Retro" is no longer a term limited to talking about the rock and roll years of the 50s; "retro" is anything "cool" from "the past" . The past can be the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and yes the 80s. Time is creeping by fast and antique dealers are catching on to the fact that 60s and 70s collectibles are now of interest to collectors.

So what would you put in a "hip" home? For starters...think ORANGE- SUNFLOWER YELLOW-BROWN-PINK-GREEN or BLACK & WHITE. Some say these colors could stop traffic, but it is important to remember that "day glow" colors were "in" during the "hip" years. Palettes of the 60s were bright, bold, exciting and sometimes over the top. There are no soft pastels here...and certainly nothing muted about the sixties.

Patterns were often of optical illusions (Op Art), geometrics, abstracts and of course vibrant flowers. Textile designers who worked for firms such as Heal or Conran captured the attention of the "in crowd" with their screen printed fabrics of contemporary designs. Psychedelic swirling designs inspired by the mind-expanding experiences of the Hippie generation became part of the popular culture and were used on home and kitchen accessories as well as on luggage, clothing, textiles and of course posters and even buses.

British clothing "mod" designer Mary Quant' also brought her look into the kitchen where her popular daisy motif could be found on toasters and canister. Colors of orange and sunny yellow combined with earthy tones dominated kitchen cookware and housewares. Accessories also included designs with whimsical mushrooms or vegetables. Le Creuset's cast-iron cookware in its signature orange color was found in kitchens abroad as well as in America during the "mod years". Ceramics, glassware, pottery and textiles often featured abstracts and geometric designs and were made in bright colors or black and white. Heavy plastics was a popular material for 60s housewares and furnishings.

Today, colors and patterns popular during the sixties or "mod generation" are popping up everywhere . Designs that are clearly inspired from the Hippie generation are being reproduced on everything from clothing to desk accessories and are sought after by younger buyers in America and abroad. Mixing vintage styles with newer looks is also very "cool" and a popular decorating style today.

While 60s collectibles have moved more slowly in brick and mortar shops than those of earlier periods, "hip collectibles" are gaining momentum. The children of babyboomers are interested in contemporary interpretations of retro looks from not only the sixties but also the seventies and are buying lots of reproductions items from these decades.

Numerous on-line businesses with "shaggy sixties" websites catering to shoppers who adore palettes of pink, brown and lime green as well as cutesy patterns of stripes, polka dots and swirling designs are growing. In fact there are web designers who specialize just in this look.

It is helpful to track what is selling in department stores and home-kitchen outlets because these trends often spike an interest in buyers who are searching for " the originals". For example, right now bright greens, pinks, yellows and oranges are considered "nifty" colors and collectibles found in these colors with "groovy" patterns are becoming important. One suggestion for antiques and collectibles dealers is to pull out anything from the 60s that they may have packed away over the years and have some fun in re-living what Austin Powers called "Shagadelic" style baby!

"Twenty and thirty something " buyers are getting a kick out of ordering home and clothing related items in "psychedelic" designs, baby boomer (who actually lived through the sixties) are still far more likely to want to acquire the real thing at tag sales, shops and flea markets. This is not to say that collecting "retro" is a pastime for only the "older generation", but let's face it...babyboomers were there.....and can appreciate finding genuine "flower power" beverage glasses at a thrift shop.


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