HOT TREND: Cassettes

May 10, 2011

Ah, the humble cassette tape. In case you’ve been living under a stone (or have better things to think about), FYI: The 1980s revival is in full swing and cassettes have never been cooler.

Exhibit A: The classic cassette wall sticker, from Danish style gurus at Ferm Living. (Did you know that Ferm means clever? Me neither.) Sure, I’d clocked the cool kids drinking out of old jars in the Hoxton Pony (or somewhere similar, probably, possibly, actually not really), wearing their retro-yet-ironic cassette tape jewellery. Yeah, I’d spotted the Hackney hipsters hanging out in TopShop, protesting, shopping, wearing their ‘Mix tape’ slogans on their skinny chests. Exhibit B: ‘Something retro on my necklace‘ from Truffle Shuffle:

But now this trend is creeping in to our homes, too. Press PLAY:

Exhibit C: (From the top) Monochrome cassette cushions and bags from the magical Mini Moderns; Evidence of indie-crafters going crazy for all things cassette-related on Folksy; Retro iPhone 4 cases and MP3 players from Accessory Bee and Littlewoods. Of course, the trend-hunters at Rockett St George are on the CASE already….

Exhibits D and E: Rockett St George’s arty prints from illustrator Hanna Melin. The one below can be personalised with your own ‘mix tape labels’…

Ah, cassettes. It’s impossible not to get nostalgic. They symbolise the pre CD, pre MP3, pre-GCSE era. As the Top 40 played, you’d hover; Listening, poised, finger at the ready to press RECORD and capture That Song on your tape. You tried to hit the STOP button before the DJ started speaking. You never managed this. You never actually caught the beginning or the end of any song EVER. But you persevered, and enjoyed sticking the pleasing little labels on it afterwards. You gave your new ‘mix tape’ a catchy name such as: ‘My Pop Music Album III (Ace of Base etc)’. You listed the songs and artists carefully on the little card in biro. Sometimes, you recorded yourself singing. Badly. Or you recorded your own ‘radio shows’ and made your little sister play all the jingles on a glockenspiel. Well, I did. Enough. Some designers have taken this trend one step further and are recycling (UP-cycling?) cassettes in to designer furniture and lighting. Exhibit F: The range from Ooomydesign:

Random DID YOU KNOW box: Apparently, when you see cassette tape wrapped around a lamp post or a tree it means a witch has recorded a spell or a curse on it. Hmmm. Moving on. Exhibit G: The Cassette Tape Closet:

You can find out how to make your own at Creativebarn. No, really. Obviously, this only applies to you if you’ve got oodles of time, a massive wooden frame thingy, some serious DIY skills and about a zillion old cassettes knocking about. And a lot of PVA, presumably. But before you hurry home to staple-gun cassettes to your coffee table, just remember: the 90s trend is next, so save a bit of space for CDs. eh. Or video tapes… – Ellie

(VHS notebooks, just in at Pedlars…)

HOT SHOP: Supernice

December 21, 2009

Pottering around Shoreditch in London the other day, (as you do, dahling), I thought two things. ONE: I really need to get down with the trendy East London yoof of today, which clearly involves wearing a checked shirt, a pair of skin-tight skinny jeans with braces, pointy little Victorian-booty-style vintage shoes, a cool, lop-sided hair-cut (art-student-stylee), draping yourself in handmade Tatty Devine-type trinkets (such as anchors, moustaches, etc), saying ‘LOL’ when amused, nibbling organic seeds and reading a vintage poetry book while cycling on a retro Pashley bicycle. TWO: I really should visit Supernice more often! It’s one of Columbia Road‘s NICEst shops.

There are funky melamine trays and plates from Thomas Paul, hundreds of Blik wall stickers on display, as well as some very cool stickers from Inke, needlepoint kits from Jonathan Adler, and fabulous monochrome ceramic tiles from Big Tomato. These tiles (just £3.95 each) were impossible to resist…they’re great for bathrooms and kitchens of course, but they’re gorgeous enough to prop up on a mantelpiece spelling out a word. I bought four of the anglepoise ones (top left!) and super-glued squares of felt to their bases for quick and easy coasters. I keep them stacked beside my anglepoise lamp…how pleasing! (To me, anyway. Boyfriend – not so much. In fact, didn’t notice styling touch, or congratulate. As per. Wasted, I say, wasted.)

ANYWAY, here they are for your delectation, all laid out in a super-nice way. A lot of the wall stickers are perfect for decorating children’s bedrooms, but the chandelier one would look fabulous in a glamorous grown-up dining room…

Right, I’m off to practise the whole poetry-reading-on-a-Pashley thing. I may be some time. – Ellie