Last Summer whilst we were on in lockdown, a new style completely broke the internet. The term “cottagecore” was first coined on a Tumblr in 2018 (wow, that feels eons ago right?). With highly diverse adoptees all over the world, think: fields of flowers, idyllic picnics, embroidery/knitting, breadmaking, gardening, and the so called “nap” dress or prairie style clothes. The pastoral, slow living, hit it’s zenith in the midst of the Covid crisis as many of us turned to some element of escapism. In fact, the trend became so popular that even if you’ve never heard of the term, you’ve likely participated in or been influenced by it.
As Realtors in the midst of working with herds of people moving to the area from more urban parts of the country, we see folks all the time in search of greener pastures, quite literally. “I think it has something to do with looking back to a simpler time,” said Ari Lightman, a digital media and marketing professor at Carnegie Mellon University. “Rather than looking ahead to a dystopian future full of uncertainty, society looks back to the past when things were less complex with less uncertainty.” While we certainly can get on board with sourdough starters and less screen time, the one element of the aesthetic that really beckons us to a comforting (yet still modern) place: quilts.
Seemingly all at once around August of 2020, we started seeing old patterns pop up all over our internet feeds revisited as fashion. Small batch one-ofs and mostly American made, were involved from “Dresden Plate” to “Wedding Rings”…and on every type of garment from coats to jeans.
Not relegating themselves to one particular (and often quite expensive) medium, inspired makers and brands from all over pivoted the idea and began to reuse everything from vintage flour sacks to grandma’s tablecloth in new, and even, dare we say SEXY ways. Why is this so appealing? Like a textural version of comfort foods, literally wearing nostalgia appeals to both our love of sustainability and our need for the familial stability that many of us lacked for so long. A hug from grandma. A Sunday drive in the country. Your great aunt Helen’s piano playing. The smell of the attic you hid in during hide-and-seek as a child. Sensory remembrances flood back in with quilts whether they’re on a hanger or at the foot of the bed and now that things are back to the 21st centuries idea of fast-paced "normality”, we are happy to start buying bread again but maybe we’ll keep the quilt portion of the #cottagecore trend!
If you’d like to do some more reading on the subject, and if you’re thinking of buying something patchwork for Summer, our favorite shop is Farewell Francis and scream “beach please”!