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)

 

 

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Entries in 1970s (58)

Sunday
Apr072013

Style Imitating Art: Captain America by Alex Gross

I have been wanting to participate in Style Imitating Art (SIA) for a while. Before I knew of this blogger challenge I had done my own version in a couple posts called "Confessions of an Art History Nerd"-- this one for Vittorio Carpaccio and this one for Rogier van der Weyden.

Captain America, by Alex Gross Mixed media on antique photograph, 2006 When I saw the latest SIA challenge-- a multi-media work by Alex Gross in which he used an antique photograph as the base of an image of Captain America--I couldn’t not participate as I had already taken outfit photos that would work. But I decided to tweak the look by incorporating a high-neck Victorian-style blouse that more closely draws on the artwork.

Cardigan, skirt, blouse, all contemporary and thrifted. 1970s bucket purse I’ve had for decades with a newly thrifted sun/star pin added. Bangles from India.  Instead of the Red Skull lurking behind me, I have “Jet,” a black cocker spaniel photographed by R. Weinberger in 1943. (I collect vintage dog photographs. Or used to, until I acquired more than I could display.)

Originally I had taken this outfit shot.

I'm always inspired by other bloggers and I had noticed that shrunken cardigans flattered the ample bosoms of Helga and Curtise. So when I saw a star-adorned cardigan at the thrift store in a size too small, I thought I’d give it a try. They were also inspiration for the red, white and blue palette. (I'll also mention Kelly of Grunge Queen, who recently posted about experimentation being possible when one thrift shops). Have you been inspired so specifically by another blogger?

With the exception of the shoes, all clothing is contemporary and thrifted. This look doesn't excite me and I need to experiment with the sweater. So, ignore the clothes and look at the shoes.

Early 1970s Minnie by Weber shoes, thrifted. I’ve posted about my love of multi-colored shoes and my efforts to paint shoes to get the effect (here  and here). So, I was thrilled to bits to find a vintage pair of yellow, blue and red shoes. Unfortunately, they’re a bit too big. But I can wear them for an outfit post.

Inside one shoe is the name “Minni by Weber” and “Irvings’s Chula Vista California” in the other. The shoe store, Irving’s, in Chula Vista, California, started in 1954 and appears to still be in business. Although these shoes were originally sold in California, after some research I found that they have a Boston connection. (Nerd alert: This is where I tell you the history of my shoes. I’ll keep it short).

In 1919, the Green Shoe Manufacturing Company was founded and started manufacturing shoes in converted stables in the Roxbury section in Boston. Jump ahead to the 1960s, when the company bought up smaller shoe companies, including the Weber Shoe Company in Missouri. In 1966, the name changes to Stride Rite. By 1969, the shoe conglomerate was producing over 30,000 pairs of shoes a day. Today, Stride Rite is probably best known as a maker of children’s shoes.

Here's an interesting tidbit: Stride Rite was a pioneer in providing social services for its employees. In 1971, it was the first company in the U.S. to open an employer-sponsored, on-site day-care center. The motivation at first was philanthropic; the president of the company wanted to ‘give back’ to the low-income community where its factory was located. But soon employees asked to take advantage of the day-care center. Stride Rite’s day-care program became a model for other companies. Unfortunately, various state regulations prevented them from opening such centers for their factory workers outside of Massachusetts, but they were able to provide day-care for workers’ children at their factory in Bangkok, Thailand. In 1990, the company decided to address the need for elder care services by opening an Intergenerational Day-Care Center.

I really wish these shoes were in my size. I’d like to wear them with my striped trousers. I guess I’ll have to paint myself some yellow, blue and red shoes.

Better late than never, I'm linking up to Not Dead Yet Style's Visible Monday.

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.

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.

Friday
Jan182013

Funky by Dexter: It takes a Funky Chicken to Lay a Funky Egg

More shoe fashions from 1971, this time desert boots, oxfords and bowling shoes.

Lady Dexter shoe ad from Seventeen magazine, March 1971.Penneys shirts and jeans ad from Seventeen magazine, March 1971.

I’m guessing my love of stripey jeans and star motifs started around this year. This ad isn’t for shoes but it shows more two-toned desert boots.

I’ll find some Famolare crepe-soled shoes and clogs for Joni.

What a coincidence that Curtise posted a Horrible Histories video yesterday. I didn’t know what Horrible Histories were until her post, but I had recently stumbled on these videos by History Teachers – mini history lessons put to the music of pop songs. I was in grad school studying medieval art history in the early 1980s, so I particularly like their videos on the medieval period as well as the revamped 1980s songs.

I've posted some of my other favorites on my Facebook page, including one with a chorus of "Ooh, ooh fleas on rats, fleas on rats" and another that begins,

"“Mummification equals immortality
Your brain’s pulled out your nose by an embalmer-priest”

Catchy, no?

Monday
Jan072013

Picture not perfect

How I envy bloggers with outdoor spaces and live-in photographers. I’m about to call it quits on outfit shots until the summer.

How not to take photos:

  • Wait for a day when the weather is slightly cloudy. Don’t even think about taking photos if it’s sunny or overcast.
  • Wait until between 12:37pm and 2:17pm when the light comes through living room window.
  • Move couch away from wall. (First move end table away from couch.)
  • Set up ironing board in center of living room. Place camera on table-top tripod. Place tripod on ironing board. Place a small book under one leg of tripod seeing as how tripod is broken and won’t hold camera exactly vertical.
  • Set self-timer and stand near bureau, maybe in front of it, Or next to it. Repeat 10 times.
  • Download images onto computer. Delete most. Choose least horrible one and adjust size, orientation, lighting, and color. Rename and save.

But I really wanted to show off the lovely 1970s maxi dress that A. got me for Christmas.

He readily admits that he is able to buy me things I actually like due to the “power of Etsy” and the fact that all my ‘favorited’ items are public.

1970s Vicky Vaughn Junior maxi dress, present from my boyfriend. Necklace, present from my mother. Bangles from India. The sleeves are a bit short, but all the bettter for wearing bangles. I love the wine color and the bit of tapestry on the bodice and the back. And, of course, the full sleeves.

I might as well tell you about my co-star, the painted chest of drawers. It's another one of my trash finds.

About 20 years ago, a friend found it on the street outside a store that had gone out of business. It's metal and the drawers are each divided into 6 compartments. It was all scratched up and didn't have a top. I painted it the same color that my woodwork used to be, sort of a light 'raisin' (it looks a bit washed out in the photos in this post). I salvaged a nice piece of birch from the trash where I worked at the time and painted it silver and affixed it to the chest. And painted the drawer handles silver. The interior is quite cavernous and it has served me well.

Label from my dress.

If anyone has a better way to take photos, please let me know.

Linking up with Lakota's Ta-Dah! Tuesday.

I post more on my Facebook page, so please 'like' it if you haven't already.

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.

Thursday
Dec132012

Nothing is better than Landlubber clothes

Ad in National Lampoon magazine, November 1971. (Click pic for source)I’ve always been drawn to the Landlubber brand because it has a local history and the brand's label because of the groovy font and the purple/orange color combination.

1970s Landlubber denim dress, thrifted, $6.99. 1970s DR (Design Research) t-shirt, purchased at a yard sale 20 years ago. 1930s bakelite pin, owned for decades. 1970s Lucite ring, thrifted, 50 cents. Bangles from India. Blue tights, thrifted, 99 cents. Metallic blue clogs, thrifted and painted by me. Landlubber brand bell bottoms were the coolest jeans to have in the 1970s. Probably dating from the latter part of the 1970s is this Landlubber denim dress I found recently in my local thrift store.

The Landlubber brand started in Boston. M. Hoffman & Co., a company that made flared trousers for the Navy during World War II and sold them to ex-sailors after the war, had the idea of trying to sell this style to both men and women. They altered the design by shortening the rise and began selling unisex trousers in 1963. These hip-hugger bell bottoms took off like wildfire and reached the peak of their popularity in the early 1970s.

At that time, the company expanded its range and made overalls, dresses, shirts and other item until the end of the decade, when manufacturing ceased.

I once owned a Landlubber maroon corduroy overall skirt (i.e., a skirt with a bib).

Label from overall skirt, from mid-1970s.The label in my dress, probably from around 1976-77. In the early 1990s, a former Landlubber Co. salesman decided to revive the bell bottom look from a generation earlier and bought licensing rights to the Landlubber label. He manufactured them in Greensboro, North Carolina, but the business didn’t last long. A third launch took place in 2004, but from what I can find, it doesn’t seem to have survived either.

It appears that the Hoffman family in Boston still own rights to the label and there is still a very visible remnant, right in my own neighborhood, of how popular these jeans were.

Sign dating from the 1970s on the back of a building in Central Square, Cambridge. I remember aspiring to Landlubbers in the 1970s, but didn't own any. Until now, that is.

Once again, I'm putting a call out for your 'label love' posts. Send me a link to a recent post that shows your favorite vintage clothing labels (for garments you actually own) by December 16. Or if you don't have a blog, you can just email me the photos and your text. I’ll post a ‘round up’ with photos and a link to your post next week.

Sunday
Dec092012

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.

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.

Wednesday
Nov212012

Biba and the Pre-Raphaelites

The title of this post sounds the like name of a band that I’d very much like to see.

As mentioned in earlier posts, I’ve seen two wonderful exhibitions lately and heartily recommend both.

The first was "Biba and Beyond: Barbara Hulanicki at the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery." While not a huge exhibition, it has enough fashion, drawings and other works to make it quite a tasty little morsel of a show. All the fashions are delightful and enhanced by the personal stories of the original owners.

When I had my hot little hands on all six Biba catalogues recently (here and here), I was amazed that some of the designs looked like they would actually be flattering on a range of figure types (not just the typical narrow-shouldered, flat-chested and slim-hipped 'dolly'). And I still believe so after seeing the clothes.

Classic look that I’d wear in a heartbeat.I want all of these dresses. My photos came out terrible, so I'll only subject you to one more. I recommend visiting Miss Peelpants and Penny Dreadful’s blog posts on the show for great images.

My major discovery at the exhibition is that I already own something illustrated by Barbara Hulanicki. Barbara provided the cover illustrations for these Le-Roy patterns from 1963 and 1964. I own Le-Roy 3156 (the one on the righ), which I purchased from a stall at Camden Lock in London about 15 years ago. I should have noticed the stylistic similarities with the ‘ghoul’ girls in the Biba catalogue.

It makes sense that those of us who love late 1960s and early 70s fashion, graphics and design would love Pre-Raphaelite art. Like hippies of the late 1960s, the Pre-Raphaelites revered nature, longed for simple times long past and rebelled against the constraints of society. Plus their works of art include all that long flowing hair, an abundance of luxurious textiles, and exquisitely rendered non-Western and medieval decoration.

A. and I saw the exhibition "Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde" at the Tate Britain and we were both blown away. I have seen many of the works in the show before, but I never tire of them and each time get completely drawn in. 

Some gems from the show that I don’t recall having seen before:

John Everett Millais, Ferdinand Lured by Ariel, 1859, Private CollectionDante Gabriel Rossetti, Monna Vanna, 1866, Tate Britain. William Holman Hunt, Isabella and the Pot of Basil, 1869, Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne.Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, but I'll probably be having Indian food, and giving thanks for that!

Saturday
Nov172012

Bit of this and that

One of my favorite tumblr blogs is Just Seventeen, which is simply scanned images from vintage Seventeen magazines.

I swear I had never seen this image before.

from Septmenber, 1969, issue of Seventeen magazineWhen I painted these.

B. P. Mary Janes, thrifted from Goodwill, Cambridge, $7.00. Painted by me. I’m very much behind on posting what I’ve been up to. So, here’s a bit of catching up.

Last Saturday, A. and I viewed the Lord Mayor’s Show, a parade that has been taken place annually for the last 800 years. It was pretty much on the doorstep of A.’s new flat.

The giant wicker figures of Gog and Magog, the traditional protectors of the City of London, are pulled through the street. These figures were made in 2006 to replicate the original medieval wicker figures that were part of the procession.

Much of the parade is made up of the livery companies (trade associations), volunteer divisions of the armed service, cultural and charitable organizations with a few businesses.

There were 125 horses in the parade (and participants were marching through lots of manure). Fortunately, many of the horses had handlers walking alongside them, calming (and kissing) them during the inevitable pauses along the route.

Pearly King and Queen.The Pearlies are a charitable organization originating in the working classes of London. Here are photos of Pearlies in their button-adorned finery. No, I do not plan on covering my clothes in buttons. (Maybe a bag, though...)

Today, A. and I went to a vintage fashion show and market at Spitalfields Market. While I enjoyed the fashion show and the swing dancing performances, all of the clothes and accessories for sale were well beyond my budget.

1930s, 1970s and 1960s on stage. Beret, I’ve owned since the 1970s. Antique glass bead/pendant necklace I’ve owned for decades. Thrifted long-sleeved purple t-shirt. 1970s Wallis jacket, market in Spitalfields, London, £20. 1990s Jean-Paul Gaultier trousers purchased new, Filene’s Basement, Boston. B. P. Mary Janes, thrifted from Goodwill, Cambridge, $7.00 and painted by me.

The balcony of A.'s flat is looking a bit desolate as he hasn't had time to do any flower boxes. But at least there's an outdoor space to take photos (unlike at my flat).

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
Nov122012

Court jester meets D'Artagnan in Brighton

Every time I come to London, I make sure to visit Brighton. This time my motivation was the exhibition Biba and Beyond: Barbara Hulanicki at the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery.

1970s Seymour Fox coat, can’t recall where I acquired this. 1970s hat, Judy’ Affordable Vintage Sale, London, 2011. Fleur boots, new from Vegetarian Shoes, Brighton. Bag, purchased new in the 1990s and painted by me. After trawling the vintage shops, A. and I went to The Prince George pub and had the vegan Sunday Roast. The mushroom, tarragon and cashew nut Wellington with sides (no Yorkshire pudding this time) was tasty but filling. I can now say that I fully comprehend the meaning of the British term, ‘stodge.’

Resisting the urge to fall into a food-induced coma. Dress, thrifted from Boomerang, Cambridge, MA. 1950s reversible man’s waistcoat, thrifted by my brother in the 1970s. Bastar metal necklace from India. 1970s moon face pendant, purchased in the 1970s. Amber bead necklace, owned for decades. 1930s Bakelite brooch, owned for decades.  I’ve been wearing this thrifted 1990s embroidered and patchwork dress a lot on this trip.

I might wear it like this in the summer, but would but would put a bit of color, like a red scarf, near my face so I don’t look jaundiced. Even though the bodice is a horrid mustard color (which makes my skin look green) and is not very well made, it has a quasi-medieval, 'court-jester' style that I love. The skirt part looks like it’s made of men’s ties (which gives me an idea of what to do with vintage men’s ties).

Jacket thrifted from Raspberry Beret, Cambridge, MA. M & S leggings purchased new in the 1990s. 1970s hat, Judy’s Affordable Vintage Sale, London, purchased in 2011. Restricted Barricade non-leather boots, Berk’s Shoes, Cambridge, MA., discounted. Medieval-inspired bead and silver pendant necklace made by me in the 1980s. Lac bangle given to me by a friend’s mother in Mumbai. in 2003.

In Birmingham, I wore a long-sleeved red thermal underwear shirt underneath. I like the pops of red at the neckline and cuffs.

I'll post about the Biba exhibition at a later date.

I'm joining the gang over at Not Dead Yet Style's Visible Monday.

Friday
Nov092012

A little help from my friends?

After spending countless hours researching how to transfer my blog to Blogger I’ve on the verge of giving up. Those who know me know that I’d rather poke a fork in my eye than do research about technology. I found out that while it is possible (through a convoluted method) to transfer the text of my posts, I will have to upload and insert all the photos manually. I’m not sure I have the stamina for that.

Alternatively, I can try to make this blog more user-friendly. Can you do me a favor and send me an email or leave  a comment letting me know 1) how you prefer to ‘follow’ blogs i.e., Bloglovin, Blogger, Facebook, etc. and 2) what you don’t like about the way my blog works (or doesn’t, as the case may be)?

To catch up on this past weekend -- A. and I went to a vintage market at Spitalfields, where the prices on clothing were too high for my wallet. 

A. did pick up this Hornsea mug designed by John Clappison and now is on a mission to find more from this series.

At the Brick Lane vintage market, I found the seller who I had bought my Biba-esque Wallis jacket from and bought a 1970s dress that I wore to lunch on Sunday.

1970s-does-1940s dress with sweetheart neckline and peplum,
Brick Lane vintage market. 1970s-does-1920s tapestry bag from the
Rock and Roll Yard Sale. Antique glass bead/pendant necklace I’ve
owned for decades. Ceramic and glass bead bracelet, made by me in
the 1990s. Purple tights, Sainsbury’s. Shoes, thrifted and painted by me.

Jewelry up close. Shortly after buying the dress, I found this Style pattern from 1974 that is slightly similar in style but with an empire waist instead of a peplum.

On Sunday, we went to the Sunday Roast at The Smithfield Tavern, a veggie pub nearby. In the States, we don’t do ‘Sunday Roast,’ so I wasn’t sure what to expect. The Smithfield does two vegan roasts. 

Stuffed aubergine with puy lentils, roasted tomatoes and herbs with trimmings. Stuffed butternut squash with quinoa, macadamia nuts and red onions with trimmings.It was my first Yorkshire pudding which seemed to be the British equivalent of what we call ‘biscuits’ in the U.S. – basically something to sop up gravy.

We were so stuffed from lunch that A. made a simple tofu scramble for dinner. It tasted as good as it looks.

I'd appreciate your thoughts on how I can make my blog more user-friendly. Thanks in advance!