Play it again, Sam: Retro trends that were hot in 2018
Year-End Special: It goes way beyond the LP. Heirloom wedding jewellery, retro filters and Polaroids are just some of the retro trends making a comeback.
Vinyl: After fading out of the Indian market by the 1980s, the classic LP began making a comeback about a decade ago. In addition to the vinyl lovers’ groups, listening sessions and pop-up sales where crate-diggers scrounge for everything from David Bowie discs to Jagjit Singh, there are also workshops where you can learn to DJ by mixing vinyls.
“There’s more interest in vinyl mixing workshops because it’s a visual medium. You can see the disc spinning on the turntable and the timelines of the song,” says DJ Skip, who conducts such workshops in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Jaipur, Bengaluru and Chennai.
Two years ago, electronics giant Panasonic began manufacturing turntables again and last year, music giant Sony announced that it would begin pressing vinyls after a break of almost three decades.
“Besides the high fidelity [or accuracy in the reproduction of sound], it’s the connection you develop with a vinyl that sets it apart from digital mediums,” says Mumbai-based collector Arul Kacker, 24. “Over the years, the material ages and acquires a character of its own. And no two copies of the same record will sound the same.”
Retro filters: Want an analogue-style date stamp on last night’s party photos? Or the photo you took outside the Taj Mahal to resemble the one your parents have preserved in a slightly tarnished album? There are vintage and disposable camera filter apps like Huji and Lomograph to help you do that.
Want to record your baby’s first steps as a fuzzy, VHS-style home video? There’s an app for that too – VHS Camcorder. A hit with celebrities like Selena Gomez and Ranveer Singh, the filters are all you need to enjoy a #throwback to 1998.
Polaroids: Move over, selfie sticks. The Polaroid is the latest craze among wanderlust-filled millennials. The instant camera that processes and prints the image right after it is taken was first conceived of in 1943. The US-based Polaroid Corporation that pioneered this technique and manufacturers like Fujifilm are bringing it back with cute, pastel-coloured models available for under ₹5,000.
“In the digital age, the feeling of holding a picture recounting a memory holds a lot of value,” says Akshita Sharma, a PR executive who uses a Polaroid camera. “It also helps that one gets a physical keepsake of a memory instantly.” She pulls out the camera for special occasions, takes it with her during travels and gifts pictures taken with it to her friends. “I use it judiciously because the film is slightly expensive. I collect the pictures and put them up in my room, where I have a memory wall of sorts.”
The vintage look: Acid-wash jeans and shoulder pads that throwback to the decadent ’80s, chic front-knotted tops from the ’70s and maxi-length prairie dresses with floral motifs retro styles are back.
So are vintage neckpieces, chokers — and jewellery. Deepika Padukone’s four-tiered choker at her wedding reception? Anushka Sharma’s wedding lehenga in vintage chintz colours? Both throwbacks.
Automobiles: If Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck were to recreate their iconic Vespa ride from Roman Holiday, they wouldn’t need a time-turner to get their hands on the scooter. Launched by the Italian manufacturer Piaggio as a utilitarian product in 1946, it has become a premium, hipster accessory and a symbol of freedom and an unfettered lifestyle. Other retro-style automobiles on the roads include a revamped Mini Cooper. (An attempted comeback of the Volkswagen Beetle has been rather unsuccessful).
“These are reputable brands with nostalgia value, and people are attracted to the pop colours and sturdiness,” says Sudhir Gupta, who owns a scooter dealership in Uttar Pradesh that has sold 20 Vespas in three months. “When it came to India the first time, it was tough to acquire a Vespa. You had to book it four or five months in advance. So, it’s still a status symbol.”