Friday, August 27, 2010

Jumping the Shark

Subway posters, now produced en masse by Restoration Hardware

Originally coined to mark the beginning of a television show's demise, "jump the shark" has become one of my favorite ways to describe the "over-ness" of something, be it a fashion look, a celebrity, or especially an element of home decor.

The phrase was created by a pair of clever fellows who noted that the moment when the TV series "Happy Days" began its decline coincided with the episode in which the Fonz attempted to jump a shark on his motorcyle... though the series continued for another seven (!) years after this incident, it was never quite the same.

I've been feeling lately that a lot of my once-favorite decor elements have jumped the shark...for me, once you start seeing the special things you love mass-produced by the likes of Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, etc., it's time to do one of two things: Store them away until people begin to forget they exist, or proudly accept that you still love something that has become part of the masses.

It also begs the question: where is the line between trend and classic, eloquently addressed HERE? When does something go from an "of the moment" decorating motif to a timeless element to be used again and again? It's a tough question...but is it even worth answering? Should we always follow our "decorating heart" and use what we love, despite where and how often we're seeing it elsewhere?

Have these iconic items jumped the shark? What do you think? Trend or classic?

Canopy chair from Restoration Hardware, re-introduced to most of us years ago by Kelly Wearstler in her projects for Bergdorf's, the various Viceroys, and more.

The ubiquitous "Keep Calm & Carry On" print, now seen on everything from tea towels to rugs to posters of all sizes sold by!

Moroccan Beni Ourain rugs, here used by Jonathan Adler at the Parker Palm Springs.

Cameroon headdress, most recently seen (by me, at least) on the wall of the divine Diane von Furstenberg's home (or one of them!)...pretty much all I need to see to feel okay with continuing to use them.

The Greek Key motif, revived in a big way as part of the resurgence of the Hollywood Regency design style.

Moroccan poufs

Let me go on the record as stating that I own (and continue to love) more than a few of the items listed above, and have a home filled with Chiang Mai and La Fiorentina, which perhaps gives some indication of my own philosophy on the issue of use/not use... but what do you think?


Paris Hotel Boutique said...

OMG, I am so glad you posted this. I have been ruminating about this subject for so long now. In fact I was just discussing it with a friend of mine yesterday!

Seems like every cool thing or trend (usually started in the vintage/antiques world) is quickly reproduced and mass-produced in China by the likes of Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, etc. Then it almost becomes something you don't want.

The list is endless...the people that have collections of things like Victorian mercury glass, French crowns, antique globes and so on, have all been diluted from this mass production. The value of the "real" begins to drop.

So in answer to your question, I think the "purists" will still buy classics and not just follow trends. But, I like you, still like many of these trends as long as they're the real deal and done well.

I still want a Moroccan pouf!

:) Lynn (So sorry to rant here...just a great topic...thanks!)

Revival Home and Garden said...

Lynn, so glad it's not just me who's obsessed with these thoughts! I often wonder if I am an elitist -- that if other people have something I don't want it anymore...does that make me a snob? -- but I think it is more the idea that I want things that are unique and special....though mass-produced items certainly have their place in every home.

I have to confess: I just bought two poufs for my kids' rooms, and you know what? I LOVE them!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


Mélanie A. said...

Thanks for this interesting and inspring post. As an antiques dealers I can see the prices of original antiques going down because of the mass production. it is so weird.
There is no more authenticity and personality. I guess this is what globalization is. When you go to Maisons et Objets show is Paris, this feeling is so obvious.
merci for this post

Cotton Ridge Emporium said...

Very interesting post. One way to stay unique and special is to collect the things you love because they appeal to you, not PB. Be your own trendsetter! As for the those other trendsetters - their mass produced items hardly ever appeal to me! I might be inspired to search for the originals, lol, but I don't think I've ever gone home with one of theirs. Maybe I'm an elitist too, but I think I'm in good company.

Thanks for something to think about.


Open House LLC said...

You hit a hot topic indeed. I am sick of the stools that kelly has in her hotels and Jonathan has in his stores and guess what- sited a really bad version at TJ Maxx. Ouch. I used to love them and want them but not anymore.

Revival Home and Garden said...

Open House, can you post a link to the stools you are referring to? I am intrigued...and stumped, as I can't think of them and feel like I have all things Wearstler ingrained in my brain!

Chitra - Oz said...

Can I add framed sea fans, skeleton keys, antlers, white ceramics (in the form of vases and animals) and the word "whimsy" to this list please?!

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