I am rather tickled by a phrase that has emerged from the U.S. to describe the return of Old School or English Decorating. It is a favourite blog topic and one that is currently experiencing a renaissance of interest on both sides of the Atlantic. Thanks to Emma Bazilian in her September 2019 piece for US House Beautiful magazine (a much preppier version of Hearst’s UK edition), Grandmillennial style has been coined.
Who are Grandmillennials?
Emma Bazilian describes Grandmillennials as people in their 20s and 30s who draw inspiration and comfort from some of the more traditional elements of Victorian and Edwardian fashion and interior style.
In the UK, the style lines blur a little further. I suppose it is a sort of town and country thing. A Grandmillennial interior style in town is more of a tailored look whilst in the country it is relaxed with hints of faded grandeur. Both rely on the cosiness of layering of fabrics and wallpapers, mixing florals with stripes – both large-scale patterns and small.
A HENRY rather than a UHNW
And just to give you the full marketing jargon, a GM (Grandmillennial) is perhaps not yet in a UHNW (Ultra-High-Net-Worth) category but could perhaps best be described as a HENRY (High-Income-Not-Rich-Yet) …
Grandmillennial interior style
Grandmillennial interior style is characterised by a feminine English country house style using designs such as chintzy florals for matching curtains and walls; skirted and sculpted soft furnishings where even swag and tail window treatments are making a comeback; pleated lampshades; cane furniture; gallery walls; tailored skirts for tables and dressing tables; plenty of colour with pattern on pattern with decent amounts of vintage and antique furniture and accessories.
Grandmillennial fashion is heavily influenced by Laura Ashley of the 70s and 80s where it took a romantic retrospective look at Edwardian and Victorian times. Pie crust collars, bows, leg of mutton sleeves, frills, prairie and teared maxi dresses and skirts ruled the waves.
The Sloaney velvet headband of the 80s is back but now in a new shape, highly decorated with jewels and embroidery. Here are some sequinned and embroidered versions from £35, from Anthropologie. Grandmillennials are also heading to The Corner Shop near Bucklebury in Berkshire for their rather chic £12.95 versions.
Time for Laura Ashley
It was sad news this week to hear that Laura Ashley is in trouble financially. This should be Laura Ashley’s time with all of those 20 and 30 year old Grandmillennials out there.
PR Carol Richardson of Beattie Communications (ex Jaeger and M&S) produced these beautiful images recently of the vintage inspired Pimlico fashion collection which for me reflect so beautifully the spirit of the brand.
I also agree with journalist and author Daisy Buchanan when she pointed out in her article in The Guardian (Weds 19 February) that “Vintage looks can save poor Laura Ashley” particularly as there is such a demand for original pieces which are currently achieving some rather eyewatering prices on eBay. I had the pleasure of seeing the fashion archive once and can confirm that it is pretty inspiring.
In case you missed these blogs first time around, here are some Grandmillennial/English Decorating style posts:
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