First Dibs

14 thoughts on “First Dibs”

  1. From Wiki, Memphis style has been described as “a shotgun wedding between Bauhaus and Fisher-Price”. I have to agree on that. Po-mo architecture is getting a bit of conservationist attention, which is often appropriate because po-mo buildings are often unusual, and there aren’t many of them (it never went mainstream, unlike Deco or Modernism). Myself, I’ve been hopelessly out of fashion for years, because I still like 90’s stuff, and by the time 90’s furniture comes back in I’ll be pretty old at best. (But those overstuffed sofas and chairs are so comfy!)

    It is interesting to watch the swings in fashion – often over very long times. I remember reading somebody in the 90’s snark that he never thought he’d live long enough for culottes to come back in fashion. But, teens and young men have been in knee britches for a quarter century now.

  2. I have had to lay down the law with my husband, one in one out, because he loves furniture from charity shops so much. He’s in a Seventies phase at the moment. We have furnished and refurnished this house from other people’s cast-offs. Such good fun.

    1. Nice and reasonable. Glad to hear you’re both enjoying this fun, but boundaries are definitely needed for such a hobby.

  3. All things old are new again.
    My favorite is my father in law’s seersucker jacket from the 1950s. He gave it to me decades ago. I wore it to a trendy LA restaurant in the 1980s. The maitre d’ complimented me on jacket. He was wearing the same one. Seersucker is surprisingly cool. When I just have to wear a jacket in the summer, this one is my choice. With global warming, I expect it to be rediscovered as soon as jacket wearing becomes a class marker again.

    1. Funny how flip flops and an old Iron Maiden T-shirt currently convey status. “I’m so important to my employer that I can show up to work in my pajamas and they still throw money at me.”

  4. Good design and quality materials usually outlast the ebbs and flows of fashion over time. I remember recently watching a Tonight Show rerun with Carson from the mid to late 1970s and I remarked to my wife that I would definitely wear most of the suits Carson wore during that period. The unifying factor was classic design/cut, modestly bold colors choices, and quality materials.

    That’s why your coffee table base example was and still is ‘valued’. Plus, as you said, its got direct historical provenance which really ratchets up the market value.

    The traditional small town downtown urban form worked for about 10,000 years until about 1940 then we ‘forgot’ about it for about 30-70 years and now it’s desired again….yep…whatever.

  5. Things that make a comeback are never the way they were originally. They’re updated, re-imagined, reconceived. That’s why pleated men’s dress pants, which are now coming back into vogue, don’t look they way they did in 1995.

    1. I always disliked pleated dress pants. On the other hand, you can usually count on cowboy boots coming back into style once each decade.

  6. I agree 100%. Styles in everything just come back around. My motto is “getting by comfortably on North America’s seconds”. All I have to do adjust to the fact that I’m not using whatever everyone else is. My only caveat is that things have to last. If everything’s built too disposable, there won’t be enough time to let it sit in someone’s garage so it can get discovered later.

  7. I’m waiting for green/black/white terrazzo (plus interior brick walls, and medium-toned mahogany trim) to make its comeback. In my transcontinental childhood, that combination was one constant in MCM schools, medical/dental offices, bank branches, and other smaller-scale developments. To this day, those features take me back in time.

    I can do without the asbestos ceiling tile and buzzy fluorescent lighting, though the glass-cased letterboard directories and announcement boards are cool retro features.

  8. Being somewhat klutzy on occasion, I’m usually pretty nervous when seated at a glass table because I can just envision myself dropping a cup and busting off a corner. On the other hand, that’s probably when I’m on my best behavior.

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