Thursday, August 27, 2015

Photo shoot idea: Retro-Trash

Part of this challenge
dafuq? have I lost my mind? Today I share with you an aesthetic that I've been loving lately. I don't even know what it is or what to call it, but it's kind of a celebration of the "interior design" of suburban office buildings and municipal buildings. Dollar-store facsimiles of heirloom items (like the above rubber lace tablecloth, which I had many of growing up). Cheap copies of expensive materials, like the "marble" sink below.
(people have been adding digital-art touches to these photos, which I also love)
Quick-fixes and cutting corners, like the linoleum floors that bubble and peel away over time. The reason why the pictures below fascinate me is because I know what they will look like in a year. Chunks of tiles broken off like missing teeth, the smell of plastic and mildew. 


And then there's "creative" furniture. Trying to put some personality, but again cutting corners with pressboard and some glossy white paint. Anything can be fabulous with glossy white paint.

For some reason they always remind me of a porn set.

My mom's prized dresser fits in this aesthetic:

In fact most things in my childhood remind me of this. Our house was a split-level cookie-cutter home, with linoleum floors and wallpaper that looked like something else--wood, straw, mirrors (yes, it was creepily reflective). Cheap vertical blinds that thundered to the ground when a strong wind blue. I'm pretty sure the soundtrack to my childhood is vertical blinds slapping against each other.
yeah the mirror has a blue light. I always thought this was cool and still do!
With everything being more "authentic" and "artisan" these days, it's almost rebellious and strange to see this sort of look. It's cheap and trashy like a creepy motel, and it's no wonder that the photoshoots have sexual undertones:

lol excuse my cell phone shot of this magazine...couldn't find a photo online
This photo below (sorry for the crappy cell shot!) is one of my favorites. It's got gaudy Italian mafioso furniture with a nude model drawing some parallels to Boticelli's Birth of Venus and, boom, flatscreen. Classy. Please destroy the sanctity of this "priceless" table. This is one of my favorite pictures forever and ever. I can stare at it all day. The furniture and tv amp up the sexuality more than if she'd just been on a rug or bed.
from the now-defunct tar magazine
Terry Richardson, the real-deal sexual slimeball, is pretty much the most popular photographer in this aesthetic.  

What to wear? all the tack you'd find at the lingerie section at the mall. Satin (the cheaper silk), plastic (the cheaper patent leather/wood), malibu (the cheaper fur). Sequins to catch the flash of the camera. Sheers for sexiness. Gold and silver paint.

tacky interior design


So for the dark fashion version, everything here is under $50, to get the quality right. This is a look that's purposely cheap looking. And I'm delighted that I found BLACK vertical blinds.

linoleum goth


  1. Linoleum goth. I think I could pull that off. I am pretty sure I have an old pair of shoes like those ones with the bow and lace on the right and some huge black claw clips lying about..........

  2. Did you ever have baby rave parties in your mum's room with that blue light as a kid? My brother and I used to dance around with glow sticks in the dark as kids.

  3. Love this post! Those photos you showed, they are priceless. And tacky and cheap, of course. ;) That octopus is so hypnotizing. <3