Wednesday, August 1, 2012

On the Radar -- 60s and 70s Geometric Prints

Prada. Photo from

 On the Radar is our weekly post where we get to talk about what we, the Blackbird girls, think the next big things are out there in design.  We have this problem, you see.  It never fails that about two months to a year after we start talking about what we like and what we want to feature somewhere -- in our Etsy shop or in the antique mall window -- it shows up in Country Living.  Or Martha Stewart.  Or on HGTV.  Now, we know everyone out there in "Design Land" drinks the same Kool-Aid and feeds off the same inspirations.  However, our process tends to be a bit more internal, organic, and dare I say it, vintage inspired!  As you probably already know, we LOVE vintage and antique things, so we get most of our inspiration from that.  

Michael Miller. Photo from

This week's post is about something we have always loved and have always been drawn to...1960s and 70s Mod/Geometric prints.  There's just something about an optic print that pulls us in.  Bright colors, neutrals -- doesn't matter.  It's all about the repeat and the graphic joy of a cool design.  We've noticed it popping up everywhere -- home fashions, high fashion, and even the craft world.  This chair, for example, has been recovered in Michael Miller quilting cotton, designed by Patty Young.  Fabric like this is accessible -- mainly because of price point.  Cotton crafting prints are a great way to maximize your design without spending tons of money.  These exact fabrics come in under $12 per yard, making them ideal for throw pillows, art projects, and even sweet little cotton dresses!

When we opened our Elle magazine for August, we were bombarded with images of suits and dresses made from 60s geometric prints.  Louis Vuitton, Miu Miu, Etro, and Prada are just a few of the designers featured.  Not only did they make individual, stand alone pieces, but they combined multiple prints. Layering pattern on top of pattern takes skill -- but the effect is dynamite!  Printed bags, shoes, dresses, jackets -- nothing is overlooked.

Photo from

1970s Blouse from Blackbird Antiques.  Ross House Boutique.

We still say that vintage is best, though.  If you wear vintage or live with vintage housewares, you know that your items are more one-of-a-kind.  Unique.  There may be more of the item out there, somewhere buried in an attic or a thrift store, but you can pretty much guarantee that nobody else in your town will have it!  The thrill of the hunt, and knowing that your item is special, can make ownership of vintage items a special thing.  Especially when you are right on trend, and just as fab as Prada (without the Prada price...)!

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