What is it about retro?

This Saturday Hamilton will enjoy it’s biggest Retro fair of the year.  The 6th annual Waikato Mid-Winter Retro fair runs from 9-3pm at the Chartwell Church Hall, 124 Comries Road. Hamilton.  With free entry, plenty of parking and over 20 exhibitors cramming anything and everything you can think of into a hall, there’s no excuse for missing it.  Prices are reasonable, and whether as a trip down memory lane or a hard-core mission to find the perfect seat for the lounge, or missing plate to a set, you won’t be disappointed.


But, what is it about retro?  Retro is technically products made between 1950-1970… (the 80’s is starting to be included).  For some people, something which is ‘just an old chair’ will be the gorgeous Scandinavian inspired recliner, handmade in New Zealand in the 1960’s that someone else desperately wants.  The wood is better quality… (it’s ACTUAL wood as opposed to wheatbix); the craftmanship is superior – and the style is sleek, modern but completely practical – and comfortable.  Remember that gawdy orange, yellow and green Tupperware?  We want it… they literally last a life-time and are so practical.  It’s down to quality again.


Some of us will flock to decor.  I personally, cannot resist looking at pictures, clocks, lamps and small furniture.  They’re the items that make our house a home.  Sometimes it comes down to subject matter, a theme, a colour which suits your decor or just because it’s $5.  Sometimes the picture that we like will also hold fond memories.  Perhaps that same framed picture hung in your Nana’s house, perhaps someone else inherited it, when you would have secretly liked it.  Now’s your chance to find it.


Over the last few years I have found that the items that create the most nostalgia for people is kitchenalia.  It’s’ your Crown Lynn plates, glass decanters, 50’s cake mixers (that last a life-time); wooden handled utensils, kitsch cake tins and eggcups.  So many eggcups.

While some collectables are the exception, despite retro products being better quality they are often cheaper than the reproduction items you’ll find in chain stores.  You’ll find the “real deal” and save money.  That’s not to mention the benefit of re-using already existing items – which is way better for the environment.

What is it about retro?  It’s the quality, style and price/environmental benefits.  But, a huge part of that appeal is the recognition, feeling and nostalgia that comes from finding – and taking home something you associate with loved ones.



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