In a world where taste is becoming globalised, and where Kmart and Ikea churn out cheap and disposable faux versions of reclaimed wooden furniture, Edison bulbs and Ship Captain’s Lamps, metal high school lockers, Scandinavian furniture and industrial bits and bobs, it’s nice to travel in the land of red plastic chairs and Vietnamese kitsch. I’m waiting for that time when taste in decor, food styling and dress, becomes less regimented and less defined by the taste makers of the internet. The fine stylists I know and admire pay little attention to these trends: they are delightfully eccentric, and possess a real flair for an aesthetic based on individualism.
In an article found in the Guardian last week, ‘Same old, same old. How the hipster aesthetic is taking over the world’ Kyle Chayka puts it this way,
‘Taste is also becoming globalised, as more people around the world share their aesthetic aspirations on the same massive social media platforms, whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or Foursquare, with their hundreds of millions or billions of users. As algorithms shape which content we consume on our feeds, we all learn to desire the same things.’
Coffee shops are,
‘a hipster reduction obsessed with a superficial sense of history and the remnants of industrial machinery that once occupied the neighbourhoods they take over.’
While travelling around Hôi An, Hue and Dálat over the last three weeks, I’ve become attracted to louder and more vibrant colours. The plates I collected as souvenirs are made of melamine and feature Quan Am, that androgynous looking Buddhist icon that is so prevalent in Vietnam. I am also attracted to courtyards and planting in pots, tiny economic outdoor kitchens as opposed vast, appliance cluttered designer spaces, tiny plastic stools instead of Tolix knockoffs, brightly coloured lanterns and mid century Asian clutter.
I know, I can hear what you are saying: things will change she gets home!
For the inspirational stylists in my life, Dianne, Barnadi, Rod, Maxine.