On January 9, The Spectator wrote:
“After more than 200 years, a uniquely British taste is on the way out. Shabby chic has been vacuumed, whitewashed and dry-cleaned out of existence. Frayed shirt collars, egg-yolk on the tie, soup stain on the crotch, roses rambling out of control over the crumbling terrace flagstones, walls cluttered with pictures, tables covered with teetering piles of books.
“The quintessentially British air of decayed gentility has been destroyed by a combination of minimalism, modernism and nihilism. For the first time in history we live in a civilization where, the richer you are, the fewer things you have, and the newer, cleaner and more stripped-down those things must be. Shabby chic meant the opposite. The idea was that the richer you were, not only did you have more things, but also the things were older and more run-down. ‘I’ve got so much stuff, and it’s so old that of course it’s going to get dusty and battered,’ went the mantra, ‘but it’s so stylish that it’ll never go out of fashion.’”
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In the New World the rich have never indulged in shabby chic and it was never a North American status symbol to own things that were run down.