Retro is huge. Ironically retro has been huge all through history. We've often looked back to the past for inspiration and sometimes accidentally (or not so accidentally) re-write it to give us a specific emotion, be it a sense of happy nostalgia, pride or hope. In the last century and a bit we saw this stepped up by the Victorian antiquarians. This group of middle classed gentlemen would to to rekindle costumes and traditions from the past, for example Christmas day. Many of the traditions we hold dear to for Christmas were actual re-inventions of Tudor and dark age traditions, given a Victorian twist. These enterprising gents also re-invented the role of Town Crier. When making a costume for a Town Crier I was told to remember this isn't a medieval costume, it's a Victorians idea of a medieval costume.
Ok maybe it's time to quite the waffle and talk about WHY i'm talking about this. In recent time we've had a lot more retro. I've already blogged about polka dot weddings, Cos play of 80's and earlier sci fi and have been to my fair share of ballroom parties where the theme was World War 2. We've selling a lot more retro fabric in the shop and have just received some retro sewing tins. Colchester just hosted a wonderful Retro Fair . And I think I finally understand the spiritual appeal of these things. The aesthetic appeal was obvious, they're pretty! But there's a deeper meaning. The Victorians looked back because they felt a sense of achievement, proud of how far they had come with their industrial age. We are looking back at trying times, such as the blitz and the years following the war when basic necessities were hard to time. We're not looking back at the times of excess when there were bountiful resources. In these tough days of economic gloom we're reminding ourselves, we have been through a lot worse as a country,a nd indeed as a species. We've been through hard-ship before, and yet we triumphed.