If I hear, or more likely read, the phrase ‘a carefully curated selection of fashion and lifestyle gifts’, I shall jam a pencil up my nose. It is an idiom on the verge of a nervous breakdown for the fact that it has gone from being deployed probably once or twice in 2012, crescendoing through 2015 with the explosion of Instagram, to the one and only phrase that lazy marketing managers can think of to describe shops selling what used to be known in a simpler time as: knick knacks.
‘Curating’ is no longer solely the preserve of nerds employed by art galleries and cultural institutions, but is now a skill requisite in every form of culture and commerce: a curated selection of new music on Spotify, a curated selection of imported ham at the local artisan deli, a curated selection of £300 storage baskets made from string and straw and a curated selection of prats on Broadway Market willing to pay for it all… (myself included).
That said, hats should be doffed to those who ‘curate’ beautifully, but do so admirably without referring to what they do as ‘curating’. One such shop, is Plain Goods, in New Preston, Connecticut. It jumped out at me from Instagram on account of its classic palette of beautiful crisp white shirts, navy blue jumpers and tan leather bags, set off by simple, elegant merchandising. The shop reeks of New England refinement: worn Chesterfield sofas, jute rugs, vintage lamps and indigo textiles; it’s how I would like my home to be, if I were more grown up.
Here is a ‘curated’ selection of my favourite items.
Featured image, Laura Resen
Other images, Plain Goods