brandon carr 1970s


One way to escape social media is to go back to a time before it existed – or at least, in Brandon Carr’s case, build yourself a 1970s pre-internet haven. The 23-year-old videograph­er has spent the past five years curating a sepia-toned lifestyle that extends from his wardrobe to his thoroughly retro abode. “I used to get down about the fact I was born in the wrong generation and didn’t identify with the age of social media,” Brandon says. “I just got to the point where instead of getting annoyed about it, I decided to turn it into a creative thing and start living in the ’70s now.”

Why the fascinatio­n with his parents’ heyday? “I loved hearing stories from my mum about her childhood. She was a teenager in the 1970s in Australia, and the way she described growing up seemed like the ideal lifestyle: it was more relaxed, there was no technology, and people spent a lot more time outside and doing things together.” Brandon’s collecting habit took off in high school after his mum passed along some of her old records. That led him to track down the same record player his dad had once owned, and soon after, he began decorating his bedroom to match his old-school stereo system. “I just went crazy with it, and by the end of it, it was like stepping back in time.”

Brandon’s collection of ’70s furniture and décor only grew when he moved out of home. Eventually he felt constraine­d by the redecorati­ng opportunit­ies his sharehouse presented (“My housemates weren’t as into it as I was,” he says), so he rented his own place in the outer eastern suburbs. Given full rein to live out his retro-aesthetic fantasy, he refitted the house in top-to-toe ’70s fashion. With a philosophy of form over function, Brandon even eschewed modern appliances in favour of those made nearly 50 years ago. He confirms that his boxy colour TV, old-school toaster, kettle, fridge, washing machine and dryer still do the job. “Obviously the picture on our TV isn’t as clear as on our friend’s massive flatscreen down the road, but it’s cosy and warm, and it feels so nostalgic,” he says. “I think it’s a happy compromise.”

Brandon’s not a complete Luddite by today’s standards – he does, after all, have a laptop and phone for the necessitie­s (and somewhat begrudging­ly exists on Instagram for his creative work). When he’s out on corporate video jobs, he switches from his daily uniform of corduroy pants and contrastin­g-trim ringer t-shirts to a more neutral plain shirt and pants. Special occasions, like seeing a psych-rock band play, warrant boots, flares and a bitchin’ ’70s jacket. It’s all about self-expression for Brandon. And even though the blokey four-wheel-driving mates down at the pub sometimes give him a bit of strife, for the most part people appreciate his get-ups. “If I’m out somewhere, people will be like, ‘Oh, that’s cool! You look like a guy from this movie, or this musician,’” he says. “I do try to surround myself with similar people and go to places where I feel accepted.”

Brandon’s greatest inspiratio­ns include films like Puberty Blues and Dazed and Confused – anything that evokes the carefree, sun-drenched vibes of his parents’ adolescenc­e. You might catch him driving around town in his 1979 panel van – “sometimes when there are no cars on the road, it feels like it’s the ’70s,” he says – or down at the beach surfing and skating. He can best picture himself at a barbeque in the mid-’70s after he and his friends have just come back from a surf. “That’s my idea of a good dream,” he says. “It’s things my parents used to do when they were my age. I try to do that more than sitting at home on technology.”

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