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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"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.”

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« Everyone jump upon the peace train | Main | Nothing's changed »
Wednesday
Nov132013

A new coat and some good reads

It's turned quite cold here so I've been perusing the winter coats at the thrift store. In terms of having a hard time finding one that fits properly, winter coats are right up there with shoes and bathing suits for me. They always seem to be too big in the shoulders or made for someone taller. My recent foray at the thrift store turned up the best fitting coat I've ever owned.

I love the flattering A-line shape, the asymmetrical button closure and the general luxe look of it. And it's in brand new condition. The only issue is the fake fur collar, which is so voluminous I feel like my head is being swallowed up.

Vintage Jules Miller coat, thrifted, Goodwill, $18. 1930s silk scarf I've owned for decades.Velour hat dubbed “The Flemish Burgermeister” hat by my friend, purchased at a street market in London or Toronto (can't recall which) in the 1990s. Restricted brand non-leather boots. Gloves purchased new in the 1990s, Filene's Basement. My research show that this label was used from 1976 to 1982.For those interested in books set in the 1960s and 70s, I can recommend a few. If you're on goodreads, I've written a bit more about them there.

Wonderful Tonight by Pattie Boyd, wife of George Harrison and, later, Eric Clapton. Not particularly well written but I enjoyed the insider's look at the London psychedelic scene, what people were wearing, where they shopped, the drugs they were taking and who they were sleeping with. I hadn't known about Friar Park, a sprawling Victorian Gothic mansion with 120 rooms and extensive grounds, that George Harrison bought and Pattie filled with Art Nouveau furnishings.

Dandelion: Memoir of a Free Spirit by Catherine James. This memoir is a fun read. Catherine James's pluck and resourcefulness (and the kindness of a few caring individuals, including a young Bob Dylan) helped her escape from a childhood of neglect and abuse. In the 1960s, at the age of 16, she joined the rock-star tribe in London. Her strong desire to remain in control of her life is admirable, as is her positive outlook and humor.

Split: A Counterculture Childhood by Lisa Michaels. If you want to re-live petty concerns and awkwardness and confusion of youth, this is a good book to read. I liked it as a novel, but it wasn't really about a 'counterculture childhood' so as a memoir I found it lacking. I also recommend the film Good Ol' Freda. Definitely not a 'tell-all,' Freda is the epitome of respect and restraint in recounting her 11 years as secretary to The Beatles and the manager of their Fan Club. Even so, it's still a good story about an exciting time.

Fairyland: A Memoir of my Father by Alysia Abbott. This book is a personal memoir of growing up in the 1970s and 80s as the daughter of a widowed, openly gay father. Using her father's diaries, letters, and other primary sources, the author tells an affectionate, but honest, story of her unusual upbringing while providing a historical account of the vibrant culture of San Francisco in the 1970s and, in the following decade, of the devastating toll of AIDS.

The Involvement of Arnold Wechsler by John Alexander Graham. The groovy cover illustration prompted me to buy this book at the thrift store. A classics professor gets dragged into a mystery involving the disappearance of the granddaughter of the dean of his college. As a mystery it was dreadful, but I enjoyed the description of a fictional college town near Boston in 1969 and, of course, the clothing. For example, in addition to faculty attired in tweed jackets, the author describes the students at a college rally:

Variations in dress here were wide. Most had apparently strived for casualness. Denim work shirts and dungarees and lumbermen's jackets were common, so were army fatigues. There were also tie-dyed jeans, gypsy blouses, railroad pants, and a number of cowboy boots and hats. Many wore suede jackets or vests...Finally, there were a few dandies wearing much the same clothing except new-looking, cut to fit, and colored in blaring neon shades.

Any books set in the '60s and '70s you can recommend?

Reader Comments (5)

That coat is gorgeous, I love the humongous fluffy collar - it'll keep you warm but staying gorgeous all winter long! Fluffy collars are a pain with long hair, I tend to wear mine up or tuck it inside to stop looking like a yeti!
I'll keep an eye out for those books, they sound right up my street.

I came across "A Day In The Life" by Robert Greenfield in Poundland last year (He was behind Exile On Main Street, the Stones film). What an incredible read. The true story of two privileged Brits who got involved in the psychedelic scene with tragic results.x

November 14, 2013 | Unregistered Commentervix

I love the coat, including the big furry collar! It's a wonderful shape, and will certainly keep you warm and cosy this winter.
All the books you mentioned sound like great reads, will keep an eye out for them. xxx

November 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCurtise

I love the coat. I think the fur collar is very glamourous.
I am going to look out for the books you recommend. I've racked my brains but can't think of any 70s suggestions.x

November 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNorma

Amazing coat, quelle find, Jo! The collar does not swallow your head. Thanks for the 70s books recommendations. If I can ever get beyond reading New Yorker articles (which still take me days), I may actually read a book again one day! All I can think of are Judy Blume books from the 70s. Though Leviathan's Deep by J Carr (no relation to the Hollywood movie) was always a fave sci-fi book - nothing to do with defining an era, admittedly (like Johnathan Livingston Seagull, for example).

November 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGrunge Queen

What a lovely coat, and thanks for the book reviews. I've recently enjoyed Groupie by Jenny Fabian, and Mary Quant's autobiography. I am on the lookout for more biographies and novels from the 60s and 70s.

November 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterIndigo Violet

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