“And the name for this fallacy is called Golden-Age Thinking. The erroneous notion that a different time period is better than the one one’s living in. It’s a flaw in the romantic imagination.” – Paul, Midnight in Paris
When Paul, “the pedantic fellow” – as Carla Bruni’s character in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris so accurately described – explained the idea of Golden-Age Thinking, Danielle and I realized we’ve been guilty of it all our lives! Growing up, watching old Hollywood movies was a Sunday night ritual, and every other time period seemed to be a more appealing one – both visually and intellectually speaking.
We came to wonder why champagne cocktails had gone out of fashion, or why Cole Porter wasn’t a go-to for millenials (for serious). Scary movies meant Hitchcock movies and fashion meant anything and everything Katharine Hepburn wore. Those were the days people knew how to live life…or at least, that’s how we always looked at it.
The way fashion worships high/low, we’ve always needed the classic and nostalgic alongside the modern and contemporary in every single aspect of our lives in order to stay sane. We’re simply suckers for it – and couldn’t imagine a world without it.
It was this “flaw in the romantic imagination” as Paul would describe it that dictated so much of our redesign. We wanted to create something that was truly unique and separate from what every other website was doing. Just the way we started by taking food out of food, we wanted to take our website out of web, while somehow still having it stay put. As we said in our mission statement, when we think content, or production, we think of the old Hollywood studios, and don’t understand why no one really approaches digital this way.
We drew from Ludwig Bemelman’s illustrations that encapsulated that ideal cafe scene that makes you want to melt into the sketch and have a martini. We toyed with Eloise colors and quotes, and whimsical sayings from Peanuts Gang (A Charlie Brown Christmas is a soundtrack on repeat through our edit meetings in winter). Arthur Elgort, Peter Lindbergh, Wes Anderson, Old New Yorker covers and Singin’ in the Rain…the list goes on and on. Our new redesign is our own “inexhaustible variety of life” as Scott Fitzgerald once described so perfectly in The Great Gatsby.
See…Golden-Age Thinking: We never change.
*Feature image by Ludwig Belmelmans. Photographs in moodboard 1 (from top right) via Arthur Elgort (1 and 2) and Petra Collins. Illustration by Ludwig Belmelmans. Photographs in moodboard 2 via Peter Lindbergh and Terry Richardson for Porter Magazine. Illustrations by Ludwig Belmelmans and Charles Schulz. Photographs in moodboard 3 via Irving Penn, Peter Lindbergh and Terry O’Neill. Illustration by Hilary Knight. Final image via La La Land.