Happy were the days when children needed no more than a seat at Saturday morning pictures and a bag of popcorn to keep them occupied. Pop art immortalized the popular culture and characters of the 1950s and ‘60s in all manner of colourful cartoon style images, reflecting the growing celebritization of film stars and artists, as well as an increased awareness of modern convenience products – along with our childlike curiosity for all things new.
As the pace of social and commercial change speeded up, those who had grown up in, or were inspired by distinctly more laid back times, found a role model in the character from Happy Days known as Fonzie (played by unlikely heartthrob Henry Winkler) – one of the most decidedly cool guys on the planet, who actively cultivated slow style to get things done more effectively.
Despite his James Dean style appearance and rebellious swagger, The Fonz was a big softy at heart and gained fans from all sorts of unexpected quarters. Old school French teachers even adopted his cult greeting (‘Eeeeeeeeey) to instruct pupils on the pronunciation of ‘e’ with an acute accent.
The Happy Days series was screened from the mid 1970s into the early 1980s and harked back to an age when family fun, fashion, movie stars and motorcycles were popular features of daily life. Curiously, little has altered in this respect, except that family structures and moral values seem to have changed dramatically within a relatively short space of time...
Perhaps that’s why slow retro style is regaining popularity and pop art accessories - like the uniquely stylish hand painted jewellery by the Maggio sisters at ShopCurious – are back in vogue.
Anyway, I’m looking forward to more Happy Days ahead.