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KITSCH COMEBACK

THE REVIVAL OF 1970S GLAMOUR

Don’t go pfffft! just yet. Have an open mind. When the 80s came to an end and all the popular magazines came standard with the cover line, “tata tagtigs”, a great big sigh of relief wafted over the world, prompting a host of fashion gurus and design experts to say, “Let’s not do that again.” But by the turn of the new millennium, the 80s were back! Complete with flourescents, eclectic wardrobes and plates brushed with colourful sauces. But between 80s revivals, we’ve often resuscitated the days of disco, Campari cocktails, flowing floral dresses, flared trousers and key parties. Yes, the 70s – although perhaps less often revisited – have held a special place on the trend spectrum for decades, making a comeback every time we yearn for a bit of unadulterated opulence.

JAN | Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen | KITSCH COMEBACK

It’s not that strange, mind you. With every recession or pandemic, we get just that little bit more conservative, embracing pastels, earth tones, whites and blacks. Life becomes decidedly beige for a while. But then rebellion kicks in. Having just undergone a period of loss, we suddenly find ourselves trying to make up for lost time – or wanting to replace the things we lost.

Right now, the fashion world is embracing everything oversized… as in, seriously. Too long, too big, too voluminous and you’re right on trend. Can you smell the influence of the 70s? It’s almost like we’re trying to be deliberately irresponsible, daring to dream… to be more daring overall.

When I first laid eyes on these vases, they reminded me of those deliciously kitsch flower arrangements you used to see at weddings. Their mock, art nouveau lines and overly long, flared shapes were straight out of the 70s, which got me thinking… why not use them as wine decanters. If you’ve ever dined at JAN Innovation Studio, you would have been treated to a theatrical ceremony in which my front-of-house team would have poured the wine served with your mains from this gloriously kitsch vessel. It never fails to raise an eyebrow, for better or worse. But to me, kitsch has never been a swear word.

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