Revivalism: A New Wave of NostalgiaAug, 2 2023
The Curious Charm of Vintage Trends
As I sit here, sipping my morning coffee from my favourite vintage cup, I can't help but marvel at the beguiling sensation nostalgia has on the human psyche. The current generation, drowning in a hustle-bustle of digital alternations and cyber components, is encountering a fascinating resurgence of past trends, aesthetics and cultures. It’s like a time machine, right in our grasp. I like to call it ‘Revivalism’; a new wave of nostalgia that seems to be crashing over us with a renewed fervour.
Take me, for instance, my kitchen is a delightful representation of the 70s, adorned with speckled floor tiles, and mustard-coloured appliances. My kids, Sebastian and Matilda, are the ones who introduced me to retro video games. PacMan, Super Mario... we've been having a blast on family game nights. Even my Instagram feed – an unlikely paradox in itself – is filled with 80s fashion comeback posts, DIYing recycled items from the 60s and 70s or videos of millennials dancing to old tunes on vinyl records. The new wave of nostalgia is not only reviving trends, but it's also sparking conversations on sustainability and preserving heritage.
Rediscovering Lo-fi Aesthetics
Isn’t it ironic how we’re so keen on embracing an era where life was so much simpler. Let's take music, for example. The return of vinyl records and cassette tapes and the booming popularity of lo-fi beats signal a longing for the warmth and personal touch of analogue sounds in a world dominated by digital music platforms. The pops and crackles of vinyl records, the imperfectly perfect sound of magnetic tapes, the visually pleasing way of playing the music — all contribute to a more authentic and immersive listening experience.
And then there are the lo-fi beat channels. Music that is designed to sound old, distorted and warm — a perfect blend of nostalgia and tranquillity mixed with a modern beat. These elements have led me, and many others, to re-explore our love for music and the mediums through which we experience it.
The Thrift Store – A Modern Day Treasure Hunt
Then we delve into a more material expression of nostalgia - fashion. Digging around in the local thrift store is somewhat of a hobby of mine now. The feeling of rescuing an old granny skirt from the 70s and pairing it with a chic modern top for a trendy outfit is incomparable. Like finding a piece of art that just needs a bit of dusting to shine once more.
Mind you, it's not just about being chic. Thrift shopping serves a greater cause — sustainability. The environmental burden of fast fashion on our planet is alarming. The new wave of nostalgia encourages adopting more sustainable practices — one such is thrift shopping, which not only helps us save money but also helps preserve our planet.
Reimagining Classics: The Return of Arcade Games
Coming back to my household, the PacMan fever is alive and well. The newfound popularity of retro video games is a delightful evolution of the gaming industry's revivalism wave. With a simplified all-pixel design and a haunting novelty, they provide a contrast to the overly sophisticated, complex gaming of today.
In my home, it’s created a wonderful bridge between generations. Suddenly, Sebastian, Matilda, and I have a mutual ground of interest, and I must admit, it's a joy to see them navigate through the captivating maze of Space Invaders, or chase those ghosts in PacMan with the same anticipation and excitement that I did when I was their age.
The Blossoming Taste for Vintage Decor and Art
Even our living spaces aren't spared by the nostalgia wave! Scouring antique shops for a nifty piece of décor, or hunting for a dandy-looking tea set from the 40s have become fashionable trends. They breathe life into rooms and create stories, memories and an atmosphere that align with the slower — and could I dare say — a more tasteful lifestyle.
The revival of classic literature, films and art forms also play a significant part in this grand nostalgia parade. Perhaps, people are returning to the poignant narratives, beautiful prose, outstanding performances, and unique aesthetic styles of the bygone eras for a meaningful cultural experience.
Why the New Wave of Nostalgia?
It leaves us wondering – why is there this leaning towards the past? What's driving us to break off from contemporary trends and move towards a poignant familiarity of things that once was? Sometimes I believe we're yearning to see the human touch in things, something that roots us, emotionally. Something that tugs at our heartstrings and makes us say – "Remember when..."
Perhaps, it's not so much a defiance against the future, as it is an appreciation and re-interpretation of the past to enrich our present. Call it a charming global trend or a new societal subculture, the new wave of nostalgia is a beautiful representation of our collective consciousness of human identity, heritage, and sustainability. And a poignant reminder for us to appreciate the simple things in life that often get overlooked in the digital era.
Stories Told and Relived
The new wave of nostalgia is not only about reviving aesthetics; it's also about reliving stories from the past or creating our own versions of them. There's a particular charm in reading an old book, watching a classic film, listening to an old song, or playing a retro game that transports us to another era and allows us to immerse ourselves in those stories and experiences.
In essence, the new wave of nostalgia is ushering in a shared experience of the past, rendered through our tastes and choices in a way that feels profoundly personal, yet universal – fostering creativity, preserving heritage, bridging gaps between generations, and paving the way for a more sustainable world. And I must say, it's a wave I’m thrilled to be riding on!