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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Entries in 1960s (21)

Saturday
Jan022016

Baby doll trousers

A few months back, I found this new-ish pair of trousers at my local thrift store. I immediately recognized some of the inspiration for the print.

The label is “Single,” a clothing company that seemed to be operating from 1996 to 2005.

This imagery is taken from a groovy Baby Doll Cosmetics ad from 1968. (Ad scanned by Sweet Jane from Rave Magazine April 1968.) 

Another bit is taken from the album cover art for “Supernatural Fairy Tales,” a 1967 album for the British band, Art, by Hapshash and the Coloured Coat.

The interwebs have failed me in finding the inspiration for these platform shoes.

Can't say I particularly like the print, but it was fun to recognize these elements. And someone on eBay will like them.

Tuesday
Nov112014

It was a new day yesterday

But it’s an old day now.

Has it really been almost a year that I temporarily departed from the blogosphere? I’m sure others have been there--sometimes life just gets too cluttered and something’s got to give.

I’m in London now and have a bit more time, so am jumping back online with an outfit I wore a few weeks ago.

1973 cape from Goodwill. Greek fisherman’s cap purchased new in early 1990s in London. Fleur boots from Vegetarian Shoes, Brighton, UK. 1970s stars and stripes vinyl bag, purchased on Etsy. Not-shown-before 1970s psychedelic print curtains from Family Thrift, just $3 for the pair!

As long as I have closet space, I’ll keep buying myself capes at the thrift store. This plaid canvas one has cool faux-suede strap-and-buckle closures in front and lacing on the shoulders.

 

Earlier in the day when I also wore a 1960s nautical theme scarf.There’s no manufacturer’s name on the label in the cape, just an RN number. So I checked the Federal Trade Commission’s RN database. It was registered to “Lish Enterprises.” Some creative searching turned up this photo from the Kansas City Star, Kansas City, Missouri, January 21, 1973. Since I don’t pay for access to the newspaper archive service, I could only grab a small photo.

Caption for 2nd image from the right reads, “A fisherman's hat comes with a cape of matching multicolored plaid. Of water repellent canvas, by Lish Enterprises.”My cape has a hood, so may be slightly different from the one pictured here, which came with a matching hat. More searching turned up other Lish Enterprises hats in ads from 1972-73. It looks like the company was based in New York, with a factory in Massachusetts.

“A new year, a new you” editorial. Coat by New York Mackintosh. Scarf by Glentex. Bag by Jaclyn. Photo by Joseph Santoro. Seventeen magazine, January 1971.The bag is a slightly different style from this one with butterflies. I had posted this image in a Facebook album more than a year ago, and was thrilled to find the bag with stars (one of my favorite motifs) when browsing on Etsy. 

Earlier this year:

Anne and I in similar colors and footwear at Veggie Galaxy, Cambridge. My outfit: 1970s hat and bag purchased on Etsy. Everything else thrifted from Goodwill. Thrifted shoes painted by me.I met the talented Anne of Spy Girl when she was making her U.S. road trip in the spring. She made my outfit look 10 times better in her sketch here.

Since I am now obsessed with Jethro Tull...

Belatedly joining Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style.
In honor of TRAID's Secondhand First week (Nov. 17 - 23), Ceri of Ethical Fashion Bloggers will be highlighting bloggers in their finest secondhand garb. I'll be traveling so won't be able to take advantage of the great events TRAID has lined up or be able to participate fully. But, every week is 'secondhand first" for me.

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?

Sunday
Sep222013

Stepping through the wonderwall

What a fun, vintage-filled weekend! On Saturday, I re-visited the Hippie Chic exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (closing Nov. 11) with my friend Lauren (the curator of the exhibition) and Ms. Hippie Chic herself, the fashion designer Anna Sui, who came to Boston to see the show with a mutual friend of ours.

Her enthusiasm for fashions of the '60s and '70s has filtered into her collections of the past couple decades and she has been one of the few (only?) contemporary designers I have paid attention to. In the early 1990s, I often made the rounds of galleries in Soho (New York) for my job and always stopped for a gander around the Anna Sui boutique. With its dark red floor, purple walls and ornate furnishings, I admired the look of the store as much as the clothes. I remember racks full of panne velvet, leg o' mutton sleeves, stripes in primary colors, dandy hats, floaty fabrics and all the other fashion elements I've loved pretty much my whole life. I have a shiny, dark red Anna Sui jacket from that period. Then and now, it is my go-to jacket when I want to feel like a rock star.

Jan Toorop (1858-1928), Delft Salad Oil Poster, lithograph, 1894After visiting the Hippie Chic show, we took in a small Dutch Art Nouveau works on paper exhibit. Can you believe this is an advertisement for salad oil? 

I finally got to wear the vaguely medieval maxi dress I purchased at Second to None when I visited Vix in Walsall last year.

The label is still a mystery. Anyone know anything about a boutique in Hampstead (London) called Aurium?

Rayon dress made in India, Second to None, Walsall, UK. Contemporary denim vest, thrifted, Goodwill. Mid-century Norwegian brooch I've had for decades (I'll post more about this brooch later). Moon face pendant and silver and amethyst moon face necklace, purchased in the 1970s. Indian brass and glass necklace, purchased from Frocktasia. Strands of 'love beads' made by me in the 1970s.Vintage embroidered velvet and corduroy bag, Made in Pakistan, thrifted, Boomerang. Contemporary shoes, thrifted, Goodwill, painted by me. Vintage stockings with stars, thrifted, Goodwill. Vintage hat from Frocktasia. 1970s Butte Knit black velvet jacket, thrifted, Goodwill. Late 1960s/early 1970s Patty O'Neil polyester mini-dress, thrifted, Goodwill. Hand-crocheted vest, thrifted, Goodwill. Blue tights, thrifted, Goodwill. 1960s chain belt and 1930s Bakelite brooch, both owned for decades. Clogs, thrifted, Goodwill, painted by me. 1990s black nylon bag, painted by me.Can I get away with wearing a micro-mini? I went out in public and I wasn't arrested, so I guess so.

The next best thing to fabric-covered buttons? Giant ball-shaped buttons.

Patty O'Neil Jr. Petites label. This dress once belonged to Anita L. Nichols. Thanks for the dress, Anita. Sunday morning, over home-made baked goods (including those banana muffins I inflict on everyone), Anna, our friend, and I met to pour over a selection of my horde of vintage clothing and Indian textiles. It's so much fun to hang out with like-minded folk who get excited by bits of schmata, especially ones who are as knowledgeable as Anna is about textiles and fashion. I only wish we'd more time to chat!

You know how much I enjoyed the exhibition, "Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde" that was at the Tate Britain last year. So to see a fashion collection inspired by that exhibition makes me too giddy for words. I keep watching the video of Anna Sui's Spring 2014 Collection over and over. It's a veritable bounty of Art Nouveau motifs, peacock blues, diaphanous tops and frocks, gladiator sandals, purples, Glasgow-School-style roses, panne velvet trousers, and glorious pattern mixing.

Enjoy!

Linking up with Not Dead Yet Style's Visible Monday party.

Tuesday
Jul162013

Highlights from Hippie Chic

Here is a wee tour of the Hippie Chic exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. This Facebook album (you don’t need to have a Facebook account to see it) has many more photos of the show. I didn't photograph every mannequin—so there will be some surprises if you do see the show or read the exhibition catalogue.

The exhibition shows designer fashion inspired by the street style created by hippies, and touches on the different elements that went into hippie style: Trippy Hippie, Fantasy Hippie, Craft Hippie, Ethnic Hippie, and Retro Hippie. The phenomenal wigs by Jason Allen, a hair and make-up artist for the Boston Lyric Opera and Boston Ballet, are critical to each look since hair was as way out as clothing in this period.

All fashion is in the collection of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, unless I’ve stated otherwise. Props and accessories provided by a number of lenders (including me). If you do share these images, please link back to my Facebook page or my blog.

The info on each piece comes from the exhibition catalogue, which is available for purchase here. I can't recommend it enough. It not only contains images of many of the pieces in the exhibit, but there are supplementary photos that place each example in context.

Trippy Hippie

In the center of the gallery, on round platforms covered with shag carpeting in acid colors, the Trippy Hippies lead you into the exhibition. In case the colors and styles of these psychedelic clothes weren’t mind-altering enough, a couple of the platforms actually rotate.

One first encounters Patti Boyd’s doppelganger in a Cosmic Couture dress by Barry and Yosha Finch for The Chariot, about 1970. After the design collective The Fool disbanded, Barry Finch and Yosha Leeger moved to Los Angeles where they opened a boutique called The Chariot selling handmade clothing and furnishing fabrics. They eventually shifted to providing the “Cosmic Couture” label to upscale department stores. This dress is perfection with its vaguely medieval style, celestial theme and rainbow sleeves in cotton velvet.

A peak at the lining of the sleeves of the Cosmic Couture dress.

Alkasura jacket with stippled cat and flower print, c. 1970. The mannequin wears my faceted rose-tinted glasses (the ones in the header image of my blog and blog's Facebook page), which I’ve had since 1968.

On the left, the Noel Redding (of the Jimi Hendrix Experience) mannequin wears a Granny Takes a Trip jacket in fabric by Morris & Co. designed by John Pearse in about 1967. On the right, a Granny Takes a Trip velvet suit from the early 1970s.

Lauren told me that these jackets and the trousers were so small, they wouldn’t fit contemporary male mannequins, which are 6 ft. 5 in. tall and buff. So it was necessary to take the mannequins to the Museum carpentry shop to be cut down to shorten them. It was also necessary to have the chest, shoulder blades, pubic area and buttocks sawed off, leaving an effect, as Lauren says, "like Swiss cheese" which "caused the carpenters to be scarred for life."

Fantasy Hippie

As a hippie, you could be a Renaissance troubadour, a homesteader on the American prairie, a medieval princess, or any other persona pulled from history or fairy tales.

The ‘three graces’ in the center wear some of the most beautiful dresses in the show. From left, designed by Lee Bender for Bust Stop, circa 1970. Silk crepe dress designed by Ossie Clark with fabric designed by Celia Birtwell,, early 1970s. The exhibition catalogue notes that the center dress by Giorgio di Sant’Angelo was likely inspired by Sandro Botticellie’s early Renaissance work, Allegory of Spring (La Primavera). Dress from 1972 by the fantasy-frock master, Bill Gibbs, in a sea-shell print.

Betsy Johnson’s 1968 Tara dress inspired by 'Gone with the Wind'.

Craft Hippie

Much of hippie fashion was about DIY and designers followed suit by using a variety of construction and decorative echniques.

You can’t have a hippie show without tie-dye. This Halston pantsuit in silk velvet from 1969 is a luxe version.

Star-embellished boots (made by Gohill, retailed by Granny Takes a Trip, 1969) accompany a Holly Harp tie-dyed dress with an embroidered suede belt. The mannequin is seeing stars in 1970s sunglasses.

Ethnic Hippie

The hippie penchant for travel and the romanticizing of cultures that seemed to offer a "purer" way of life was reflected in the use of textiles from these cultures.

Left to right: John Bates hooded djellabah (barely visible) Geoffrey Beane dress, Thea Porter coat made from an Iraqi textile with fur added to cuffs and collar (1969), Thea Porter dress, Zandra Rhodes dress, fringed and beaded suede East West Musical Instruments Company jacket (loan from FIDM Museum).

The mannequins have been raiding my wardrobe again. This one wears a stamped leather hair slide I bought in the early 1970s, when my hair was this long.

Thea Porter chiffon dress with Central Asian suzani bodice (about 1970). Velvet Pakistani bag with gold braid on loan to the exhibition from my collection.

Retro Hippie

Unlike the romance of fairy tales and costume from earlier periods of history, the ‘Retro Hippie’ mined the recent past—the 1920s-40s. Recalling free spirits such as bootleggers, flappers and Hollywood villains and vamps, these fashions have a more glamorous vibe.

Ossie Clark certainly knew how to make feminine, flattering dresses with his use of bias cut fabric (black and white one with fabric by Celia Birtwell).

An art deco-print jumpsuit designed by Barbara Hulanicki for Biba in the early 1970s. The mannequin holds one of Biba’s mail-order catalogs.

See more photos of the fashion in the exhbition on my blog Facebook page.

Monday
Jul152013

Hippie happening at the MFA, Boston

At tonight’s opening reception of the Hippie Chic exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, curator Lauren Whitley encouraged attendees to be inspired by the exhibition and approach their wardrobe with creativity and a sense of fun, as hippies did. I think that’s something my fellow bloggers have taken to heart long ago.

I had planned to give you a tour of the Hippie Chic exhibition, which I previewed last week. But that would have made this post ridiculously long. So this is just about the party.

The Museum had two psychedelic painted VW buses parked out front to be used as photo opps

As predicted Lauren was the belle of the ball in her bright turquoise Mexican wedding dress. She had purchased a vintage maxi online to wear to the opening. Turns out it didn’t fit her. So I told her I’d find a dress for her in the vintage wonderland that is Frocktasia’s stockroom (you can see the dress behind me here) and brought it back from London. I must have had at least 20 people at the opening, including Lauren's mother, tell me how perfect that dress was for her (word had gotten out that I had a hand in its acquisition).

Lauren’s online purchase did not go to waste--I wore it. We both wore flower crowns that we made from flowers left over from a headpiece the Museum designer made for one of the mannequins in the exhibition.

My dapper escort Chris in a vintage seersucker suit and embroidered shirt. I made his boutonnière.

Lauren looks so beautiful, like a Scandinavian fairy princess. I usually go for an ‘ethnic’ or ‘medieval’ hippie style in earth tones, but I quite like this romantic look on me.

I was reminded of this photo taken at the opening of an exhibition I curated at the MFA, Boston, 17 years ago. I found the off-white satin Richard Tyler jacket that Lauren is wearing at Filene’s Basement. So, we have a long history of finding clothes for each other!

Throughout the evening, a number of people asked to take our photo. Check out Boston fashion and lifestyle blogger, Chynna Pope's post here. We're her "favorite Hippie couple of the night."

I worked at the MFA for 14 years and haven’t been to an opening there in at least a decade. So, I was catching up with folks and forgot to take party pics.

One of my favorite looks at the opening was worn by Barbara, who heads the Education Department. Her sister made this dress from an Indian block-printed bedspread in 1970.

Another Museum employee borrowed this hand-embroidered blouse from a colleague who made it in 1970.

The end of the evening.

Lauren singing along to Joni Mitchell, which the DJ was playing. By the end of the evening, she was a bit punch-drunk from being ‘on’ all day.

Late 1960s/early 1970s maxi by Young Innocent by Arpeja, borrowed from Lauren. Flower crown made by me. Victorian velvet bag I’ve owned since the late 1960s/early 1970s. Vintage necklaces. 'Natural Comfort' platforms with lengths of purple chiffon tied to them, thrifted. After the opening, Chris and I went to get some vegan ice cream at FoMu. I chose the flavor ‘Chocolate magic bar’ (chocolate ice cream with graham cracker crumbs, chocolate chips and coconut flakes) which seemed a hippie sort of flavor.

Squeaking in under the wire for the party over at Visible Monday. And how can I not link to Spy Girl's 52 Pick-me-up: 70s Flashback.

Thursday
Jul112013

Hippie Chic sneak peek

Curating and installing a museum exhibition takes an enormous amount of planning and effort. When I worked in a museum, my colleagues and I would joke that ‘museum years’ were like ‘dog years.’ You could be writing a catalog of the collection or curating an exhibition for many, many years. There were no ‘quick fixes’ in terms of seeing your work come to fruition. But, it was creative and fun and I sometimes miss those days.

Detail. Man’s suit, Retailed at Granny Takes a Trip, London, England, about 1969. Rayon velvet with acetate lining. Museum purchase with funds donated by Doris May. Collection: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. 2009.2348.1-3My friend Lauren has pulled off the amazing coup of the Hippie Chic exhibition running from July 16 to November 11 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Curating the exhibition entailed choosing which items would go into the show as well as filling in gaps by acquiring pieces and arranging loans from private collectors and other museums. Plus, there was choosing and dressing the mannequins, finding and co-ordinating accessories, working with designers on the display, overseeing photography for and writing the exhibition catalog, writing text panels and labels, and a whole host of other things.

Given that I’m a bit obsessed with the topic of fashion of the late 1960s/early 1970s, I’ve followed the planning and preparations of the show with keen interest.

Detail. Woman’s coat. Designed by Thea Porter, England, London, 1969. Wool twill embroidered with wool yarns, fur trim, and silk satin lining. Textile Income Purchase Fund, Textile Curator’s Fund, Alice J. Morse Fund and partial gift of Shrimpton Corporation. Collection: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. 2008.1040Yesterday, Lauren was kind enough to give me a sneak peek of the exhibition. The premise of the show is the “trickle up” of hippie street style to designers in late 1960s and early 1970s. I don’t want to give away too much before the opening, but let’s just say that there was enough purple (the gallery walls), velvet, psychedelic prints, flowing mannequin locks, embroidery, fringe and Juliet sleeves to have me continuously oohing and aahing.

The wigs of the mannequins were created by the designer for the Boston Lyric Opera and the Boston Ballet. Lauren provided images of period hairstyles and each wig was thoughtfully co-ordinated with the outfits.

This mannequin wearing a leather and suede jacket by East West Musical Instruments Company in San Francisco sports a hairstyle modeled on Lauren’s (she doesn't usually work in bare feet, but has removed her shoes to stand--at my insistence--on the newly painted platform).

The show is divided into five areas: Trippy Hippy, Fantasy Hippie, Craft Hippie, Ethnic Hippie and Retro Hippie.

We decided that my ensemble yesterday placed me firmly in ‘Ethnic Hippie’ so I posed with the exquisite Thea Porter embroidered and sequined caftan from about 1969.

The tea rose cotton gauze dress with a smocked bodice and ties at the neckline was purchased in 2011 from Nabali at Greenwich Market (same designer who made the red wool coat in this post.) Since a smocked bodice is not a flattering look on me, I’m glad I had my trusty, recently thrifted denim vest. The antique Indian necklace was purchased from Tribal Arts at the Cultural Survival Bazaar and the Mexican embroidered bag came from another Cultural Survival Bazaar vendor.

The opening reception is next Monday and I still need to complete the finishing touches on my outfit. Lauren will be wearing a maxi purchased from Frocktasia and will be the belle of the ball.

Sunday
Mar312013

Guilty pleasure: polyester

For many folks, ‘polyester’ conjures up images of powder-blue leisure suits, Ban-Lon pants and the John Waters’ cult film. Or the cheap, flimsy, woven fabric that many clothes are made of nowadays. But, I like to think of the easy-care, flattering, polyester double knits that were lauded in fashion magazines of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Knit-Away, Inc. ad from Seventeen Magazine, August, 1971These thick, textured knits were available in a huge array of patterns, made possible because of new computer programmed knitting machines. And they were marketed directly to home-sewers.

I recently thrifted a pair of polyester pants with an orange, red and blue print and I’ve been wearing them a lot. Here’s a detail of the print.

OMG, in posting this, I just realized that these are crazy clown heads! Some are wearing hats and some aren’t. Please tell me you see it too?

Worn with the “jerkin” I altered recently, thermal underwear shirt, and calico scarf – all thrifted. Vegetarian Shoes Fleur boots. Rajasthani wedding bangles purchased in India.Thrited calico scarf. Yeah, it has a couple holes but I couldn't resist the pattern and colors. Rajasthani wedding bangles.Pants cuffed to show purple Vegetarian Shoes paratrooper boots. Coat purchased at Greenwich Market, UK. Scarf purchased at a yard sale.  Yesterday, this look prompted a hipster 40-something man at Whole Foods to say, “I like your colors!”

I was intrigued by the fabric care label sewn into what are obviously home-stitched pants. Being a nerd, I had to research fabric care labels.

I especially like the courteousness of the label: “Wash as often as you like by machine or hand.” The RN number is registered to Universal Knitting Mills, Inc. in Florida. Vintage clothing aficionados know that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission issued the Care Labeling Rule in 1971. According to Textiles by Norma Hollen and Jane Sadler (4th ed. 1973), the U.S. Federal Trade Commission issued rules that “require that textiles used by home sewers for apparel must be accompanied by care labels that the consumer can affix permanently to the finished product.” (p. 3) Not having seen this before, I looked at the FTC’s website and see that the current rule is that textiles for home use have to have the fabric care instructions on the end of the bolt. If anyone has clarification on when care labels for fashion fabrics were no longer required (or if they, in fact, weren’t ever required), please let me know.

I recently looked through American Fabrics magazine from the years 1968 to 1972. American Fabrics was an industry magazine that featured the latest designs accompanied by fabric swatches as well as articles on trends and technology. Here’s a sampling of the polyester double knits I covet.

Contemporary Paisley by Waumbec Mills, from American Fabrics, Spring, 1969. Heraldic Print Knit by William Heller, from American Fabrics, Fall, 1969. Persia in a Single Knit by Cohama, from American Fabrics, Summer, 1970.Maybe I'll find a "Scary Clown Head" swatch the next time I'm at the library looking at American Fabrics.

I proudly wear 'clown pants' -- and they've already proven their eye-catching qualities so I'm linking up to Not Dead Yet Style's Visible Monday. Do check out the stylish folks there.

Wednesday
Jan302013

To me you are a work of art

Have you ever been in a thrift store and saw something highly desirable and someone else was looking at it? What did you do?

I went into a local store that is slightly more curated, and has somewhat higher prices than the place I usually shop. But, I’ve gotten some real gems there. Like my vintage, Made-in-Pakistan corduroy and velvet tote bag that I picked up for $10.00.

Last week, I saw a woman sorting through a large bin of linens and fabrics. She had taken one piece out and placed it aside. When I saw what it was, I HAD TO HAVE IT.

Had she taken it out because she was going to buy it? Was she just trying to make more room in the bin to see what else was there? I was tormented and had to come up with a plan of action.

I decided to befriend her, figuring that in the event she did want to buy it, I could convince her why it had to be mine. I moseyed up next to her and started chatting about what nice things were in the bin, blocking her view of the one she had set aside, hoping she would forget about it. It worked!

I also picked up these textiles.

Clockwise from left: hand-worked needlepoint; vintage purple velvet yardage; embroidered pillow cover; hand-loomed cotton fabric; and pom-pom trim.  Now for the pièce de résistance. At first I thought it was just heavyweight cotton yardage.


Recognize it?


I bought this 1960s dress, which I first posted about last year (and later wore here and here), in the 1980s. As I wrote before, there is no label and it was obviously made by a skilled sewer.

This fabric is identical. I got it home and took a good look.

It’s a shower curtain!

 

Even weirder – the grommets for the shower curtain hooks are at the bottom.

My guess is that there was a run of ‘seconds’ in this print, all manufactured upside-down. Some clever seamstress turned one into the dress that I now own.

I haven’t decided yet what to do with the shower curtain. Maybe…use it as a shower curtain?

This little discovery is definitely Ta-Dah! Tuesday-worthy.

Monday
Jan282013

Vested interest

In spite of having 5 closets full of clothes, I have a dearth of vests, and was pleased to find this 1960s knitted wool vest at my local thrift store. It’s machine-knit, with off-white bands down the front and around the pockets.

I was intrigued by the label, which was sewn in by hand and reads, “Asani’s Select Age/ASA/for Original Goods.” I googled the heck out of this and came up blank. There are two other small tags, one has fabric care symbols with Chinese characters and the other reads, “Made in Rep. of China.” It’s a mystery.

After decades of donning black, I rarely wear it these days. But, I liked the mod, graphic quality of the vest. What to wear it with?

Cotton/nylon/rubber (those crazy Italians and their innovative fabrics) pants, Made in Italy by Vassali. Black cotton knit turtleneck, acquired at a clothing swap. M & S non-leather boots, purchased on sale last year. Rubber bracelet, pewter bracelet purchased in the 1980s. First I paired it with ‘newly vintage’ wavy-print trousers, ones I bought at Filene’s Basement in the early 1990s, and a black turtle neck.

Large 1980s star face pin, thrifted. Victorian starburst and moon and star pins, I’ve had for decadesI  put a scattering of cosmic pins on as well.

That look was a bit dreary, so I decided to up the ‘mod’ quotient a bit by pairing it with a fellow 1960s garment – a dress that I thrifted and altered (took up the sleeves and shortened) in the 1980s.

1960s polyester double knit dress, no label, thrifted in the 1980s. 1960s wool knit vest, thrifted. Black tights, retail. Restricted Barricade non-leather boots, purchased on sale. Greek fisherman’s cap, purchased in the early 1990s in London. Metal Indian necklace and armlet, owned for decades. Red bangles purchased in India. Indian metal bangle purchased at a yard sale. 

I’m remembering the time I met this fella in the park. His name’s Terry, he’s got a Triumph six-fifty. He said he was lookin’ for a wife…I says he’d hafta get rid of that motorbike afore I went steady with him. He laughs and says, "We'll see about that!" I'm almost frightened to go with him  'cos I know he'll be able to do anything he wants with me...

Oops, no, sorry, that wasn't me. That was Rube in Up the Junction.

Other items I’ve thrifted recently.

1970s Nancy Greer -- New York polyester blouse with its original cord and tassel belt. I’m guessing this originally had a matching skirt. Late 1960s Young Victorian by Arpeja rayon blouse with puffy sleeves and flouncy cuffs. The Young Victorian and Young Edwardian labels had some wonderfully illustrated ads, but that is a topic for another post.

I’m squeaking in under the wire for Not Dead Yet Style’s Visible Monday shindig.

Thursday
Dec202012

Label love round-up

This is the first post for which I’ve asked other bloggers to share some of their favorite vintage fashion labels.

Since it’s my blog, I’ll go first.

In my last post, I wrote about the Landlubber label (i.e., brand). I’m more literal here. These are two actual labels I think are rather sweet-looking -- and I know virtually nothing about the brands.

How can you not love a poodle with a bow tie and a monocle? Actually, this is how poodles dressed in the early 1970s when this label was current.

Photo taken by Vix.Funnily enough, the label appears on a dress I purchased in Birmingham, UK, on my shopping excursion with Vix and Annie.

My online research revealed that Juniors By Jove, Inc. registered their name in the state of California in 1970. And that a Juniors By Jove dress (described in buyer feedback as ‘awesome’) sold on eBay in 2009. I guess the Internet can’t always be as helpful as one would like.

A line drawing of a moon-faced woman with flower-strewn, flowing hair appears on this label on a blouse made by Amanda.

Sorry, it’s been too dark to take photos lately. This is all I could salvage from an outfit shoot that didn’t go well The blouse is quintessentially late 1970s with its watercolor-hued polyester fabric, pussy bow, puffy sleeves and tight cuffs. Zodiac International Trading Corporation in the U.S. filed for the trademark for the Amanda label in 1976 and specialized in blouses. I’ve seen a few others with the same label available for sale online. But mine is prettier.

Lizzie of The Vintage Traveler™ knows a thing or two about vintage clothing labels (your label research may have landed you on her contributions to the Vintage Fashion Guild’s Label Resource, or her earlier website, Fuzzylizzie Vintage Clothing).

The iconic American sportswear company White Stag bears Lizzie’s favorite label.

 

Don’t you just love it when you find an original advertisement that relates to something you own? Check out Lizzie’s post on White Stag in the mid-1950s to see her polka-dot capri pants in the same fabric as the skirt in this ad.

Another of her posts about White Stag shows later variations of the label and decries the lack of label photos in listings of vintage clothing for sale online. I find this annoying as well and have emailed more than one seller asking for a label photo.

The more we learn and share about vintage fashion the greater the number of coincidences and ‘ah-ha’ moments we’ll experience. For example, Lizzie posted a White Stag ad at the very moment a jacket in a style similar to one in the ad was making its way through the U.S. Postal Service to her, as she relates here.

Another love affair with one label is between Kelly of Grunge Queen and a mysterious Mr. John Hort, a maker of handbags in western Canada.

What on earth is that squiggle on the left of the label? Kelly shares her research here

In the same post, Kelly delves into more Canadian fashion history, and investigates the James Bay Coat and Blanket Corporation, the maker of her gorgeous vintage coat.

The Secondhand Years’ Curtise spotted a label that was not like the others at her local charity shop and bagged a piece of haute couture.

Doesn’t this Jacques Heim label just reek elegance? Check out Curtise’s post about this lesser-known French couturier. 

Curtise’s favorite label appears on a red and white herringbone tweed coat with lovely details. When I looked up “Feminella” on eBay, I found a couple of blouses and coats that are later than Curtise’s 1970s gem plus, as you might expect, a brand of tablets used to treat yeast infections.

Vix of Vintage Vixen, who does nothing in moderation, sent this collage of labels in her closet. Between the typography, the color and the actual names, this selection shows the exuberance of 1960s and 1970s fashion. Contemporary clothing labels are just so boring in comparison! 

From left to right, top to bottom:
Biba, Young Edwardian, Collection Egon Shop

Sambo, Miss Revolution London, Quad

Shubette of London, Dollyrockers of London, Gabar New York

Barry Artist, Romantica by Victor Costa, Kati at Laura Phillips

Thank you, all, for sending your photos and links. I know I’m not the only one who fancies some edu-ma-cation now and then.

Monday
Nov262012

Panic on the streets of Birmingham

It wasn’t panic so much as shopping revelry. I had the pleasure of meeting up with Vix again and meeting Annie for the first time to participate in an all-day vintage shopping extravaganza in Birmingham. (Warning to bloggers with long hair who meet up with Vix: a quick hello hug resulted in her spectacular jewelry becoming entangled in my hair and we spent the first few minutes in a sitcom-worthy scene that had Vix and Annie trying to extricate my head from the clutches of Indian silver baubles.)

We had a few shops on our list to visit and were pleasantly surprised by finding several vintage fairs happening in the Digbeth area on the same day.

In the dressing room at Cow, in my early 1970s By Jove of California dress When I was in Birmingham a few weeks ago, I went into the shop Cow and was disappointed at the lack of pre-1980s wares. However, a more thorough search turned up this early-1970s polyester dress with its sweet print – sort of a 1970s precursor of the 1990s ‘ditzy’ prints. It also has three fabric-coverd buttons at the neckline, a detail I'm a sucker for. What is it about fabric-covered buttons that is so appealing? 

This dress has a rather fun label which I'll share later.

I know I’m not alone in being a vintage clothing label geek.  So, I'm throwing out a ‘label love’ invite. If you’re a blogger, feature one to three of your favorite vintage clothing labels in a post next week, send me the link to your post by Dec. 8, and I’ll include your label photos and a link to your post in a ‘label love round-up' post.

Here's the rest of my haul:

Within an hour of arriving in Birmingham I had found this ‘mad leprechaun’ hat with its jaunty, slightly squished tapered crown and groovy metal chain.

Late 1960s hat by Jacoll.

1970s D.L. Barron floral pattern maxi. 1970s Frank Usher polyester batik print dress with a cheongsam collar. 70s finds: Jaeger wool ‘secretary’ dress. Two scarves. Woman’s Realm pattern with a great illustration. Both Vix and Annie did well and were laden down with packages by the end of the day.

Just before I headed for the train, Vix presented me with some treasures. Knowing of my collection of vintage Pakistani bags, she gave me two small versions and a Tyrolean-type belt with star-like ornaments. Thanks, Vix!

You can read Vix’s account of the day here.

I’ve set up a Facebook page in case you want to 'like' my page and follow me there. Plus, it's a more convenient way to share interesting tidbits quickly. 

Linking to Faith, Hope and Charity Shopping's Ta-Dah! Tuesday.

Tuesday
Nov132012

For the love of The Fool

I’ve shown glimpses of a bag “painted by me” and on Joni’s request I’m posting about it now.

I used the Jacquard Lumiere and Neopaque paints that I have been using to paint shoes to liven up this staid bag that I’ve had for ages. It’s a DKNY nylon bag that only got pulled out when I needed to look ‘”professional.” Since there is no longer the need for that, I was going to give it away.

In preparation for my trip to London, I remembered that my fabric bags are not the best things to take since it rains so darn much. So I decided to turn the black bag into something I would actually use.

I wasn’t sure if the paint would take or last so I decided to just paint the front pocket and see. After the paint dried, I heat set it with an iron, then tested it with some water. Yup, it was permanent! Since then it's been exposed to several rainstorms and the paint has stayed put.

As you know I can’t get enough of star, sun and moon motifs. And the design was no doubt influenced by my most favorite designers of the 1960s: The Fool, a Dutch design and music collective. As creators of psychedelic style clothing, graphic, and environments, they worked with The Beatles on the short-lived Apple Boutique venture, provided art direction for the cult classic film Wonderwall and designed clothes for a number of rock stars.

Photo by Karl Ferris

I was thinking of the shirt when I stenciled the one in this post.

Of course, I adore the medieval-inspired elements of The Fool's designs.

Panne velvet! Stars! Leg o' mutton sleeves! Swoon...

All of these images are on The Fool's Facebook page. Be sure to go there to drool over the pics.

In a February, 1971, issue of Seventeen magazine that I purchased recently, I found this article on fashion by Seemon and Markijke of The Fool.

Astrobeams: Be a galaxy girl in rainbow-striped mixers! There's also a great article on The Fool from the December 3, 1967, issue of The Observer posted on Sweet Jane.

The video on that post and below shows the psychedelic bits in the film, Wonderwall. Even with all the trippy clothes, graphics and sets, my favorite design in the film is Jane Birkin’s fairy princess dress (seen at 3:56).

Screen shot from Wonderwall taken from here.

I also love this graphic from the film.

Linking to Lakota's Ta-Dah! Tuesday.

Monday
Oct222012

The Groupies

I’m in London and have been so busy with all that London has to offer (as well as helping my boyfriend set up his new flat), that I haven’t had time to post.

Last Thursday, I attended the private view of “The Groupies,” an exhibition of photos by Baron Wolman. When photographing rock stars in the late 1960s, Wolman was struck by the effort some of the women who hung around backstage put into their look. So, he photographed these women and they were featured in the February 1969 issue of Rolling Stone magazine. As far as fashion, the photos showed the ‘groupies and other women’ sporting painted-on eyelashes, boas and vintage dresses.

Sally Mann, © Baron Wolman

Lacy, © Baron Wolman 

The GTOs (Girls Together Outrageously – a group organized by Frank Zappa), © Baron Wolman

 I was able to meet Baron, he’s a genial guy and he seemed pleased when I mentioned reading every issue of his magazine, Rags.

Mid 1960s mini-dress and 1970s moon face pendant, both owned for decades. Red, yellow and blue bead necklace, Boomerang, $2. Vintage Italian magazine scarf, Goodwill, $2. Late 1960s velvet bag from Pakistan, eBay. Restricted Barricade boot, Berk’s Shoes, discounted. I wore the vintage ‘arts & culture’ dress and got several compliments on it (oddly, all from men). 1970s velvet cape, Goodwill. $10.00.The photograph of Karen wearing a vintage 1930s dress that was used on the February 1969 issue of Rolling Stone magazine.

After the exhibition A. and I went to the London Vegan Drinks event at Tibits, a restaurant with an amazing vegetarian and vegan buffet. It is such a pleasure to be given so many choices, including for dessert (their sticky toffee cake is particularly yummy). And with nearly 100 in attendance, there were lots of great folks to chat with.

Given the number of compliments I received on my dress and cape, I'm linking up to the other visible women on Not Dead Yet Style's Visible Monday.