Ultra Swank - Retro Adventures

Vintage or Reproduction – Do you need to make a choice?

Written by Koop Kooper • September 26th, 2012
Vintage or Reproduction – Do you need to make a choice?

1962 Charles Schridde – Motorola Nautical

When it comes to the choice of reproduction or vintage I find that a mixture of reproduction furniture and clothing is often better way to go.

Many years ago I was convinced that the only way of life was with vintage clothing and furniture, and lets face it, it’s truly marvellous because you are taking a piece of history and recycling and re using it giving it to give it a new life. In recent years I have changed my tact. Now I prefer to choose a mix-and-match approach. I borrow from the old wedding dress analogy of “something borrowed, something new, something blue“.

This works well for me, and any given day of the year you will find me in this mixture of vintage and reproduction clothing.

Vintage clothing can sometimes be a little bit on the tatty side it,and whilst it might be stylistically brilliant, it might even be in good condition, but it never is quite snappy as a nice reproduction shirt, tie or suit. The same goes for vintage furniture. I’ve purchased many fantastic pieces of vintage furniture and bric-a-brac which I absolutely love. The difference is that now I’m on the lookout for a reproduction piece to go with these vintage pieces.

For me the original desire was to style my apartment to look like it came out of 1959 and this required knowing exactly the right pieces to be on the look out for. I encourage you to choose a style or time frame, study it fanatically and then go about piecing the puzzle together

Recently a listener let me know about a reproduction online store furniture called Thrive Furniture which brings out fantastic pieces of furniture like lounges and seats and barstools and they are spectacular.

American made and in the highest quality and shipped directly to your house, you can’t ask for more. Undoubtedly they are better than some vintage pieces you’re likely pick it up because the vintage furniture is often well worn and even if they had been refurbished sometimes they aren’t the most durable

Another point about furniture is that I’ve never felt that vintage furniture or bric-a-brac should just be on display, you should really use these pieces in a functional way and everything should work and that’s where reproduction comes in play. Reproduction is highly functional and it should hold its style and colour and texture for a long long time.

My point is that I don’t like to be one eyed about vintage clothing and furniture. Mix and-match and if you got the right eye the mixture will all just work and nobody will actually notice the difference in the age of the furniture

Also, consider the cost of vintage clothing and furniture. A lot depends on where you buy. Go to one of the twenty vintage stores in your city and you’re likely to find highly inflated prices, but take a trip out to the country and you will be amazed.

Before your big road trip in your 49 Hudson ala Jack Kerouac, do some demographic research and find a really old town, somewhere there aren’t many young people, perhaps a lot of old people in a town which is shrinking, you’ll be surprised what you will find in garage sales,antique stores and charity stores. That’s where I did most of my accumulation of pieces when I first moved away from home.

I was working in a little town in the middle of New South Wales called Tamworth. I wandered into an antique store and I found the most amazing pieces. A Marilyn Monroe sofa, a lampshade a vintage cowskin rug along with a 1961 television set and this set me up.

Over years I’ve bought more pieces,both vintage and reproduction and generally got the whole thing looking very consistent in that my pad is consistent in style. People who visit often compare it to the tardis as it seems they are stepping out of the modern world and back in time which is exactly look I’m going for.

I wanted a place to escape from modern world a place that was my world which couldn’t be contaminated by others, a place where I could read,music and watch old movies and not be infected by the politics and pop culture of the world.

You too can create this paradise.

Koop Kooper

Koop Kooper is the host of The Cocktail Nation, He's also a writer, voiceover artist and known around Sydney as a hepster, always on the lookout for new crazy music.

Find out more about Koop Kooper

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