Have you ever not loved something, had to work with it and found yourself embracing the very thing you once hated? I have. For me, it was midcentury modern. Everything about the look and style seemed austere and standoffish. Even the art for this genre was geometric and muted. How was that supposed to be inspiring?
I never appreciated it until it became necessary to embrace it. Midcentury modern, or MCM, always seemed austere, bland and way too aggressive. Then I met the French version whose name is Moderne and voila, it was love. I mean L O V E. I found something that I could embrace.
Did you ever meet someone who on the first impression seemed beyond cool? The person whose intimidating presence first invited a denouncement on your part, mainly because the look was so cool you didn’t really understand it? You know the person who made the cool people you knew look Provencal? Then somehow you got to know that person, became familiar with the style and maybe even tried it out to see if it would work for you?
As you warmed up to that very fashionable look and attitude, did the style gain your admiration, and suddenly, the old you became tragically obsolete?
Well, MCM has those elements. For a 150-year-old movement, it certainly is enduring. The look seems to re-emerge when the climate gets tough. It made its first appearance with the industrial age and the robber barons. It reappeared after the first world war, the one that was supposed to end all wars. It receded during World War II, but so did a lot of things during that terrible time. Then, right after the war, it came back, right along with the station wagon and baby boomers. Now the Xers and Millennials have claimed it.
For me, French Moderne is queen, for you, it may be a more relaxed, existential approach with clearly defined geometrics and saturated color. One thing is certain, you do not have to have a turquoise or harvest gold kitchen to call your home MCM. It is a straightforward and uncomplicated look. MCM is playful, it doesn’t take itself too seriously, and isn’t that a relief?