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retrotempo http://www.retrotempo.co.uk Retro Design Items, Culture and Style Tue, 17 Sep 2013 21:30:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Retro Confectionery – The Aztec Bar, Walnut Whip and Flake http://www.retrotempo.co.uk/2013/07/17/retro-confectionery-the-aztec-bar-and-rowntrees-walnut-whip/ http://www.retrotempo.co.uk/2013/07/17/retro-confectionery-the-aztec-bar-and-rowntrees-walnut-whip/#respond Wed, 17 Jul 2013 19:59:03 +0000 http://www.retrotempo.co.uk/?p=3577 Hi. I hope you enjoy our retro stories. Please visit Retrotempo for more of the same!

What Confectionery Bar Could tip the mighty  Mars Bar from it’s Perch? Some confectionery brands have come and gone and have left a distinct retro feel.  Other like Mars and Kit-Kat are evergreen winners.  But for a brief period in the late 60s, the Mars Bar had contender.  It was called the Aztec Bar.  I used to like confectionery.  I definitely had a sweet tooth. Maybe because it was such a treat compared to today. But there was a certain pecking order.  Mars Bars were top, along with Kit-Kats, Flakes, Topic Bars. I also enjoyed Marathon Bars, now renamed Snickers for Euro and world wide branding consistency.   Yes, how silly is that name when Marathon was perfectly adequate if not better!   Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Bar was OK, although it was packaged in much thinner chunks in those days – And I liked to bite the sides off Bounty Bars, before eating the coconut inner.  Milky Way, Picnics and Rolos were in my top ten – they still are!  But, there were also some that did not quite make my radar.  These included: Fry’s Chocolate Cream, Bar Six, Treats, Milky Bars, Caramac,Old Janaica and Mint Cracknell. Of course, that did not mean I would not eat them! The Aztec Bar Was Cool and Exotic Back in the Spring of 1968, the Aztec bar was top.  It had the same shape and weight as a Mars Bar, but had thicker chocolate, smoother caramel and more soft nougatine.  It was even sweeter than a Mars Bar – if that is possible – and of a similar overall consistency.  It came in a suitably exotic deep purple wrapper.  But it was the advertising that made it better than the leader, Mars Bar.  In those days, Mars still used the famous advertising slogan,  “Mars – Helps you work rest and play”.  It’s a good slogan, but the TV adverts were a bit obvious.  Pedestrian. Typically, some bloke or girl eating a Mars, smiling to friends and then racing off on a bike.  Whereas, the Aztec Bar adverts were exotic, set in Mexico and looked more like classy booze adverts. They were quite the craze at school for a while. Now we all know that when it warms up, Mars Bars were prone to melt and lost at least some of their enjoyment – but this flaw was fatal for Aztec Bars. They practically liquified in the heat. And as the Spring turned into a lazy, hazy Summer, sales fell and the makers, Cadburys, quietly dropped the brand. It’s ironic that Mars later solved this problem with the yummy introduction of the Mars Ice Cream Bar. I suspect that, had it come earlier, this innovation might have saved the Aztec Bar. Alas, it was gone. The Aztec bar is the ultimate in Retro Confectionery. Rowntree’s Retro Walnut Whip? Unlike the Aztec Bar the Walnut Whip has survived – albeit with a new owner and with less chunky chocolate.  The brand is now owned by Nestles. (Not “Nestles” as was originally advertised, but “Nest-lay”).  And it now has some imitators, notably those slightly inferior versions from Marks and Spencer.  So you might be wondering why I mention Walnut Whips as a retro item of confectionery?  Well believe it or not, the original Walnut Whip had a secret. As well as a walnut on top of the chocolaty cone, it had another walnut INSIDE!   At the base of the cone, underneath all of that white creamy nougatine was another walnut. Brilliant!  It’s funny.  I talk to my friends of the era and no can remember this.  But look at this link to Wikipedia: Walnut Whip. There it is, plain as you like!  Walnut Whips DID have another walnut inside! Best Chocolate Advert Ever? On that bomb shell, perhaps it’s time to watch possibly the best chocolate advert ever made?  This is the cinema version with more sensuous music and darker tonal quality – and as a result; that bit more more racy.  Enjoy! But for true retro value, the standard TV version is perhaps better remembered:  

The post Retro Confectionery – The Aztec Bar, Walnut Whip and Flake appeared first on retrotempo.

]]>
Hi. I hope you enjoy our retro stories. Please visit Retrotempo for more of the same!

What Confectionery Bar Could tip the mighty  Mars Bar from it’s Perch?

Some confectionery brands have come and gone and have left a distinct retro feel.  Other like Mars and Kit-Kat are evergreen winners.  But for a brief period in the late 60s, the Mars Bar had contender.  It was called the Aztec Bar.  I used to like confectionery.  I definitely had a sweet tooth. Maybe because it was such a treat compared to today. But there was a certain pecking order.  Mars Bars were top, along with Kit-Kats, Flakes, Topic Bars. I also enjoyed Marathon Bars, now renamed Snickers for Euro and world wide branding consistency.   Yes, how silly is that name when Marathon was perfectly adequate if not better!   Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Bar was OK, although it was packaged in much thinner chunks in those days – And I liked to bite the sides off Bounty Bars, before eating the coconut inner.  Milky Way, Picnics and Rolos were in my top ten – they still are!  But, there were also some that did not quite make my radar.  These included: Fry’s Chocolate Cream, Bar Six, Treats, Milky Bars, Caramac,Old Janaica and Mint Cracknell. Of course, that did not mean I would not eat them!

The Aztec Bar Was Cool and Exotic

Cadbury Bar wrapper- Retro Confectionery

Cadbury’s Aztec Bar wrapper

Back in the Spring of 1968, the Aztec bar was top.  It had the same shape and weight as a Mars Bar, but had thicker chocolate, smoother caramel and more soft nougatine.  It was even sweeter than a Mars Bar – if that is possible – and of a similar overall consistency.  It came in a suitably exotic deep purple wrapper.  But it was the advertising that made it better than the leader, Mars Bar.  In those days, Mars still used the famous advertising slogan,  “Mars – Helps you work rest and play”.  It’s a good slogan, but the TV adverts were a bit obvious.  Pedestrian. Typically, some bloke or girl eating a Mars, smiling to friends and then racing off on a bike.  Whereas, the Aztec Bar adverts were exotic, set in Mexico and looked more like classy booze adverts. They were quite the craze at school for a while. Now we all know that when it warms up, Mars Bars were prone to melt and lost at least some of their enjoyment – but this flaw was fatal for Aztec Bars. They practically liquified in the heat. And as the Spring turned into a lazy, hazy Summer, sales fell and the makers, Cadburys, quietly dropped the brand. It’s ironic that Mars later solved this problem with the yummy introduction of the Mars Ice Cream Bar. I suspect that, had it come earlier, this innovation might have saved the Aztec Bar. Alas, it was gone. The Aztec bar is the ultimate in Retro Confectionery.

Rowntree’s Retro Walnut Whip?

Unlike the Aztec Bar the Walnut Whip has survived – albeit with a new owner and with less chunky chocolate.  The brand is now owned by Nestles. (Not “Nestles” as was originally advertised, but “Nest-lay”).  And it now has some imitators, notably those slightly inferior versions from Marks and Spencer.  So you might be wondering why I mention Walnut Whips as a retro item of confectionery? 

“The original Walnut Whip contained a half-walnut placed inside the cone on the thick chocolate base, rather than on top. It was later marketed with an extra walnut on top, and subsequently the walnut inside was removed to leave one walnut outside.”

Walnet WhipWell believe it or not, the original Walnut Whip had a secret. As well as a walnut on top of the chocolaty cone, it had another walnut INSIDE!   At the base of the cone, underneath all of that white creamy nougatine was another walnut. Brilliant!  It’s funny.  I talk to my friends of the era and no can remember this.  But look at this link to Wikipedia: Walnut Whip. There it is, plain as you like!  Walnut Whips DID have another walnut inside!

Best Chocolate Advert Ever?

On that bomb shell, perhaps it’s time to watch possibly the best chocolate advert ever made?  This is the cinema version with more sensuous music and darker tonal quality – and as a result; that bit more more racy.  Enjoy!

But for true retro value, the standard TV version is perhaps better remembered:

 

The post Retro Confectionery – The Aztec Bar, Walnut Whip and Flake appeared first on retrotempo.

]]>
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Retro Top of The Pops LPs – Crazy Horses – Meow, Meow http://www.retrotempo.co.uk/2013/06/30/top-of-the-pops-lps-crazy-horses-meow-meow/ http://www.retrotempo.co.uk/2013/06/30/top-of-the-pops-lps-crazy-horses-meow-meow/#respond Sun, 30 Jun 2013 19:32:58 +0000 http://www.retrotempo.co.uk/?p=3528 Hi. I hope you enjoy our retro stories. Please visit Retrotempo for more of the same!

Back in 1972, I owned the most peculiar record. It was a compilation, with a track of Crazy Horses by The Osmonds.  It was on an early Top of the Pops LP.  They were infamous for containing poor copies of the original tracks.  I used to buy them in my local Woolworths in Ashby de La Zouch – and they were cheap! All the tracks were poor, but but during the exciting crescendo, where the Crazy Horses are imitated by a cool electronic organ sound, there features what sounds like a frightened cat.   So instead of, “Crazy Horses – (Screeching Electronic) Neigh, Neigh”, we “Get Crazy Horses – Meow, Meow“.  It did make me laugh!  Fortunately, a little later, I did manage to acquire an original recording. Crazy Horses reached Number two in the UK, and features on many people’s list of:  “Your favourite Number Twos”.  Crazy Horses is on Volume 28 of TOTP that was released in Dec 1972, so this was likely a Christmas buy, if not actually a Christmas present. Check out the Energy of the Original Crazy Horses By the miracle that is Youtube, I have found the offending track – and you can also compare it to the original, which I think still sounds surprising contemporary. Especially for the Osmonds! There are whole sites dedicated to the history of Top of the Pops and other compilation LPs. Click to see more of your favourites:  Top of the Pops  

The post Retro Top of The Pops LPs – Crazy Horses – Meow, Meow appeared first on retrotempo.

]]>
Hi. I hope you enjoy our retro stories. Please visit Retrotempo for more of the same!

TopofPops 1972toppops27

Back in 1972, I owned the most peculiar record. It was a compilation, with a track of Crazy Horses by The Osmonds.  It was on an early Top of the Pops LP.  They were infamous for containing poor copies of the original tracks.  I used to buy them in my local Woolworths in Ashby de La Zouch – and they were cheap!

All the tracks were poor, but but during the exciting crescendo, where the Crazy Horses are imitated by a cool electronic organ sound, there features what sounds like a frightened cat.   So instead of, “Crazy Horses – (Screeching Electronic) Neigh, Neigh”, we “Get Crazy Horses – Meow, Meow“.  It did make me laugh!  Fortunately, a little later, I did manage to acquire an original recording. Crazy Horses reached Number two in the UK, and features on many people’s list of:  “Your favourite Number Twos”.  Crazy Horses is on Volume 28 of TOTP that was released in Dec 1972, so this was likely a Christmas buy, if not actually a Christmas present.

Check out the Energy of the Original Crazy Horses

By the miracle that is Youtube, I have found the offending track – and you can also compare it to the original, which I think still sounds surprising contemporary. Especially for the Osmonds!

There are whole sites dedicated to the history of Top of the Pops and other compilation LPs. Click to see more of your favourites:  Top of the Pops

 

The post Retro Top of The Pops LPs – Crazy Horses – Meow, Meow appeared first on retrotempo.

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Retro Champagne Glasses – Coupes and Saucers http://www.retrotempo.co.uk/2013/04/28/retro-champagne-glasses/ http://www.retrotempo.co.uk/2013/04/28/retro-champagne-glasses/#respond Sun, 28 Apr 2013 11:43:57 +0000 http://www.retrotempo.co.uk/?p=3420 Hi. I hope you enjoy our retro stories. Please visit Retrotempo for more of the same!

Retro Champagne Glasses- Coupes and Saucers If you watch any decent Hollywood film depicting the glamorous lifestyle of the 1940s, 50s, 60s or 70s you will without doubt enjoy a scene where the leading actors and actresses are drinking from retro champagne glasses. You know the ones. Those with a bowl or coupe shape rather than a flute or vase.  I understand why most modern-day champagne drinkers might think they prefer a flute – “to better preserve the fizz“.  But to me they are just not in any way glamorous – and the reality is they only better contain the fizz if you are drinking poor quality – or worse, imitation Champagne. To see what I consider to be the perfect coupe shape, take a look at this clip from the film, “High Society” and focus the glass that both Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby drink from. Pure class in a glass!  “Well, Did You Evah”? They say that the Champagne coupe shape was modelled after the shape of Marie-Antoinette’s breasts. You can see the original painting at the: Musée Antoine Lécuyer – Saint-Quentin, Aisne France.  With a fair degree of imagination, you can just about see where they are coming from when you look at the Champagne Coupe in the film High Society.  Sadly, this almost certainly a myth.  In any case, I am sure that Marie-Antoinette’s were a  much more appealing shape – but it is a nice story.  And if the coupe was modelled after Marie, was the Flute modelled after Madonna a la 1990s during the Blonde Ambition tour? However –  and whenever  – the coupe shape was invented, it suits Champagne.  Champagne is drunk at celebrations and Champagne is a mini celebration in a glass. George Best and his Champagne Cascades and Fountains   George Best knew a thing or two about mixing booze and celebrations.  And his preference was the Champagne Coupe too.  As a kid, I always wanted to emulate the famous picture of George creating a Champagne Fountain. You just can’t do that retro style with flutes! Babycham Glasses Of course, the most infamous retro “Champagne” glasses of the 60s and 70s  were the Babycham saucer glasses.  Retro Champagne Saucers are a little shallower than their close cousins, the coupe, and are a good deal more difficult to drink elegantly from.  In fact, I would say that they provide a good way of judging whether you have had too much. If you can’t drink without spilling, then you have had too much!  A good friend of mine still has an original set.  Babycham was hardly a quality Champagne (in fact, it is actually a sparkling wine or Perry made from pears) and yet these were perfectly matched for the task – and did lend certain “Je ne sais pas”  to even the most everyday do. Which is the Best Champagne to Retain the fizz? What makes for  good quality Champagne fizz is carboxypeptidase. This enzyme keeps the bubbles in and only tends to form in sufficient quantity in good quality Champagne.  This, along with colloids (tiny, nearly nano scale particles), formed by the remnants of Champagne Yeast in the first few months after bottling.  This is why vintage champagne is usually better and therefore more expensive. You can leave Any Good Quality Vintage Champagne uncorked over night and it will still retain 95% of its fizz until morning. I know, because I have done exactly this at 30th birthday party where half empty and even full bottles were left strewn about the garden till morning – and were still “proper frothy”.  I guess this is where the myth (and I say, true story for vintage Champagne) developed about:”leaving a silver spoon in the neck of an opened bottle of Champagne to keep it fizzy”,  originally developed. But to those of you who still prefer the flute – I say don’t be such a sheep.  Make like George Best, either drink your Champagne more quickly or buy better-quality Champagne and drink from a Retro Champagne Saucer or Coupe and celebrate in retro style – you may thank me for the advice!

The post Retro Champagne Glasses – Coupes and Saucers appeared first on retrotempo.

]]>
Hi. I hope you enjoy our retro stories. Please visit Retrotempo for more of the same!

Retro Champagne Glasses- Coupes and Saucers

If you watch any decent Hollywood film depicting the glamorous lifestyle of the 1940s, 50s, 60s or 70s you will without doubt enjoy a scene where the leading actors and actresses are drinking from retro champagne glasses. You know the ones. Those with a bowl or coupe shape rather than a flute or vase.  I understand why most modern-day champagne drinkers might think they prefer a flute – “to better preserve the fizz“.  But to me they are just not in any way glamorous – and the reality is they only better contain the fizz if you are drinking poor quality – or worse, imitation Champagne. To see what I consider to be the perfect coupe shape, take a look at this clip from the film, “High Society” and focus the glass that both Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby drink from. Pure class in a glass!  “Well, Did You Evah”?

Cone Corset similar to Flute Champagne glass?

Madonna at the Blond Ambition Tour showing cone shape similar to flute Champagne Glass

Reference material for the coupe champagne glass?

Marie Antoinette around 1775

They say that the Champagne coupe shape was modelled after the shape of Marie-Antoinette’s breasts. You can see the original painting at the: Musée Antoine Lécuyer – Saint-Quentin, Aisne France.  With a fair degree of imagination, you can just about see where they are coming from when you look at the Champagne Coupe in the film High Society.  Sadly, this almost certainly a myth.  In any case, I am sure that Marie-Antoinette’s were a  much more appealing shape – but it is a nice story.  And if the coupe was modelled after Marie, was the Flute modelled after Madonna a la 1990s during the Blonde Ambition tour?

However –  and whenever  – the coupe shape was invented, it suits Champagne.  Champagne is drunk at celebrations and Champagne is a mini celebration in a glass.

George Best and his Champagne Cascades and Fountains

Bestie pours himself a retro champagne fountain

Retro Champagne Coupe Fountain with George Best

In 1969 I gave up women and alcohol – it was the worst 20 minutes of my life”
 

George Best knew a thing or two about mixing booze and celebrations.  And his preference was the Champagne Coupe too.  As a kid, I always wanted to emulate the famous picture of George creating a Champagne Fountain. You just can’t do that retro style with flutes!

Babycham Glasses

Of course, the most infamous retro “Champagne” glasses of the 60s and 70s  were the Babycham saucer glasses.  Retro Champagne Saucers are a little shallower than their close cousins, the coupe, and are a good deal more difficult to drink elegantly from.  In fact, I would say that they provide a good way of judging whether you have had too much. If you can’t drink without spilling, then you have had too much!  A good friend of mine still has an original set.  Babycham was hardly a quality Champagne (in fact, it is actually a sparkling wine or Perry made from pears) and yet these were perfectly matched for the task – and did lend certain “Je ne sais pas”  to even the most everyday do.

Which is the Best Champagne to Retain the fizz?

What makes for  good quality Champagne fizz is carboxypeptidase. This enzyme keeps the bubbles in and only tends to form in sufficient quantity in good quality Champagne.  This, along with colloids (tiny, nearly nano scale particles), formed by the remnants of Champagne Yeast in the first few months after bottling.  This is why vintage champagne is usually better and therefore more expensive. You can leave Any Good Quality Vintage Champagne uncorked over night and it will still retain 95% of its fizz until morning. I know, because I have done exactly this at 30th birthday party where half empty and even full bottles were left strewn about the garden till morning – and were still “proper frothy”.  I guess this is where the myth (and I say, true story for vintage Champagne) developed about:”leaving a silver spoon in the neck of an opened bottle of Champagne to keep it fizzy”,  originally developed.

But to those of you who still prefer the flute – I say don’t be such a sheep.  Make like George Best, either drink your Champagne more quickly or buy better-quality Champagne and drink from a Retro Champagne Saucer or Coupe and celebrate in retro style – you may thank me for the advice!

The post Retro Champagne Glasses – Coupes and Saucers appeared first on retrotempo.

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Retro Give Aways – Apollo Mission and Racing Cars http://www.retrotempo.co.uk/2013/04/01/kellogs-cereal-give-aways-lunar-landers-and-formula-one-racing-cars/ http://www.retrotempo.co.uk/2013/04/01/kellogs-cereal-give-aways-lunar-landers-and-formula-one-racing-cars/#respond Mon, 01 Apr 2013 19:06:03 +0000 http://www.retrotempo.co.uk/?p=3387 Hi. I hope you enjoy our retro stories. Please visit Retrotempo for more of the same!

Apollo Mission Construction Kits During the height of Apollo Moon Shot in the late 1960s, lots of brands and organisations tried to cash in on the excitement by issuing freebie memorabilia such as mugs, coins and stamps. Many of these now rare items have since become retro favorites for collectors. Shell Petrol Stations did a particularly nice range of silver coins, but the item that caught my attention as a 9 year old, was the tiny Lunar Mission construction kits issued by Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. In particular, the items I wanted were the Command Module (the bit that circled the Moon) and the Lunar Lander kits. Both items came with parts attached to a small rectangular plastic frame, each with about five or six white plastic pieces. So they were not unlike the much larger and familiar Airfix Construction kits. The quality was quite poor, but they were free after all – and best of all, the Lunar Lander was designed to clip (or dock) into the nose cone of the Command Module- just as the real vehicles did in 1969. With a bit of imagination, you could recreate the whole landing and return to Earth!  The image was sourced from a really good retro site, dedicated to the famous Gerry Anderson, where you can see similar kits: Moonbase Central Formula One Racing Car Construction Kits Prior to the Lunar Lander and Command Module, Kellogs included free construction kits of Formula One Racing Cars. These came in different colours for different models. So the Lotus was Green and the Brabham was blue. The wheels were designed to spin and could be interchanged by model. The models were freely exchanged at school and the green Lotus model similar to the one driven by Jim Clark was particularly sought after. That is, until Jim’s fatal crash in a Formula Two car in Germany in April 1968. It was one of the saddest days of my early life when the news papers and TV reported his tragic and dramatic death. If you do not know about the brilliant driver,  Jim Clark, you can look up on Wiki here: Jim Clark Formula One Theme Retro PhoneCards Many years later, I was lucky enough to pick up a collection of Retro Phone Cards that featured famous Formula One British Racing Car Champions including Jim Clark. They are available for sale on the Retrotempo shop. They date from 1999, but the subjects hark back to the golden age of British Racing. I hope any potential buyer will appreciate them as much as I do. By Paul Bates (thepaulbates)

The post Retro Give Aways – Apollo Mission and Racing Cars appeared first on retrotempo.

]]>
Hi. I hope you enjoy our retro stories. Please visit Retrotempo for more of the same!

Apollo Mission Construction Kits

During the height of Apollo Moon Shot in the late 1960s, lots of brands and organisations tried to cash in on the excitement by issuing freebie memorabilia such as mugs, coins and stamps. Many of these now rare items have since become retro favorites for collectors. Shell Petrol Stations did a particularly nice range of silver coins, but the item that caught my attention as a 9 year old, was the tiny Lunar Mission construction kits issued by Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. In particular, the items I wanted were the Command Module (the bit that circled the Moon) and the Lunar Lander kits.Apollo space misison kist given away with the cereal Both items came with parts attached to a small rectangular plastic frame, each with about five or six white plastic pieces. So they were not unlike the much larger and familiar Airfix Construction kits. The quality was quite poor, but they were free after all – and best of all, the Lunar Lander was designed to clip (or dock) into the nose cone of the Command Module- just as the real vehicles did in 1969. With a bit of imagination, you could recreate the whole landing and return to Earth!  The image was sourced from a really good retro site, dedicated to the famous Gerry Anderson, where you can see similar kits: Moonbase Central

Formula One Racing Car Construction Kits

Prior to the Lunar Lander and Command Module, Kellogs included free construction kits of Formula One Racing Cars. These came in different colours for different models. So the Lotus was Green and the Brabham was blue. The wheels were designed to spin and could be interchanged by model. The models were freely exchanged at school and the green Lotus model similar to the one driven by Jim Clark was particularly sought after. That is, until Jim’s fatal crash in a Formula Two car in Germany in April 1968. It was one of the saddest days of my early life when the news papers and TV reported his tragic and dramatic death. If you do not know about the brilliant driver,  Jim Clark, you can look up on Wiki here: Jim Clark

Formula One Theme Retro PhoneCards

Many years later, I was lucky enough to pick up a collection of Retro Phone Cards that featured famous Formula One British Racing Car Champions including Jim Clark. They are available for sale on the Retrotempo shop. They date from 1999, but the subjects hark back to the golden age of British Racing. I hope any potential buyer will appreciate them as much as I do.

By Paul Bates (thepaulbates)

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You’re So Retro Chic – And You Know It http://www.retrotempo.co.uk/2013/03/15/youre-so-retro-chic/ http://www.retrotempo.co.uk/2013/03/15/youre-so-retro-chic/#respond Fri, 15 Mar 2013 19:28:54 +0000 http://www.retrotempo.co.uk/?p=3249 Hi. I hope you enjoy our retro stories. Please visit Retrotempo for more of the same!

(Featured image above: Lana Del Rey – Copyright Grazia Magazine) Is Everything Retro Chic This Year? I was in the Dentist’s waiting room the other day and was flicking through the available magazines.  As is typical, the selection was biased toward mid to high end women’s magazines as left behind by the Receptionist.   But the Dentist had thoughtfully left a copy of his Stuff Magazine – just one – for the blokes.  Full of trendy gadgets no one can afford, (well except for Dentists). One item caught my eye though. “Retro Chic Speakers”.  Basically, trendy speakers for your living room that “you would not want to hide”- apparently because they are aesthetically pleasing.  I always liked my old wooden and rather boxy Wharfedale Denton speakers- but that is another story. Retro Chic on the Catwalk Retro Chic is a movement that is “right on trend” on this year’s catwalk. For example, Lana Del Rey claims to be the “Gangsta Nancy Sinatra”.  Which is a wonderful sideways take on what is means to adopt Retro Chic style. Other models and stars regularly adopting retro chic style are: Rita Ora, Cara Delevingne, Katy Perry, Jessie J and of course the infamous, Dita Von Teese herself. Perhaps it would be easier to ask which starlets are not going retro chic this year?  For a real retro chic treat visit this link to Grazia Magazine Swing “Something Stupid” While we are on the subject of Sinatra, Retro Chic is a fashion that regularly appeals to the stars and producers of pop videos. Robbie Williams and Nicole Kidman produced a wonderfully kitsch or retro chic Christmas single – a cover of Frank and Nancy Sinatra’s “Something Stupid”.  Proving that Retro Chic itself has been in fashion since just after fashion began, the video faithfully recreates 1950s fashion, style and design. At least, it is a pastiche memory of Christmas -1950s style. And both Nicola and Robbie look stunning in their retro chic outfits. I particularly admire Nicole’s jumper and Robbie’s pyjamas!  In fact, Robbie released a whole album of retro hits, including “Something Stupid”, called “Swing When You’re Winning”.  And deservedly successful it was too! By Paul Bates (thepaulbates)

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(Featured image above: Lana Del Rey – Copyright Grazia Magazine)

Is Everything Retro Chic This Year?

Speakers like sydney opera houseI was in the Dentist’s waiting room the other day and was flicking through the available magazines.  As is typical, the selection was biased toward mid to high end women’s magazines as left behind by the Receptionist.   But the Dentist had thoughtfully left a copy of his Stuff Magazine – just one – for the blokes.  Full of trendy gadgets no one can afford, (well except for Dentists). One item caught my eye though. “Retro Chic Speakers”.  Basically, trendy speakers for your living room that “you would not want to hide”- apparently because they are aesthetically pleasing.  I always liked my old wooden and rather boxy Wharfedale Denton speakers- but that is another story.

Retro Chic on the Catwalk

Retro Chic is a movement that is “right on trend” on this year’s catwalk. For example, Lana Del Rey claims to be the “Gangsta Nancy Sinatra”.  Which is a wonderful sideways take on what is means to adopt Retro Chic style. Other models and stars regularly adopting retro chic style are: Rita Ora, Cara Delevingne, Katy Perry, Jessie J and of course the infamous, Dita Von Teese herself. Perhaps it would be easier to ask which starlets are not going retro chic this year?  For a real retro chic treat visit this link to Grazia Magazine

Swing “Something Stupid”

While we are on the subject of Sinatra, Retro Chic is a fashion that regularly appeals to the stars and producers of pop videos. Robbie Williams and Nicole Kidman produced a wonderfully kitsch or retro chic Christmas single – a cover of Frank and Nancy Sinatra’s “Something Stupid”.  Proving that Retro Chic itself has been in fashion since just after fashion began, the video faithfully recreates 1950s fashion, style and design. At least, it is a pastiche memory of Christmas -1950s style. And both Nicola and Robbie look stunning in their retro chic outfits. I particularly admire Nicole’s jumper and Robbie’s pyjamas!  In fact, Robbie released a whole album of retro hits, including “Something Stupid”, called “Swing When You’re Winning”.  And deservedly successful it was too!

By Paul Bates (thepaulbates)

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Retro Design Rover Car Chairs http://www.retrotempo.co.uk/2013/03/11/retro-design-rover-chairs/ http://www.retrotempo.co.uk/2013/03/11/retro-design-rover-chairs/#respond Mon, 11 Mar 2013 19:28:50 +0000 http://www.retrotempo.co.uk/?p=3202 Hi. I hope you enjoy our retro stories. Please visit Retrotempo for more of the same!

I first came across Ron Arad retro design Rover car chairs in the reception area of a design agency called Wolff Olins. The year was 1988 and it was in fact, one of the altogether more rare, two seater sofa models. As you would expect in a world class design agency, the whole ambiance was refined. High warehouse style ceilings complemented by an aesthetically pleasing curved glass front desk, chrome door frames and polished granite tiles. On the walls were framed multiple awards and impeccable art work. They had liberally sprinkled, giant sized designer flower arrangements, plus a highly manicured receptionist – as though from the set of the Robert Palmer “Addicted to Love”  video.   In spite of feeling totally intimidated by the flawless execution, I have to admit, it was one of the most comfortable seats that I have ever sat in. The Original Retro Design Rover Chair The original Rover chair is probably more accurately described as “post modern” than a strictly retro design, but retro cycled is a term that is very apt. The seats are recycled  from a Rover P6 (also known as the Rover 2000). The original chairs cost only £10 to £15 from a scrap yard and the tubular framing that Arad used to fix the seats and provide arms and feet was also retro cycled and would have also cost around £15.  The Rover chairs originally sold for less the £100.  There have since been many imitations, most notably those that feature on the main guest set of the BBC Top Gear programme.  I understand these were copies put together at short notice by the talented BBC prop design crew.  If so, they did a very good job!    Many years later, original Arad Rover chairs sell for £5,000 plus. There is more information about the designer on Wikipedia on this link: Ron Arad Industrial Designer By Paul Bates (thepaulbates)

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Hi. I hope you enjoy our retro stories. Please visit Retrotempo for more of the same!

I first came across Ron Arad retro design Rover car chairs in the reception area of a design agency called Wolff Olins. The year was 1988 and it was in fact, one of the altogether more rare, two seater sofa models. As you would expect in a world class design agency, the whole ambiance was refined.

High warehouse style ceilings complemented by an aesthetically pleasing curved glass front desk, chrome door frames and polished granite tiles. On the walls were framed multiple awards and impeccable art work. They had liberally sprinkled, giant sized designer flower arrangements, plus a highly manicured receptionist – as though from the set of the Robert Palmer “Addicted to Love”  video.   In spite of feeling totally intimidated by the flawless execution, I have to admit, it was one of the most comfortable seats that I have ever sat in.

The Original Retro Design Rover Chair

Retro Design Rover chair -sofa style

Two Seater Rover chair

The original Rover chair is probably more accurately described as “post modern” than a strictly retro design, but retro cycled is a term that is very apt. The seats are recycled  from a Rover P6 (also known as the Rover 2000). The original chairs cost only £10 to £15 from a scrap yard and the tubular framing that Arad used to fix the seats and provide arms and feet was also retro cycled and would have also cost around £15.  The Rover chairs originally sold for less the £100.  There have since been many imitations, most notably those that feature on the main guest set of the BBC Top Gear programme.  I understand these were copies put together at short notice by the talented BBC prop design crew.  If so, they did a very good job!    Many years later, original Arad Rover chairs sell for £5,000 plus.

There is more information about the designer on Wikipedia on this link: Ron Arad Industrial Designer

By Paul Bates (thepaulbates)

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Retro Gaming Event – Wolverhampton Racecourse http://www.retrotempo.co.uk/2013/03/10/retro-gaming-event-wolverhampton-racecourse/ http://www.retrotempo.co.uk/2013/03/10/retro-gaming-event-wolverhampton-racecourse/#respond Sun, 10 Mar 2013 11:06:10 +0000 http://www.retrotempo.co.uk/?p=3167 Hi. I hope you enjoy our retro stories. Please visit Retrotempo for more of the same!

Retro Gaming Revival. Retrotempo:: Magazine covers a host of retro items and activities and where would we be without a nostalgic look back to the very early days of gaming? Whether that was playing Space Invaders or Asteroids on Atari arcade machine, or struggling to load games from a tape cassette on to a Sinclair ZX Spectrum, this event will let you revisit your youth in company with other retro gamers. Definitely worth a visit! “Revival is an all-new event focusing not just on retro gaming, but on the retro culture that was inspired by, and shared history with our earliest gaming roots. Continuing where Chris left off with the ‘Retro Ball’ event in 2005, REVIVAL will be an almost exclusively retro event aimed at bringing as many true retro gamers together as possible in one place for the classic gaming experience we all really want to share, whilst retaining a very personal, social event feel. There will be many familiar faces and a chance for the retro gaming community to mix directly with the people that made retro-gaming what it is in our memories and meet up with fellow hobbyists who continue to keep the scene alive. Remember Retro Gaming? From the roots of retro gaming there will be the best in classic arcade cabinets, pinball and possibly other arcade machines we all fondly remember, whilst popular names from retro gaming history will be present to share their personal experiences and give insight on the industry as it once was, as well as provide souvenirs in the form of signed memorabilia. There will also be interactive exhibits in the form of retro toys, collectibles and retro culture to rekindle those memories of your youth and days gone by” Here is the link to the event organisers: Retro Revival Gaming Event Date and Venue Wolverhampton Racecourse 18th and 19th May 2013 By Paul Bates (thepaulbates)

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Hi. I hope you enjoy our retro stories. Please visit Retrotempo for more of the same!

Retro Gaming Revival.

Retrotempo:: Magazine covers a host of retro items and activities and where would we be without a nostalgic look back to the very early days of gaming? Whether that was playing Space Invaders or Asteroids on Atari arcade machine, or struggling to load games from a tape cassette on to a Sinclair ZX Spectrum, this event will let you revisit your youth in company with other retro gamers. Definitely worth a visit!

“Revival is an all-new event focusing not just on retro gaming, but on the retro culture that was inspired by, and shared history with our earliest gaming roots. Continuing where Chris left off with the ‘Retro Ball’ event in 2005, REVIVAL will be an almost exclusively retro event aimed at bringing as many true retro gamers together as possible in one place for the classic gaming experience we all really want to share, whilst retaining a very personal, social event feel. There will be many familiar faces and a chance for the retro gaming community to mix directly with the people that made retro-gaming what it is in our memories and meet up with fellow hobbyists who continue to keep the scene alive.

Remember Retro Gaming?

From the roots of retro gaming there will be the best in classic arcade cabinets, pinball and possibly other arcade machines we all fondly remember, whilst popular names from retro gaming history will be present to share their personal experiences and give insight on the industry as it once was, as well as provide souvenirs in the form of signed memorabilia. There will also be interactive exhibits in the form of retro toys, collectibles and retro culture to rekindle those memories of your youth and days gone by”

Here is the link to the event organisers: Retro Revival Gaming Event

Date and Venue

Wolverhampton Racecourse

18th and 19th May 2013

By Paul Bates (thepaulbates)

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Retro Cycling at the Kinetica Art Fair 2013 http://www.retrotempo.co.uk/2013/02/26/retro-cycling-at-the-kinetica-art-fair-2013/ http://www.retrotempo.co.uk/2013/02/26/retro-cycling-at-the-kinetica-art-fair-2013/#respond Tue, 26 Feb 2013 23:11:33 +0000 http://www.retrotempo.co.uk/?p=3144 Hi. I hope you enjoy our retro stories. Please visit Retrotempo for more of the same!

Kinetic Art is a rapidly expanding design discipline.  The link to retro design is that often the artists are inspired to recycle everyday items to make modern and contemporary works of art. This is a process called Retro Cycling.  This from the organisers: See Retro Cycled Designs “The Kinetica Art Fair, one of London’s annual landmark art exhibitions and a permanent fixture in the Art Fair calendar, brings together galleries, art organisations and curatorial groups from around the world who focus on kinetic, electronic, robotic, sound, light, time-based and multi-disciplinary new media art, science and technology. For 2013 Kinetica is hosting the work of over 40 galleries and art organisations nationally and internationally, with representatives from UK, France, Russia, USA, Poland, Holland, Spain, Italy, Hungary, Indonesia and Japan, collectively showing over 400 works of art”. I can thoroughly recommend you visit. Here is the link to the Exhibition: Kinectica Art Fair 2013 The Kinetica Art Fair runs from:  February 27th – March 3rd 2013 Ambika P3 35 Marylebone Road NW1 5LS By Paul Bates (thepaulbates)

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Kinetic Art is a rapidly expanding design discipline.  The link to retro design is that often the artists are inspired to recycle everyday items to make modern and contemporary works of art. This is a process called Retro Cycling.  This from the organisers:

See Retro Cycled Designs

“The Kinetica Art Fair, one of London’s annual landmark art exhibitions and a permanent fixture in the Art Fair calendar, brings together galleries, art organisations and curatorial groups from around the world who focus on kinetic, electronic, robotic, sound, light, time-based and multi-disciplinary new media art, science and technology.Kinetica Art fair

For 2013 Kinetica is hosting the work of over 40 galleries and art organisations nationally and internationally, with representatives from UK, France, Russia, USA, Poland, Holland, Spain, Italy, Hungary, Indonesia and Japan, collectively showing over 400 works of art”.

I can thoroughly recommend you visit.

Here is the link to the Exhibition: Kinectica Art Fair 2013

The Kinetica Art Fair runs from:  February 27th – March 3rd 2013

Ambika P3
35 Marylebone Road
NW1 5LS

By Paul Bates (thepaulbates)

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When Retro becomes Retro? http://www.retrotempo.co.uk/2013/02/24/when-retro-becomes-retro/ http://www.retrotempo.co.uk/2013/02/24/when-retro-becomes-retro/#respond Sun, 24 Feb 2013 15:05:57 +0000 http://www.retrotempo.co.uk/?p=3105 Hi. I hope you enjoy our retro stories. Please visit Retrotempo for more of the same!

In 1983, Tracey Ullman released an album called “You broke my heart in 17 places”. It featured many songs from the 60s and 70s re-worked with a contemporary 80s feel. The album cover itself was a design throw back to the 60s. Songs such as “Bobby’s Girl” and “Move Over Darling” by  Doris Day were obvious retro material. But covers of Kirsty MacColl tracks, such as the title track and the best selling, “They Don’t know”, were more subtle retro references. In the video below, look out for  Sir Paul McCartney who guests as Tracey’s new boyfriend in the car and note that Kirsty MacColl herself is said to have sang the high pitch “baby” note. Retro before it was Cool In producing this album, Tracey was way ahead of her time with the whole retro revival that we see today. As someone said, “Tracey Ullman was retro before retro became cool”.  Tracey went on to find even more fame with her own TV Show in the U.S. and helped launch what can only be described as “The 90s Classic Cartoon Series”: The Simpsons. Retro is Contemporary Now more than 20 years later, the album is still a clear nod to the 60s and 70s, but is itself a significant item of 80s culture.  There are other examples of culture that have themselves become retro.  In fact, one could easily argue that all new and current fashion and indeed music is a re-worked idea from the past.  What is good music or good fashion will always be good.  But every generation wants to claim it for themselves. This is why I suppose the reason that retro is popular. Even with kids.  My children like The Beatles, Abba and Queen. As I write this, my eldest is listening to  the Bee Gees  “Saturday Night Fever”.  In the same way,  my kids like classic design items from the past. Like the Alessi Juicy Salif Lemon Squeezer, designed in the 80s by Phillip Starck and even vintage style items like 1920s Flapper design dresses. And I expect that their kids will like the same. There ought to be a word for retro-revival-again items:  Perhaps “Re-Retro-Cycled” or why not just, “Retro-Retro” ?  Of course, I could be mischievous and say that something that is “Retro-Retro”, is in fact, Contemporary! By Paul Bates (thepaulbates)

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Hi. I hope you enjoy our retro stories. Please visit Retrotempo for more of the same!

In 1983, Tracey Ullman released an album called “You broke my heart in 17 places”. It featured many songs from the 60s and 70s re-worked with a contemporary 80s feel. The album cover itself was a design throw back to the 60s. Songs such as “Bobby’s Girl” and “Move Over Darling” by  Doris Day were obvious retro material. But covers of Kirsty MacColl tracks, such as the title track and the best selling, “They Don’t know”, were more subtle retro references. In the video below, look out for  Sir Paul McCartney who guests as Tracey’s new boyfriend in the car and note that Kirsty MacColl herself is said to have sang the high pitch “baby” note.

Retro before it was Cool

In producing this album, Tracey was way ahead of her time with the whole retro revival that we see today. As someone said, “Tracey Ullman was retro before retro became cool”.  Tracey went on to find even more fame with her own TV Show in the U.S. and helped launch what can only be described as “The 90s Classic Cartoon Series”: The Simpsons.

Retro is Contemporary

Now more than 20 years later, the album is still a clear nod to the 60s and 70s, but is itself a significant item of 80s culture.  There are other examples of culture that have themselves become retro.  In fact, one could easily argue that all new and current fashion and indeed music is a re-worked idea from the past.  What is good music or good fashion will always be good.  But every generation wants to claim it for themselves. This is why I suppose the reason that retro is popular. Even with kids.  My children like The Beatles, Abba and Queen. As I write this, my eldest is listening to  the Bee Gees  “Saturday Night Fever”.  In the same way,  my kids like classic design items from the past. retro Alessi lemon squeezerLike the Alessi Juicy Salif Lemon Squeezer, designed in the 80s by Phillip Starck and even vintage style items like 1920s Flapper design dresses. And I expect that their kids will like the same.

There ought to be a word for retro-revival-again items:  Perhaps “Re-Retro-Cycled” or why not just, “Retro-Retro” ?  Of course, I could be mischievous and say that something that is “Retro-Retro”, is in fact, Contemporary!

By Paul Bates (thepaulbates)

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Retro Style 1970s Oxford Bags http://www.retrotempo.co.uk/2013/02/13/retro-style-1970s-baggies/ http://www.retrotempo.co.uk/2013/02/13/retro-style-1970s-baggies/#respond Wed, 13 Feb 2013 11:36:37 +0000 http://www.retrotempo.co.uk/?p=3015 Hi. I hope you enjoy our retro stories. Please visit Retrotempo for more of the same!

Retro Style – 1970s Do you recall the first item of clothing you bought for yourself just because it was fashionable rather than practical?  In my case, it was a pair of tartan “Oxford Bags”.  Of course, I’d worn items previously, that would have been  be regarded fashionable that would  now have a certain Retro Style.  But these had been bought by a parent.  For example, I’d worn a short tank-top with wide horizontal stripes in Black, Purple and White.  And I had worn a black and orange flower power shirt with a “Glider Pilot” winged collar. But my Oxford Bags were the first item of fashion I had picked out for myself. Retro Style Leaders and Oxford Bags At the time, around 1973, Oxford Bags were the height of fashion and were worn by such style leaders as Mark Bolan, David Bowie and Noddy Holder.   In fact, the entire cast of Slade wore Oxford Bags at some stage.  The Seventies Boy Band, The Bay City Rollers, adapted this look with cut offs and trainers. But where I lived, to adopt their style was peer suicide!    In a Magazine devoted to Retro Style, I should point out that my Oxford Bags were themselves an example of a retro fashion revival, having been a popular style during the Pre-War era. My particular pair of bags were in multiple shades of grey, red and black tartan. They were very baggy around the leg, but quite tight around the waist and had turn ups. They marked a transition from simple flared jeans and loons, to the baggy style with a higher waist band and multiple deep pockets. This particular pair are ladies and do not feature turn ups. Mine were more grey tones and looked more like the classic Pre-War variety. Real style leaders would brag about the circumference of their flare or bag.   A friend of my sister ordered a tailor made pair of bags with a 72“ flare – per leg!  This seems implausible now, but I met this character at the Ashby Town Hall Disco.  His bags were Green and Blue Tartan and caused quite a stir.  Unluckily for him, the fashion was about to change to full High Waist Band trousers with more of a tailored look. I wore my Oxford Bags with a Blue Short Lumber Jacket style with dog tooth edging around huge pockets on the chest.   The label, I recall, was, “South Sea Bubble”.   I loved this combination and it was really warm in what was another typically damp and cold winter in South Derbyshire.   Now, if you can find them, Oxford Bags are truly Retro Style! By Paul Bates (thepaulbates)

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Hi. I hope you enjoy our retro stories. Please visit Retrotempo for more of the same!

Retro Style – 1970s

Do you recall the first item of clothing you bought for yourself just because it was fashionable rather than practical?  In my case, it was a pair of tartan “Oxford Bags”.  Of course, I’d worn items previously, that would have been  be regarded fashionable that would  now have a certain Retro Style.  But these had been bought by a parent.  For example, I’d worn a short tank-top with wide horizontal stripes in Black, Purple and White.  And I had worn a black and orange flower power shirt with a “Glider Pilot” winged collar. But my Oxford Bags were the first item of fashion I had picked out for myself.

Retro Style Leaders and Oxford Bags

At the time, around 1973, Oxford Bags were the height of fashion and were worn by such style leaders as Mark Bolan, David Bowie and Noddy Holder.   In fact, the entire cast of Slade wore Oxford Bags at some stage.  The Seventies Boy Band, The Bay City Rollers, adapted this look with cut offs and trainers. But where I lived, to adopt their style was peer suicide!    In a Magazine devoted to Retro Style, I should point out that my Oxford Bags were themselves an example of a retro fashion revival, having been a popular style during the Pre-War era.Original Oxford Bags

My particular pair of bags were in multiple shades of grey, red and black tartan. They were very baggy around the leg, but quite tight around the waist and had turn ups. They marked a transition from simple flared jeans and loons, to the baggy style with a higher waist band and multiple deep pockets.1970s oxford bags This particular pair are ladies and do not feature turn ups. Mine were more grey tones and looked more like the classic Pre-War variety.

Real style leaders would brag about the circumference of their flare or bag.   A friend of my sister ordered a tailor made pair of bags with a 72“ flare – per leg!  This seems implausible now, but I met this character at the Ashby Town Hall Disco.  His bags were Green and Blue Tartan and caused quite a stir.  Unluckily for him, the fashion was about to change to full High Waist Band trousers with more of a tailored look.

I wore my Oxford Bags with a Blue Short Lumber Jacket style with dog tooth edging around huge pockets on the chest.   The label, I recall, was, “South Sea Bubble”.   I loved this combination and it was really warm in what was another typically damp and cold winter in South Derbyshire.   Now, if you can find them, Oxford Bags are truly Retro Style!

By Paul Bates (thepaulbates)

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