January 26, 2021

Club tropicana! Why kitsch is everywhere this summer

From fruit-patterned swimwear to cactus-covered greeting cards and inflatable lobsters, it’s impossible to escape the zing of feelgood Americana. So why has everything gone totally tropical?

At Primark, the £6 best-selling bikini of the season has pineapples on it. If it has sold out in your size, though, don’t worry: online shop Asos has three different bikinis with pineapples on them. It has got phone cases, necklaces, backpacks and dressing gowns to match, too. At John Lewis, one in five products sold in the summer party department has a flamingo on it, as does every other birthday card in Paperchase. Ditto the fairy lights in the US clothing chain Anthropologie, and the USB sticks in Urban Outfitters. The vases in the window at Zara Home are shaped like cacti, as are the ones at The Conran Shop. At Oliver Bonas, you can find watermelon-slice earrings to match the watermelon beach ball you picked up at Selfridges, which goes so well with your new Dolce & Gabbana watermelon-painted handbag.

Describe a 1950s Palm Springs poolside cocktail party using only emojis, and you capture the aesthetic of summer 2017. The colours are pink and green (a flamingo with a palm tree, a watermelon slice). The shapes – pineapple, cactus, Martini glass – are as sunnily evocative and as easy to draw as a smiley face. Move over industrial chic bare bricks and copper pendant lights, because we are living in the Age of the Pineapple.

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