Trying to explain a fashion is a fool’s errand of the nailing-jelly-to-the-wall variety. Why are skinny jeans ‘hot’ this year, and ‘not’ next? But then a trend comes along that’s so pervasive and category-killing that we’re tempted to
conclude that the forces driving it must be divinable.
These things don’t come from nowhere, you know. Sure,
the Anna Wintours of this world can influence, possibly
even start, a fad. But to sustain one for years? It needs
legs of its own.
The current ‘industrial look’ that’s transforming the
interiors of our cafes, restaurants, hotels and even our
homes is one such voracious wave.
What makes it all the more intriguing and vital to explain
Over-engineered, overpriced and all over
our bars and restaurants, why are reclaimed
luminaires and incandescent lamps the
hottest things in lighting this year?
WORDS: Martin Tomlinson
PICTURES: Cara Bettinson/Skinflint
is that it is, on the face of it, counter-intuitive. We’re told
our times are the Age of Austerity. Then surely we want
escapism, glamour, distraction, the shiny and the new?
Then why clamour for the scuffed, the over-engineered,
the had-a-life, the pre-loved?
The easy, knee-jerk answer is that it’s a rejection of
our disposable society, but modern consumerism is
arguably not as disposal as it has been in past decades.
Then there’s the quest for authenticity, in which every
kitchen pendant, like some reality show contestant,
has to have a backstory. ‘This was rescued from a
metalworking factory, you know.’
Then there’s the lure of all things over-engineered.
London architect Ben Adams has used the phrase
‘heroic robustness’ to describe their appeal. Is using ▼