We do our thing don’t we? We scout around the charity shops and the antique shops, the boot sales and the junk shops looking for whatever we call treasure and we do it not out of necessity- not because we cannot afford to buy the modern alternative, nor because food matters more than that we decorate our home and personage with, but because this is our chosen aesthetic. Because deep rooted values decree that was once loved deserves to be loved again. Because the past is who we are today. We do our thing. And yet we never, not even for a minute acknowledge that we are but a moment in time. That though our love of vintage may go way back in our personal histories, this flood of “vintage” blogs, this depletion of all the good stuff, this obsession with all that is old, this too will pass when the young and the beautiful move on. Because they will. Because they already are. Because this is how society rolls. Because we mustn’t and we can’t and we shouldn’t stand still and when we are all chasing the same dream, we merely end up going around in circles until fashion shows us how to move on. How to layer the new upon that which we already possess and conjure up a new way of seeing in the process.
So though we might cringe when we are forced to admit it, fashion will move on and with any luck it will take us with it, making barely perceptible changes to our aesthetic: teaching us that we have to respect the new. To not fear it, or dismiss it as ugly. To support young craftspeople and designers and above all else to abandon this relentless chase to own all that we have come to consider collectible.
Because that is what we are doing now isn’t it? Collecting for collecting’s sake. I see it everywhere. Homes in magazines buckling under the strain of holding more tattered tea-towels than any one woman could use in an entire lifetime. Women on-line who haunt auction sites and document every tiny purchase, creating table-scapes with their latest finds before packing them away under the bed and setting off on another treasure hunting mission. Because never was the truism “the thrill is in the chase” more true than when it comes to us women trying to out-do each other on-line…
We have no place to put all this stuff. Money that could be spent on something worthwhile is frittered away on yet more hankies, another ironstone platter, another lot of floral postcards and for what? To say look how clever I am? To display perfect taste or bottomless purses? We have no place to put this stuff and we have to learn to hone our eye again: to stop imitating each other, out-bidding each other and following each other like worn out sheep.
So what exactly am I advocating here? A mass exodus away from a past-time we all love? Of course not. This is a business I know and love. I am merely saying, let’s stop making it into a competition sport and wait for precious things to find us instead. Let’s craft and chat and learn and read. Treasure hunting is shopping by another name and making shopping our life is ultimately soul-less. Let’s trust serendipity instead…
This then is a call to arms. To learn who we are again. To discover what it is we love now. Old or brand spanking new. To stop showing off. To get really, really brave and particular and fussy and pull from our collective aesthetic only that which floats our boats. To cultivate originality. And eccentricity. And truth. To feel our way towards rooms that thrill us, educate ourselves in the history of those things we love, par down our worlds to only that worth treasuring, and share on-line that which inspires others and sparks a flicker of creativity deep within our own souls.
We are worth more than a copycat life you know?