closet. (FYI: we know of a couple that only collect sailors-- Folk art paintings, to be specific, as they are happily monogamous.  At least until the next Fleet Week.)

10. LESS IS MORE.  Storage is the king that never loses his crown, even if his castle is rather cramped.  Utilize the best of smart design: Furniture that is convertible/stowable for smaller living spaces; cleverly designed folding/tray & nesting tables; multi-purpose, functional pieces.  And don’t forget daybeds and loveseats for that too drunk to drive party guest.

11.  MEDICAL NECESSITIES. Interested in orchestrating your own autopsy? What good is the operational cutlery without the complimentary Glass Beakers, Pyrex Jars and Tubes full of undisclosed liquids... and even less personable solids.  When “Project Runway” meets “Oddities” only you can diagnose the needs of your own examination room.

It’s no longer for bearded hipsters or your odd Uncle Jack.  Top hat and tails, watch fobs and clock-part jewelry now mash up in styles once only desired by dandy vampires.  Like bad magic tricks, old crates beget railroad spikes,  wire mesh become fashionable hand molds… and inexplicable spring loaded devices suddenly expand into your never boring life.

13. BURLESQUE & BONDAGE.  It may have morphed from Sally Rand to Betty Page, from Vargas to all ass… but sometimes restraint just can’t be restrained.  If you’re all tied up and still have nowhere to go, consider dominating the marketplace (or at least your apt) with the décor of the… shall we say… artistically pornographic. When Tom Cruise meets Tom of Finland, you’re half way to foreplay already.

Of or pertaining to candles, candelabras, candle holders & the like.  Who doesn’t want to be seen through the smoky flicker of Garbo’s mysterious allure?  Expect lampshades to go bye-bye as decorative light bulbs cast a new glow on your old self.  Watch for Liberace-infused stylings that some will find off key, but still fabulous.

15. LUXURY REPURPOSING. That beautiful unused mink coat hanging in your closet can become the trim on your boots, the pillow on your bed... or a fur bustier. Think outside the Tiffany box and don’t be afraid to gild a less than contemporary Lily.  Quality never dies, but it often needs to be reincarnated.

16. SUPERHERO WORSHIP:  When the New York Times profiles latex clad revelers at Superhero themed club parties, the party’s far from over.  Thor is a Nordic muscle hottie.  Batman has angst-like feelings.  And Spiderman is in perpetual puberty when he isn’t singing in his own Broadway musical.  Comic book culture will continue to save the Universe whether you want it to be saved or not.

17. MIRRORS, MIRRORS. Oh, the simplicity of illusion. Vintage mirrors reflect much more than the present, but the effect is still the same.  Doubling the vision looks toward our own vanity in mirrored walls, ceilings, furnishings, objects.  The view beyond and past our self is limitless.

No matter how big or little your patch of earth may be, beautiful antique botanical fountains and zoological menageries recreate paradise. Playful yard balls, statuary and pedestals magically guide us through the box hedge maze. But it’s the secret key (worn on a satin ribbon) that opens the intricately carved garden gate.

19. TATTOO CULTURE.  Is there a better way to make yourself collectible?  Of course you can try to track down original tattoo art, photography, books and ephemera.  But tattoo equipment of any kind, kink and manufacture is highly prized and financially more painful to acquire.  The ink never dries in this flesh economy.

20. WE MISS MANNERS.  Is civility dead… or just hiding under your bed?  Does courtesy count?  And if so, do you need an extra hand to add up all the good things you’ve done for others?  Are manners, principles, honesty, responsibility, thoughtfulness… all too retro, too vintage/old school/old world?  Was there ever a time when we were all truly decent to one another?  If there was, it’s making a comeback.  If there wasn’t, let it begin this year… within each of us.

PLUS 13 LUCKY BLOOPERS:  Reproductions/Knock Offs/Phony Anything, Franklin Mint, Collector Plates, Beanie Babies, Collector Trade Cards, Bad (not kitsch) Crafts, Contemporary Plastics, New Indian/Chinese/African/Euro/ Americana/Global Crap...

And Scarcely Little Else To Be Produced To Date From The 21st Century.

Written & Compiled by:


Danny Alias, Broadway Antique Market/Chicago

Sally Schwartz, Randolph Street Market/Chicago

Copyright WDMS 2013.
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