Have you every found yourself drawn to a piece of furniture, a homeware accessory or an item of clothing but you have no idea why? Even though it might be the tackiest, most brash, weirdest thing you’ve ever seen, you can’t take your eyes off it and actually kinda want it? I’ve always taken an interest in the concept of personal taste and why we choose the things we do for our homes and wardrobes and this week I’ve been re-watching artist Grayson Perry’s documentary ‘All in the best possible taste’ online, Of course, I’ve found myself yearning for all the things that good taste dictates that we shouldn’t want. Am I an individual, then? One of my favourite things that the artist says is ‘we all like to think we’re individual, that is until we meet someone just a individual as we are’. That sums up the concept of taste perfectly for me and it totally explains why we have the urge to own things that express our own personalities.
That said, this summer I’ve found myself being even more drawn to bright colours and kitsch designs. I’ve been pinning tacky images all over my Pinterest boards and I can’t get enough of 50s and 60s space-age design. If you read back over my blog posts, you’ll see that I’m a big fan of mid-century modern and I’ve even decorated my home to pay homage to this era. But a loud pattern and a splash of garish orange isn’t enough for me anymore. Instead, I’ve discovered Googie and there’s no going back!
The Googie style of architecture arrived after the end of WWII and demonstrated opulence in it’s size and grandeur, and showed off the optimistic nature of the generation as they watched the space race unravel. If you imagine the Jetsons’ (yes, I’ve been watching the cartoon online too..!) space station home, you’ve got it! That’s the style that I love even though ‘serious’ architects describe it as ‘frivolous or crass’.
The Googie style originated from Southern California and the bright colours and large flying-saucer and boomerang shapes are key elements of this design. I think it’s an architectural style that doesn’t take itself too seriously and I’d love to visit some of the remaining examples of buildings designed in this space-age image. In the meantime, I’ve found myself searching out Googie design in other parts of my life; clothing and homewares, and I found this dress in the ASOS sale.
The pattern contains retro clocks and the atomic designs that are so popular in Googie designs. I would definitely call this patter retro-inspired rather than vintage. The dress was described as grey but is actually more of a lilac shade, combined with bright yellow, baby blue and mint green, so it’s even more Googie than I thought it would be when I ordered it! I wore it the dress on a day out and although I at first felt a little garish, the bright colours and playful pattern lifted my spirits and I couldn’t help but smile as I wore it. Yes, I’m Judy Jetson and I don’t care who knows it!
Okay, I know that this style is a little more 60s than I’m used to and I’m not sure that I’ll get much wear out of it at the 40s events and lindy hop dances I go to, but it’s an easy-to-wear nod to the mid-century and reminds me how much I adore Googie style every time I open my wardrobe.