After many debates about, say, 1988 being Vintage, I think I'm finally beginning to see the light. Here's why:
Great changes have taken place in 20 year spans. Not only societal and historical changes, but major changes in home and fashion styles. I can't help but think about the giant leap society took between the 20 years from 1900 to 1920. At the turn of the century, they were just barely out of the Victorian era, still wearing blowsy shirtwaists, bustles, and full length bathing suits. But by the 1920s they have moved on to bathtub gin, short flapper dresses, and cupid's bow lips.When I was a young housewife in the mid-50s, anything from the mid-30s was considered positively antique--so out of it and old fashioned! We were well into modernistic, streamlined, Scandinavian influences and people were throwing out that 30s junk by the carloads. (Especially the clunky Mission Oak furniture we now associate with Stickley and other sought-after Craftsman era makers. It was way too big for our little ranch homes.)
By the late 50s and early1960s, we were throwing out the old cast-offs from the 1940s--those stuffy old mohair sofas, those rose-strewn rugs, those chenille bedspreads. Who would want that tired old junk? We didn't become nostalgic for it until years later, when it suddenly became popular again. It's that cycling of the old stuff--our grandmother's stuff-- that we've come to call "nostalgia".
In the 1980s, we were throwing out the 60s and 70s stuff, including the eye-popping psychedelic remnants of a free and easy culture, and heading toward the more abstract, the more natural, earthy (or earth-bound) aspects of a hippy generation that leaned toward hand-thrown pots, macrame, and unpainted barn siding.
And now here we are, in the 21st Century, already getting nostalgic for that past century. . .
I wonder what life will look like 20 years from now?