There isn’t an economic field or sector today which doesn’t address or pursue the concept of “vintage”; if once it was predominantely utilized by the fashion industry, now this concept has been influencing more and more interior design, electronics, the car industry, tastes and flavors, and inifinte other aspects of everyday life.
Indeed many events and festivities, if you will, occur under the aegis of vintage, often not only recalling a single aspect of it but also recreating the atmosphere and scenery in which it played out, reintroducing, even only for one day, traditions, customs, and practices.
“I’m not old, I’m vintage”
Thus, what is so fascinating about vintage? On an ironic shirt I bought a while back in Naples it read: “I’m not old, I’m vintage”, and maybe in this sentence one can capture the subtle difference between those two concepts, but even more the perceptions that surround them.
So much so that the old is sad, outdated, useless, greyed, and relinquished while vintage is cheerful, nostalgically current, precious, colorful, and optimistic.
Let’s take notice; in fashion, when we think of a vintage woman, we don’t focus on Twiggy’s hidden forms or the first femminism, but rather the joyous and prosperous silhouettes of pin-up girls, of Marilyn and others similar to her; in music, we don’t look back grinning and teary eyed to the 60’s and 70’s protest songs, but rather we recall the first American post-war tunes; and in literature, we don’t travel back to the first, wonderful novels of the new American literary currents, but we crave the original comics of Superman, Zagor, and Tex Willer.
It is here, I believe, the real charm of vintage. It is not only recalling such trends that defined fashion, society, and communication, but also that buoyant carefree aura that we combine it with.
Those like us who are now at the egress of our lives are remembering, describing, and passing on to our children and grandchildren, the joy of those moments, evoked by objects, broadcasts, and events, in which we perceive a sense of peacefulness, faith, and general optimism: back then the future appeared a little like a gold pot to pursue and perhaps encounter at the end of that rainbow on which we were certain we could walk on.
But maybe, the most important thing, was that we weren’t afraid to walk on it. We weren’t afraid. Of loneliness, competitiveness, angst, haste, and of diseases, tragedies, homicides, anxieties. Of responsibility.
This last one wasn’t a better sentiment during our time, just different. Communication meant bracing yourself while calling the girl that you liked at home, knowing her mother would answer, that was a minor responsibility which we accepted. Communication involved writing a letter that didn’t only convey swift emotions, but also feelings to endure whilst waiting for it to be read and to be answered, and to then read the response, combined with our ability to manage knowledgeably time, happiness, and sadness.
Communication involved writing a letter…
They say optimists are those who think that that time period was the best to live in, and they say pessimists know this to be true; well, if walking around at a flee market I spy an old orange record player, call me crazy, I’ll earnestly think: “What a beautiful time that was.” If, on the other hand, I’m gazing at a crowd on the train, or bus, or at a bar or restaurant, ignoring each other albeit flirting nonchalantly with their smartphones: I’ll know for certain that my opinion is true.