Saturday, 15 May 2010

Styles and Genres

Osbert Lancaster, in Pillar to Post and Homes, Sweet Homes, nailed some pretentious styles of the interwar years with epithets like Banker’s Georgian, Stockbroker’s Tudor and Bypass Variegated. Here are a few more that reveal a place, a time, an attitude, a level of aspiration.

advertisers’ nostalgia How could anyone who had read the book and who had any respect for literature… turn this story of glum penny-pinched '30s London into 1990s-style standard advertiser's jolly-jumpered "Heritage" golden nostalgia? (imdb on Keep the Aspidistra Flying)

airline stewardess chic

album-cover art (Damien Hirst)

boho chic

Bungalow Bliss (era in Ireland)

cocktail grunge

consumptive poet rock

cup and saucer comedy

diorama décor

Edwardabethan (Richard Thompson)

festival chic


French flea market (old posters and ads for drinks)

Gin and Jag Belt Does it still exist? Yes, apparently it’s in Maidenhead, according to a government report of January 2003.

haunt rock

heroin chic

high tech

Joke Oak

Marks and Spencer Zen: beige, white, brown and piles of large pebbles. (Briefly Woolworths zen, before the chain went bust.)

maximalism (minimalism with 70s wallpaper)

Neo Geo


pagan chic

restaurant music (Polina Shepherd) bowdlerised heritage - with sparklers!

silver-fork novels novels of the 1820s/30s that were disguised manuals for the socially aspirant

Tarot reader chic

the aesthetic is very Ikea room set (Jay Rayner Observer Nov 09)

the Celine Dion school of design (Colin and Justin)

the first-class airport lounge look felt a bit Mayfair 2004. (Matthew Norman)

These developments risk turning “contemporary” into the new Neo-Georgian.

The Treasury went from Soviet-era hospital to Marriott hotel.

White-telephone movies 60s Italian movies that used a white telephone to signal "socially aspirant bourgeoisie"

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