Enriching Your Life with a Touch of Vintage Chic

Quill 🪶 ‘n’ Inkpot

1st March 2023

I discovered the timeless fervour of vintage chic while exploring the exciting world of journaling or the creation of journals.

Handmade journals, especially junk journals, simply ooze vintage. Creating journaling art pages, journaling cards, journaling tags, journaling pockets and tuck spots, give depth to a handmade journal. Layering materials that juxtapose to create texture, is one of the methods that journal creators use, to give those journals a timeless look.

Everything about vintage is nostalgic in that it can be brought back into a different time through adaptation and application. You can recreate vintage nostalgia by bringing back multiple elements from the past into your present day works of art. Its all encompassing nature can be applied to a range of pursuits. You can add vintage chic to absolutely anything you create, wherever you feel it is suitable to do so.

While vintage is all about bringing back the nostalgia of the past and recreating the nostalgic feel or aura of a past time or place, it is differentiated from antique. The truth is that you can add antique pieces to recreate vintage chic in a work of art. Vintage chic takes you back in time, and in doing so, brings you to an age that reminds you of younger years. It’s a way of taking you to agelessness, going back in time and being younger. Travelling back and forth in time or a sort of time travel that brings you untold pleasure in doing so. This is my unique, if I may say so, take on this. I have not seen anyone else speak of vintage in this way. Do correct me if I’m wrong.

You can indulge yourself in this practice by altering items to look aged by distressing them or you will find it in found objects that you collect or gather which are actual vintage items. There are an array of ways in which you can achieve the vintage look and feel. Altered projects, found objects, ephemera, aged paper, old lace, rusting items, all lend themselves to the fascination of vintage chic. They are all wonderful ways through which you can create and gather art to imbibe them with that aged feel, giving it that agelessness.

Vintage chic, shabby chic and rustic are used in ways that overlap more often than not. This is especially so in the area of  decorating furniture. 

Flora Furniture goes on to describe this as such:

“… all three styles are incredibly different, suit different spaces and appeal to different personalities. From the more feminine look and feel of shabby chic decor to the nostalgia-driven vintage feel and the back-to-nature rustic approach ,.. there is, however, one thing all three options have in common: the focus on creating an interior space that feels truly relaxed, unpretentious and homely.”

Vintage is all about nostalgia. This allure of the past can be captured in timeless pieces like teacups, candelabra, candleholders, suitcases and tin cans for your nuptials and other details like pearls, lace fabric, cages or books that can all be used in vintage decor.”
Teal and white are truly vintage hues and are more so when they come in the form of distressed furniture and other distressed accessories.

The Jonathan Berger bedroom ensemble of this Brooklyn townhouse in vintage design, is supposed to be an embodiment of his motto for decorating, which is, “exuberantly feminine, yet resolutely chic”, as seen here.

Vintage monogram crests

“The extensive details of a vintage monogram is ideal for converting into embroidery”, for instance …”

Monograms with letters in clean lines and graceful curves are an ideal way to create the vintage look on linen through embroidery. Monograms are also ideal when added to invitation cards, for letterpress printing, stamping as in journaling, screen printing and other printing methods. 

It is all about celebrating slow living, the feel of going back to a past era and enjoying the ambience of a nostalgic lifestyle. 

The belief being, the more you go back in time, the younger you become in age !!!

In the area of fabrics, plaid is one of the most remarkable examples of vintage chic and it truly is, nothing but. Each tartan fabric having originally stood for a given Scottish clan for centuries or since time immemorial. 

By mixing and matching typically bold vintage fabrics like plaid, with more subdued and delicate vintage fabrics such as voile or an off white broderie anglaise or white lace fabrics, you can accentuate the overall appearance of the outfit.

Vintage clothing styles are well worth a discussion here. Zeitgeist discusses Vintage Styles in one of their articles, The Zeitgeist Guide to Vintage Clothing, which deals with many of the important features of this era. Here’s what vintage clothing is defined as according to popular belief:

“”Vintage” is a colloquialism commonly used to refer to all old styles of clothing. A generally accepted industry standard is that items made between 20 and 100 years ago are considered “vintage” if they clearly reflect the styles and trends of the era they represent.[4] These clothing items come with a sense of history attached to them, which is one of the reasons they are valued by vintage enthusiasts.[5] This sense of history allows consumers to express sentimental nostalgia for fashions of past eras and for aspects not common with modern items like craftsmanship.[6][7] Vintage items are considered different than antique, which is used to refer to items 100 years old or more. Retro, short for retrospective, or “vintage style,” usually refers to clothing that imitates the style of a previous era. Reproduction, or repro, clothing is a newly made copy of an older garment.[4]

Clothing produced more recently is usually called modern or contemporary fashion.”

– Wikipedia

The most iconic of vintage attire is to be found as far back as the Victorian age coming down to the swinging ‘20s when the flapper dresses or the Charleston held sway, and Scott Fitzgerald wrote the likes of The Great Gatsby, which was turned into a 2013 film by the same name. The dress, the Charleston, held sway in the movie which is the fashion statement of the age of jazz and swing. (With the mini skirts of the ‘60s at the other end of the spectrum, there’s much to be admired in the creativity involved in vintage clothing.)

“Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was an American novelist, essayist, and short story writer. He is best known for his novels depicting the flamboyance and excess of the Jazz Age—a term he created and popularized in his short story collection Tales of the Jazz Age.” 

– Wikipedia

Bringing back past trends in fashion is a bold step taken in the direction of establishing nostalgia, be it in furniture, accessories, clothing, literature or even in music. All genres lend themselves to be influenced by vintage chic. 

Just think of an altogether new trend in music created by imbibing vintage sounds on existing forms of music, for instance. To a great degree, rhythm and blues or R&B, evolved in this way I believe. Mixing music as they do today, in electronic sounds is also reminiscent of past techniques influencing present music. I am least qualified to speak on influences of the vintage in music, but I believe it has happened and will continue to happen moving into the future.

Collecting black and white photographs is a very real form of gathering vintage chic items for the sake of it, or for use in the creation of journals as embellishments. A  journal can be given an entirely new yet old look by adding sepia pictures to them, enhancing the aged look in doing so.

I know of makers of journals who collect old photographs as their most important and fundamental objective. You can use these photographs as they are or in their printable form. In fact black and white or sepia photos are the hallmark of vintage ephemera.They are akin to old newspaper which is another way in which a touch of vintage chic could be added to journals being created or even to picture frames.

Old recipes or classical or vintage cook books are a great way to recreate those old dishes that grandma used to turn out, in her rustic kitchen.(Google says I can’t use the words “turn out” here but I can use “make”, instead. Well Google, I’m a person who writes creatively so I have that justice backing me, ok?!!!). 

Below is a vintage cookbook, published in 1996 in Bristol, England, it says, I found  at the junk book store. Although I’m yet to cook from the book, I’m offering the first course, thick onion soup, for your mental edification 🙂

While you’re at it eating your thick soup, let me entertain you to some cool vintage music here.

The End

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