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. 

Click on Products to browse hand-crafted scarves, bags, and jewelry from India for sale.

From my collection to yours: Check out Joyatri on Etsy shop.


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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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Cottage industry, or how I spent hours on the Internet

A belated thank you for the birthday wishes of a couple weeks ago. I haven’t posted in a while as I just returned home from London and have had some computer difficulties.

1970s knit dress, no label, purchased at the consignment and vintage shop Raspberry Beret. Steve Madden non-leather shoes, thrifted. 1970s vinyl applique bag, purchased on Etsy. Jewelry: moonface pendant and beads I’ve had since the 1970s. Beaded bracelets made by me. I went far outside of my comfort zone both in color and style when I bought this ribbed-knit cowl neck dress, but I’ve always loved the heathery colors of knits of the early 1970s. And the great thing about knits from the 1970s is that they aren’t too clingy.

Why, yes, I almost feel comfortable in it.

But, this post is about the bag. I couldn’t believe my luck when I stumbled on this vinyl appliqued bag on Etsy a few months ago. I’ve always had a thing for late 1960s-early 1970s designs of cottages (I know that is a pretty specific and weird thing to like, but I also like 1920s and 30s cottage designs, a topic perhaps for another post).

For example, the design on this midi skirt in this editorial from the December 1970s issue of Seventeen magazine called “Now You’re Part of the Earth Picture: Landscapes here and landscapes there. These you wear!” The skirt is by Bagatelle.

So, to find a similar design in vinyl cheered my animal-loving heart. The only label in the bag reads ‘Made in Japan’ but I was curious about its maker.

Then, a couple weeks ago, I was perusing Vogue magazines on the Youthquaker site and saw this page from the March 1970 issue of Vogue UK.

Now doesn't that bag look familar? The text reads: Pop goes the shoulder bag. Disney cottage garden, idyllic applique on spring green leather, silver chained. By Nigel Lofthouse, £19, Foale & Tuffin.

And then I found this image in a October, 1970 issue of French Vogue on the same site. 

The text states the source of the bag is ‘Renoma.’ Since this bag is nearly identical to the one above, except that it has a strap (like mine) instead of a chain and is a different color, I assume this is also made by Nigel Lofthouse and was sold at the hip Renoma boutique in Paris.

Same issue of French vogue includes this boot, but the caption is cut off.

This led me to a search for ‘Renoma’ and, lo and behold, I found an article with this photo.

This article states that the Renoma brothers’ fashions were favored by rock stars in the late 1960s and 1970s. In addition, they introduced a number of hippie American, English and Indian fashions and accessories into France. The year mentioned in the caption that accompanies the photo of the leather jacket can’t possibly be correct. “The year 1964 was a time of crazy tops and outlandish jackets.” Again the design is the same as on the Lofthouse bag.

I haven’t been able to find out much about Nigel Lofthouse accept that he designed jewelry and, later elaborate leather handbags, in the 1960s and 70s, and that his bags accessorized the collections of Jean Muir and Bill Gibb. And I've been unable to turn up any more images of these bags with landscapes. The closest thing is this belt

I’m guessing that my bag is a knock-off of the Lofthouse bag, likely also dating from the 1970s when it was still worth imitating. If you have any other insights or info on Lofthouse, please let me know.

Due to my computer difficulties, I’m extending my ‘label love’ round up challenge. I want to show off some interesting vintage clothing labels and I want to see yours -- any label that has a fun design, humorous name or is just graphically pleasing. Send me a link to a recent post that shows your favorite label(s) by December 16, and I’ll post a ‘round up’ with photos and a link to your post.

Joining in Not Dead Yet Style's Visible Monday get-together.

Reader Comments (14)

What a fascinating history your "cottage" bag has! I really enjoyed the 70's images, as those were my college years and I remember this style well. You look fab in your vintage dress, and thanks for sharing with VisibleMonday.

December 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPatti @ NotDeadYet Style

I love that dress on you and am going weak at the knees over that incredible bag and it's posh background! What a find, I love it. Those boots and jacket are incredible. x

December 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVix

Joyatri, what a great and fun little fashion history lesson- the 60s and 70s are unsung heros in some ways- I just learned last night from the boyfriend about East West Musical Instruments Leather Company- which spans the same era. Great details, I would love to wear the boot!

Sorry to hear about the 'puter issues. Hope it gets fixed soon.
PS: great sweater dress- that color is lovely on you.

December 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBella Q, the Citizen Rosebud

How interesting to find images of your bag in all those different places. What a mystery!

December 10, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterpao

Your cottage bag is lovely and all that history makes it extra special. It would be lovely to find some of the other cottage items...I find myself hankering after the boots.

December 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNorma

What a great bag, and all the images you found of similar designs are stunning - loving those boots!
You look beautiful in that knit dress, Jo, it's really flattering and a perfect fit! xxx

December 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCurtise

What fun! What a history!

December 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

We may be biased, but that dress is great on you! Thanks for mentioning where you got it ;)

December 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRaspberry Beret

Isn't the internet the greatest invention ever?! It just never ceases to amaze me that a well done search can turn up so much information on just about any topic.

I love your bag, and I can see how you would also be attracted to those quaint 1920s and 30s cottage designs. I have several 1920s Christmas cards that I'd like to move into!

December 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLizzie

You look lovely in the dress. Glamorous but cozy at the same time.

What a fascinating history of cottages in fashion. You did well to find that amazing bag, especially as most of the other stuff seems to be in leather. x

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnnie

Bloody hell, how fascinating!!!
The appliques are awesome,love the bag.XXX

December 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHelga

Woah! You bring back the memories with this one. I designed and made my own 'scenic' skirt back then, it was full length, and my best friend was up in Berkeley starting her own business of appliqued clothing and accessories. It was a glorious time for creative design and sewing. Later the commercial labels would copy our designs at lower prices, so we couldn't sell them very easily any longer. (sound familiar?)

December 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJen O

You should feel comfortable in that dress - because it loves you! You look really really gorgeous in it, great colour for you.
I love your niche 'likes' - the cottage and the connifers reminds me of Clarice Cliff designs for china.

A long time later, I've found your page. I am the late, great Nigel Lofthouse's 2nd wife. He died from the dreaded big C in March 2012 - so only a matter of months before your post. I have a fantastic collection of his bags and three of the applique series - Fruit bowl, Woodland Path and, most interesting for you, Cottage at Night - exactly like yours but with a dark background and moon. They all have leather straps. Needless to say none of them are for sale! He was an incredibly talented man who went on to make extraordinary furniture. We, his two sons and me, miss him,

November 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJo Lofthouse

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