About Joyatri

Avid thrifter and vintage clothes wearer. Love 1960s and early 1970s styles. Partial to Art Nouveau, Pre-Raphaelite, Victorian, Renaissance and Medieval art. Former art historian. Current packrat. On a continual quest for good-looking, comfortable vegan shoes. Bhangra dancer since 2002. Fascinated by all things Indian. Vegan and animal advocate. 

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Words I like:

"She was dressed, as usual, in an odd assortment of clothes, most of which had belonged to other people." 

Excellent Women by Barbara Pym (1913-1980)



“I said "Somebody should do something about that." Then I realized I am somebody.”

 Lily Tomlin




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Wallis meets Biba

At one of the Saturday vintage markets in Spitalfields, London, I spotted a printed jacket with a Wallis label that I swear I had seen last year when I was in London.

It had that Art Deco geometric-type print reminiscent of Biba. I loved the big notched collar, the slightly puffed shoulders, the nipped in waist and the soft tie belt. In a fine wool, the jacket is warm with a nice drape. I got it home and did a bit of research and found that I wasn’t far off thinking that a fabric used by Wallis would be similar to one used by Biba as they shared fabric suppliers.

I got even more excited when I found a print advertisement from the September 1973 issue of Vogue UK on Smashingbird for this exact jacket. It is shown with matching wide-leg trousers.

1970's Wallis wool jacket, market in Spitalfields, London, £20

Unfortunately, I’m not tall and willowy, so it doesn’t have the wrap effect shown in the photo, but the self-tie belt makes it look like I have a waist. The print has purple flowers and triangles made up of multi-colored stripes on a light gray grid. It will probably be very versatile as I can wear it with skirts or trousers in any number of hues. Now I’ll have to find a short necklace with a huge bauble like the one in the ad!

Reader Comments (2)

Absolutely LOVED your article on Biba. I owned and wore to death about 50% of the clothes shown in the catalogues. I lived in Cheshire from 1966-69 and acquired most of my Biba through the catalogue. The first big event was the arrival of the catalogue and then bated breath until the cardboard box arrived containing the clothes. I felt like the BEES KNEES in my Biba clothes and kept all of them until about 10 years ago when I sold them at Christies Auction (21 pieces) and donated the proceeds to Celia Hammonds Animal Trust in memory of my late husband. How I wished I had kept the catalogues. I still have a late 60's Biba jacket which belonged to my husband which is so stylish it could be worn by a girl - cotton drill Edwardian style. I will eventually sell that for the animals. I also have a dress pattern designed by Barbara Hulanicki in tact with her iconic drawing. Thank you so much for evoking wonderful memories of the happiest time of my life. I am 70 now and feel privileged to have lived through that wonderful era.

December 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVICTORIA SLADEN

Loved your Biba photos!

May 26, 2016 | Unregistered Commentersuky

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