Vintage is an umbrella term for the aesthetic that suggests a specific period (or a combination of periods) from the past. This article offers a brief history of aesthetics over the previous 120 years, as well as some recommendations for more particular aesthetics that evoke each one.
Vintage Aesthetic: Art Nouveau (1890 and 1910)
Art Nouveau is a global style of art, architecture, and applied art, particularly in the decorative arts. It was a reaction to the academic art, eclecticism, and historicism of nineteenth-century architecture and ornamentation, which favoured fine art above applied art, such as paintings and sculptures.
Natural forms and structures, particularly the curving lines of plants and flowers, as well as whiplash formations, inspired it. Another distinguishing feature of Art Nouveau was a sense of dynamism and movement, which was often conveyed through asymmetry and curving lines, as well as the use of new materials, such as iron pillars carved and curled in naturalistic forms.
Vintage Aesthetic Scuttlers (the 1800s)
Scuttlers were members of neighbourhood-based youth gangs (also known as scuttling gangs) that formed in working-class regions of the United Kingdom in the late 1800s. They are one of the first examples of gangs in the United Kingdom. It includes bell-bottomed trousers, brass-tip-pointed clogs, silk scarves etc. Also Read about: FASHION TAPE: A CLASS ACT
Vintage Aesthetic Art Deco
Art Deco is a twentieth-century aesthetic that arose following World War I. It was popular in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s until declining following World War II. There have been several revivals, including one in the 1980s. The influence of Art Deco pervaded everything from architecture to jewellery. The design employs geometric forms, crisp lines, and is frequently angular or streamlined. Colours are typically bold and selected for contrast. Patterns are eye-catching, symmetrical, and geometric.
Vintage Aesthetic Flappers
Flappers were young Western women who embraced a free lifestyle in the 1920s. They were famed for their short (knee-length) skirts and shoulder-length hair. They also enjoyed listening to jazz. Flappers also smoked, drank, drove automobiles, and engaged in casual sex. Flappers essentially expressed their scorn for socially acceptable feminine behaviour.
Vintage Aesthetic Vintage Parisian
Vintage Parisian is a feminine aesthetic that draws inspiration from mid-century Paris and other places such as New York and London, as well as luxury brands and vintage Hollywood films. The participants stressed the need for self-care, romanticising tiny pleasures in life, and developing a smart and kind attitude.
Vintage Aesthetic Casino
The casino is a style based on the idea of casinos, gambling, and coin games. Casinos are designed to create a relaxing environment that conveys a “playground” feel, enticing clients to spend more money.
Vintage Aesthetic Femme Fatale
A Femme Fatale is a secretive, intellectual, beautiful, and seductive woman whose charms captivate anybody who comes into contact with her, frequently leading them into lethal traps and criminal webs
Vintage Aesthetic Film Noir
Film noir is a crime film genre that was prominent from the 1940s to the 1950s. The style is defined by its cynical characters, stark lighting, and existential philosophy.  The themes were frequently influenced by the growth of “hard-boiled” crime fiction during the Great Depression, with the recognisable tropes of urbanism, fast-paced slang, sex, and violence entering print, in contrast to the previous decade’s country home mystery.
Vintage Aesthetic 1950s Suburbia
1950s Suburbia represents the culture of the 1950s American middle class. New neighbourhoods were constructed in the areas surrounding large cities as a result of the post-World War II population increase. These communities were referred to as suburbs, hence the word suburbia. The most well-known example is Levittown in New York, which served as the prototype for mass-produced, mass-scale housing.
Vintage Aesthetic Atompunk
Atompunk is a visual aesthetic centred on a view of the future from the 1950s. It has a distinct, brilliantly coloured art style. It frequently portrays imagery linked with “traditionally American” values, such as belief in the nuclear family and the suburban lifestyle.
Vintage Aesthetic Hippie
Hippie (sometimes written ‘hippy’) is a member of the 1960s counterculture, which originated as a youth movement in the United States and extended to other countries across the world. Hippies were beatniks who went to New York City’s Greenwich Village and San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district. The term ‘hippie’ was derived from the word ‘hipster.’ While it fell out of favour in the 1970s, it has seen brief resurgences during the 1990s.
Preppy (sometimes called Preppie) or Prep (all acronyms of the word preparatory) is an American subculture linked with old private Northeastern university-preparatory schools. The words are used to describe a person who is perceived to be a student or alumnus of certain colleges. Preps used to have a distinct subcultural speech, vocabulary, dress, mannerisms, and etiquette that reflected their upper-class upbringing.
Bohemian (also known as boho-chic) is a fashion style that draws on various bohemian and hippie influences and was particularly associated with actress Sienna Miller and model Kate Moss in the United Kingdom and (as “boho” chic) actress and businesswoman Mary-Kate Olsen in the United States at its peak in late 2005. It is a fashion trend that draws on numerous bohemian and hippie inspirations. Many elements of boho-chic became fashionable in the late 1960s, and some trace far further back, being associated, for example, with pre-Raphaelite women of the mid-to-late nineteenth century.
Vintage Academia is an aesthetic or combination of aesthetics centred on the study style of previous eras. The pursuit of knowledge, studying, and learning is a major component of Vintage Academia, as it is in other Academia aesthetics, but it differs in its emphasis on older methods and forms. Vintage Academics might mix and match eras for inspiration or focus on a certain era, generally a decade or a century.
Animecore is a style based on the visual culture of Japanese anime and manga. Frequently celebrating Japanese animation styles popular from the 1990s to the early 2000s, as well as “VOCALOID,” musical computer software that incorporates anime images. Animecore tends to overlap with other aesthetic genres, such as Cartooncore, Vaporwave, Webcore, Cyberpunk, or Scene, as a result of its growth in response to the internet’s “cringe culture.”
Barbiecore is a fashion doll inspired by Mattel’s Barbie. Barbiecore is the sweet little sister to Bubblegum Bitch, who is more cynical and mature. The aesthetic also included “girly” 2000s TV shows like Lizzie McGuire and Hannah Montana, which centred on middle-class American families. These shows promoted self-esteem, female friendships, and girl power. LipSmacker and other goods designed for tweens and teens in the early 2000s are also included in the style.
Hip-hop, commonly known as rap music, is a popular music genre that originated in the United States in the 1970s by inner-city African Americans and Latino Americans in the Bronx borough of New York City. It has four key stylistic elements: MCing/rapping, DJing/scratching with turntables, break dancing (which arose from Brazilian immigrants at the time practising their native martial art, Capoeira, in the streets), and graffiti/graff/writing. Other elements include sampling beats or bass lines from records (or synthesised beats and sounds), and rhythmic beatboxing.
Y2K (also known as Kaybug) is a popular culture aesthetic that existed from around 1995 to 2004. It is named after the Y2K bug, distinguishing by a distinct aesthetic period that encompasses fashion, hardware design, music, and interiors that shine with tech optimism – sometimes literally. Some of its characteristics, according to the Y2K Aesthetic Institute, are tight leather leggings, silver eyeshadow, and dazzling clothing. It’s very much in trend these days.
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