Industrial Chic Design Takes the Stage

Posted by on Jun 23, 2012 in Articles | Comments Off

Article by Eva

Industrial Chic Design Takes the Stage – Shopping – Fashion Style

Search by Author, Title or Content

Article ContentAuthor NameArticle Title

Submit Articles
Author Guidelines
Publisher Guidelines
Content Feeds
RSS Feeds
Contact Us

What will they think of next? The latest fashion craze to hit the decorating world is called ‘Industrial Chic Design.’ What is industrial chic design? Perhaps it can best be understood as coming partially from a persective of the more well known concept of shabby chic design. The long running shabby chic trend harkens back to the days of old when things were made to last. Items might get a few dings and scratches but they would still be passed from generation to generation still in perfectly usable condition. Unlike today, people did not throw away things that were still useful. Thus a connection with an individual’s past was better maintained.

It was not uncommon for people to have considerable amounts of furniture, tools, and items not just from their parent’s time but even from their grandparents’. Items of use were past down, repaired if broken, and overall, the past was valued. That contrasts starkly with today’s world of throwing away things after a few years with everything tending towards the new and shiny look.

Shabby chic can be thought of as a backlash to an ever pervasive trend towards ‘New Now Next!’ that has been an automatic evolution of the modern manufacturing age. Instead of buying cheap flimsy items that must be replaced often, some people have gone back to the past, wanting to buy high quality heritage items. The shabby chic trend celibrates the concept of a few scratches and dings actually adding character to an item, giving it the flavor of the past. Because shabby chic items are of high quality, they age with character instead of just breaking. Shabby chic items are expected to look historical with lots of wood, dings, and worn edges. If authenitic items from the past are in short supply, then new items are created to to just look old.

The shabby chic fashion trend has been around for quite some time, but in recent years, a new trend has grown up from it that is sometimes known as ‘industrial chic.’ Industrial chic design is similar to shabby chic but it has more of an emphasis on metal and an industrial look. Personally, I think if industrial chic as a mating of shabby chic with the also currently popular ‘steampunk’ look.

Steampunk is an effort to replicate the look of (often fantasy and science fiction oriented) victorian machine age technology as it would hypothetically look if carried somewhat unaltered into the current times. The dressing style of steampunk emphasizes beautiful Victorian area dresses peppered at times with seemingly incongruent bits of old machine age technology. With steam punk, expect to see lots of cogs and gears, copper and brass pipes, pressure gauges, and (of all things) leather!

For a better understanding, think of the style of the tv show ‘Wild Wild West’ and the movie of the same name that was more recently made. There you have beautiful ladies in victorian dress and men in old style suits strolling around and battling strange technological monsters made of cogs and gears and powered by strange steam engine creations. This is the steampunk look!

If you combine the two concepts, shabby chic and steampunk, you get a strange amalgum that is called industrial chic. Industrial chic combines the idea of taking items from the past and using them in the present. The items tend to be old and sometimes rusty, often made of metal. There is a strong emphasis on things being recycled and repurposed. Things are not thrown away, they are ‘upcycled’ into something new and preferably useful. Clocks with old style spinning hands, lamps and lighting, ipod charging docks, etc. THe idea is that things used now are made up of things abandones or repurposed from the past.

With the industrial chic look, expect to see items not used often these days but common in the past, like mason jars, old glass insulators from telephone poles, and aged metal junction boxes and circuits. The industrial chic look is all about functionality and usefulness. Items are expected to look cobbled together from other items. Think of the popular tv show McGuyver where he took common abandoned items that were laying around and made something amazing with them. Everthing he made had a function and all parts were scavenged.

The industrial chic look revels in the idea of ingeniously McGuyvering together the old into something new and more functional. Items should never look factory made or shiny or new. They should always be inventively created out of items from the past. Items are often made of metal, glass, and rope. Metal should be old and weathered if possible. Circuits and switches should look large and strong and utilitarian.

Born from a combination of shabby chic and steampunk trends, the industrial chic look celebrates the ingenuity, creativity, and flexibility of the human mind to create something new and useful out of something old and abandoned. Great for a more rustic traditional look or for man caves everywhere, the industrial chic design is a new and upcoming design trend that should not be missed.

About the Author

Eva specializes in the creation and development of vintage and industrial chic lighting, lamps, lights, clocks, and various household items. You can see her designs at her website here:

Use and distribution of this article is subject to our Publisher Guidelines
whereby the original author’s information and copyright must be included.


RSS Feed

Report Article

Publish Article

Print Article

Add to Favorites

Article Directory
Contact Us
Advanced Search
Privacy Statement