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Keep Calm & Carry On!

February 24, 2009

keep-calm-poster-low_medium2I’ve been having my own personal British Invasion for the past several years, and it ain’t going away. The British aren’t coming, they’re already here, and they’re here to stay. It started way back in college, and only exacerbated itself after I actually got to travel to the UK in 1999. The Union Jack. The Beatles. My secret husband Eddie Izzard. The BBC. The Queen. And their home magazines are way better than the US versions, dammit!

One of my latest favorites (favourites?) out of the UK is Keep Calm and Carry On. From an issue of Britain’s Living, Etc. last fall I went to check out Pedlar’s online shop, which is an obsession in and of itself. That’s where I first saw the KC&CO and was immediately entranced. I had just returned home from a harrowing two-week trip to Central Asia for work. While I was there, the U.S. economy collapsed. And I’m already a stressed out person by nature. So coming home and discovering something like this put some, well, calm in me. A Google search turned up the KC&CO site, which, in addition to being chock-full of all sorts of items with the slogan emblazoned on them,  explained the history behind the phrase. In short, during the spring of 1939 during WWI, King George VI wanted to assure his people that “all capable measures to defend the country were being taken.” Using his crown as an icon, the people would know who the message was from.

I don’t know why that resonated so much with me, but it did and I immediately wanted to get it tattooed on my wrist or, you know, my forehead. Instead, I ordered the poster from KC&CO, resisting the urge to order the coffee mugs, t-shirts, bags, etc. I totally thought I was on to something, and then suddenly a couple of months ago, I started seeing the poster and other items everywhere, most recently in the final issue (*sigh*) of Domino. This $30 poster was featured in an issue of Met Home framed for like, $300. Seriously? I hope this doesn’t become some overused trend; it’s way too good for that.

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