I have a personal interest in America, owning a 1957 Airstream that we shipped in from Baltimore, a father who loves classic cars – especially Chevy Bell Air’s and frequent trips from a very young age, and road trips around the states as an adult.
The American dream was sold to everyone as ‘perfection’ the personification of ‘everything you could ever wish for on earth’ – a job, 2 children (one boy one girl), a fancy car, a beautiful partner, and a home that made neighbours envious. The decade of advertising – where you were trained to desire objects – and if you couldn’t afford them then that’s fine – pay them off over a period of time. Holidays to tropical Hawaii or decedent Palm Springs – clothes made of fur, lace and velvets. The austerity of the 40’s was gone – a time of over spending, over indulging and general ‘showing off’ was here to stay.
Flash forward and we are not far from what America pitched in the 50’s – we have celebrity endorsements a plenty selling you dresses, bags, cars, watches, perfume, even hair removal products. You can buy houses you cannot afford, cars that you hardly drive, holidays anywhere in the world, and if you cannot afford them – that’s fine add them to a credit card! We show off to a new level – no longer is it just the neighbours, or what people are saying in the town about someone’s new television. We now tell the world how fabulous we are, how well we are doing – via social media. We share every aspect of our lives, in a hope to achieve more followers, likes, shares, tweets and re-tweets. We stalk ‘cyber celebs’ watching how they apply make-up, do their hair – where they eat or what they have bought – George Orwell was right! We live in a virtual American Dream! Now, don't get me wrong - I love following, sharing, and watching - but isn't it crazy how much it has changed? We would worry about what the outward world thought - what car you drove, and how clean your doorstep was - to now worry about all the internal facets of your life too - 'have I got enough friends, am i wearing the correct thing - is my waist small enough'!
In one respect this is why I long for a time where design reigned – the thought process of an object and final outcome were well considered – compared to the fast fashion and throwaway culture of today. The 50s in America was full of ground breaking design from the concept houses to the clothes they wore – everything had been touched by an artist, carefully planned and executed.
When I started Campbell Crafts I wanted to create something that was different from the other vintage and vintage repro stores – a one-stop shop with all your favourites in one place. I found that I was always drawn to the unique American fashions – offering a quirkier, often more colourful and harder to get in the UK benefit to my brand. I spend my time finding items that have an authentic quality – whether it is a reworked print, the making process or has a flavour of the golden era in America. I wanted to create a brand that offers a slice of the American Pie and share it with all of you – bringing together our desire for vintage and a love of all things old here in the UK, with the fun and often kitsch charms of America. We hope we are creating something that inspires you, which offers you unique fashions and with that touch of Americana we adore here at CC. Now lets all create our own dreams, steer away from the chaos and pitfalls that this new virtual era create and focus on what is real – our love for vintage, for looking fabulous and not just owning authentic fashions – but living your own authentic life.
To see the brands we carry please visit our website: www.campbell-crafts.com, And ironically we are also on Facebook and Instagram – so give us a follow to see what new and exciting brands and designs are coming to in 2016!
Winner of Best Online Boutique at The National Vintage Awards