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 1970s (58)


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.


Thirty-one designs in glorious color

I always look at vintage craft books when I see them at the thrift store. I don’t do needlepoint, but this large-scale Instant Needlepoint Designs book from 1973 attracted my attention because of the large color plates (they are intended to be traced). I'll keep it as inspiration for some project or another. I particulary like the trippy landscapes.

This is a total non sequitur but the “Royal Baking Powder” design reminded me of a painting I have in my kitchen.

My neighbor had redone her kitchen and was getting rid of a lot of 1960s and 70s kitchen stuff. I bought a few things and she gave me the painting, which she had picked up at a yard sale many years ago.

Now that I've collected tons of "inspiration" and materials for projects, I need to get to work.

Do you find that blogging motivates you to start and finish projects? Or does it take time away from being creative? For me, it's a little of both. Once I've said I'm going to do something, I feel more pressure motivation to actually get it done. But, it's so hard to find time to do everything!


Frock on Friday

I’m actually doing a blog post on a Friday and I’m wearing a frock. What are the chances? So, this is my very first Frock on Friday post!

I had curled my hair again, so I was looking to wear something floaty and romantic to go with the curls.

I bought this not-vintage dress at TRAID in Camden when I was in London in the spring. I liked the color and the art nouveau-ish type design. Even though the skirt was too poofy on me, I thought I could make it work.

Uttam London dress, £2, TRAID, London. Black cotton tunic from a clothing swap 20 years ago, free. 1970s purse from the Rock and Roll Yard Sale, $7. Silver necklace purchased in Turkey in 1999. Silver and carnelian (?) necklace from Cultural Survival bazaar. Bangles from India. Vegan sandals purchased new from MooShoes, New York.The skirt still sticks out too much, even with a lightweight cotton sleeveless tunic over it, so I may alter it someday.

Swapped the jewelry for earrings purchased at Cultural Survival Bazaar and a couple thrifted beaded necklace In other news, I am still taking care of my friend’s cat Tigro, who likes to sleep with his face pressed into the side of his bed.

I don’t know how he breathes. Is it just me, or does he look like a garden slug?

So as not to leave you with an image of a slug, I’ll post my latest thrift find -- a stunning panné velvet maxi skirt. It has the most vibrant fuchsia, purple, green and orange flowers on a black background.

late 1960s-early 1970s F.A. Chatta skirt, Goodwill, $3.75 Panné velvet is impossible to photograph –neither photo does it justice. The skirt has a 24-inch waist, and I don’t, so it will go into the pile of clothes purchased for their fabric, to be made into something. I now realize that the print and colors are similar to the chenille velvet of the purse in the photo above.

I am going on a daytrip tomorrow to a town where I hear there is a great vintage clothing store with reasonable prices. Not that I need to buy anything. I'll just look...


Let's bungle in the jungle

I was at my local thrift store the other day when I saw two policemen walk to the men’s clothing section in the back. I heard one say, “Could you please show us some ID.” Then four more policemen came in and walked to the back of the store. They radioed in someone’s info, called for a “wagon” and then led the man out. Never a dull moment at the thrift store.

Not one to be put off by a criminal arrest, I picked up a couple items just for their fabric.

An Indian top made of decent-quality block-printed cotton embellished with sequins. It's too small so I'll cut it up for some other use.

Early 1980s Laura Ashley corduroy dress with enough fabric in the skirt to make a couple sturdy tote bags.

I also scored a bunch of fab 1960s and 70s scarves.

Let me sing you a tune about the one on the bottom right.

Walking through forests of palm tree apartments

Scoff at the monkeys who live in their dark tents

Down by the waterhole, drunk every Friday
Eating their nuts, saving their raisins for Sunday

Lions and tigers who wait in the shadows
They're fast but they're lazy, and sleep in green meadows
Well, let's bungle in the jungle
Well, that's all right by me, yes

Well, I'm a tiger when I want love
And I'm a snake if we disagree

The rivers are full of crocodile nasties
And he who made kittens put snakes in the grass, he's
A lover of life, but a player of pawns
Yes, the king on his sunset lies waiting for dawn

To light up his jungle as play is resumed
The monkeys seem willing to strike up the tune

I think the label is one of those that you can order with your name and that this is simply a homemade scarf. I am guessing from the happy lion with the curlicue mane that it’s 1970s. I think my discovery of this charming menagerie is worthy of Ta-Dah! Tuesday.

I do like a man in a doublet, so here's a video in honor of my scarf score. I couldn’t find decent concert footage of this song. The best is this mashup.



A good day

Today was a good day. After a productive day of work, I went out to do errands and meet a friend.

Just up my street, I found these blue glass candleholders with etched stars on the sidewalk. I guess I’ll start a ‘trash finds’ tag. 

Then, I saw a cool bike – painted gold with a burgundy seat -- on my street.

I went to the thrift store and found one great item (more on that in a bit).

I then walked past the natural foods co-op and saw that, in preparation for a move to a location across the street, everything in the store was 50% off. Inside, it was a madhouse, teeming with shoppers frantically grabbing items they’ve never bought before off the near-empty shelves (I got laundry detergent, 3 boxes of graham crackers, some Lara bars, some cream of tartar, a chocolate bar, 2 packages of Liz Lovely cookies, and some pudding mix – not my usual assortment of purchases). Given the long waits and the general euphoria over such deals, the lines at the registers had a bit of a party atmosphere with folks comparing purchases and generally having a good time.

This diversion led to my being late to meet my friend Karen at Life Alive Urban Oasis & Organic Café, one of my favorite veggie places in the neighborhood.

I can't wait to check out the Peter Max fashions inside.After a long visit with Karen, I walked home to discover that my latest eBay purchase, the April 1970 issue of Seventeen magazine, had arrived in the post.

Sorry for the bad photos. It was dark and I had to use flash.I then tried on my thrift store purchase. I’ve confessed my fashion obsession -- scooped necklines combined with short puffy sleeves over long sleeves -- before. Add to that a wild print and this late 60s/early 70s ribbed knit top with a scoop neck and puffed sleeves at the top made of a vibrant print fabric proved itself to be the holy grail of thrift store finds.

Jordan Marsh top, $4.99. Antique Indian and stone pendant strung on a cord (had as long as I can remember). Lac bangles given to me by a friend's mother in Mumbai, 2004. H & M denim mini, purchased in mid 90s. Blue thrifted tights, 99 cents. Clogs painted by me.This top is 100% acrylic and was made in Italy for Jordan Marsh, a Boston department store. I can’t imagine an acrylic knit top nowadays lasting more than a few months. This top was very well-made. It’s obvious from some repairs in the seams that it was worn frequently, but yet it isn’t pilled or stretched out – after 40 years.

I hope you had a good day!


The 16th-century via the 1970s

Mappin & Webb advertisement from 1972, via Velvet Cave Vintage's Facebook page

Inspired by a portrait by Hans Holbein the Younger or Lucas Cranach the Elder, perhaps?


Scarf score

I scored a great batch of 1960s-70s scarves at the thrift store. When I find a whole collection of a certain type of item, I usually scour the store in the hopes that I'll find something else the same person donated. In this case, I just got the scarves.

The bright, almost acidic, colors jumped out at me. The one in the middle with the orange blocks on a dark blue background is my favorite and I wore it right away. Four of them are long tie-shaped scarves. I'll try to find a dog-earred or white collared dress to wear them with.


Shall I be a red knight or a wizard today?

I was video-chatting with A (formerly known as ‘My Man in the U.K.) yesterday and he said, “What is that you’re wearing?” I adjusted the web cam so that he could see the new-to-me psychedelic Custo Barcelona t-shirt (worn with a pair of bright orange pants) that I had bought recently at the thrift store. He said that every time he talks to me (which is most days), I am wearing something he has never seen before and that I am like Mr. Benn.

Who is Mr. Benn?

He was a gentleman who starred in an British children’s animated television program in the early 1970s. Each episode he leaves his house at 52 Festive Road (I want to live on Festive Road!) and pays a visit to the magic fancy-dress costume shop. There he is assisted by a bespectacled, fez-wearing shopkeeper. Mr. Benn chooses a costume to take to the fitting room to try on. Once on, he passes through a door and into an adventure in a different time and place. Once he was a spaceman visiting different planets, another time he was a knight helping a dragon, and so on. Each time the shopkeeper appears at the end of his adventure and leads him back to the shop. And each time Mr. Benn comes home with a small souvenir in his pocket.

So, A thinks that the local thrift store is like the magic shop where I find a different costume every day. Now, there are some odd characters working and shopping there, but I haven’t seen any in a fez (yet). And my adventures are pretty limited to going to the post office or Whole Foods. Although today was somewhat more exciting in that I went to the post office and Trader Joe’s. But, maybe one day I will find an outfit that does lead to a wonderful adventure.

Here's the first episode:

I like this one too:


Does anyone dye anymore?

I was looking through some late 1960s and early 1970s issues of Seventeen magazine recently. Two things struck me. 1) There were lots of ads for sewing patterns, sewing machines, and fabrics, with an emphasis on how you can be unique and make your own looks. 2) The latter part of each issue was devoted to wedding articles and ads for engagement rings, hope chests, and dinnerware.

I glanced at current issues of Seventeen in the library recently and neither sewing or weddings are featured anymore. I’m not bemoaning the lack of attention on marriage for teen-agers, but the now the ads are focused on branded clothing and fitting in.

Not only sewing but dyeing was a big deal. Here are some ads for Rit and other dyes. It’s interesting that Rit paired up with other companies to co-market their products.

From Seventeen magazine, April, 1968Here Ked’s white sneakers are advertised with a sneaker painting kit. It seems that there were even sneaker painting contests according to this newspaper ad from 1968.

From Seventeen magazine, April, 1968From Seventeen magazine, February, 1970 “Rit Invents Electric Satin.” How to dye fabric for sewing clothes with Simplicity patterns (pattern numbers are given that top).

From Seventeen Magazine, June, 197Hot Stuff Rit Liquid Dye ad for hot pants and tank tops you and he dye together. The opposite page has complete instructions.

From Seventeen magazine, August, 1971Ad to “tie-dye your own original fashions.” This ad and the column on the opposite page have instructions for tie-dying a sweater, hat, windbreaker, skirt, and scarf. That’s a lot to get into one ad!

From Seventeen magazine, May 1973Two years later, after you’ve ditched the boyfriend, you can invite the whole gang over to tie-dye.

From Ingenue magazine, April , 1970“So you’re out to change the world. We can do it together” ad for Lady Esquire Instant Shoe Coloring, which came in 45 colors. This ad features an entry form for a contest for the “most original and workable idea.” Winner received a $3000 wardrobe by Pierre Cardin, New York.

Here’s a great article on shoe make-overs from the July, 1970 counterculture fashion magazine Rags. I think I need to make those star shoes.

I’m also inspired by bag and shoe dyeing projects on Vintage Vixen and Two Butterflies. I wonder what kind of paint/dye works best on non-leather shoes/bags. Anyone know?


Indian jacket with a past

Sometimes I wonder about the backstory of items I find at thrift shops.

Sabina of India jacket, $6.00, Boomerang (charity shop) This 1970s long jacket is of hand-woven cotton and is block-printed by hand. It has seen better days with a few ripped seams and one sleeve about 3 inches longer than the other. The longer one is patched.

I loved the hand-woven and hand-printed quality as well as the crazy print. Is that a cow, a tortoise, a buffalo? (I'm open to other suggestions)

One label says “Sabina of India/Made in India.” There is also a hand-sewn label for the department store, Bergdorf Goodman on the Plaza, New York. (An online search also turned up Sabina of India vintage clothes with hand-sewn Lord & Taylor labels). I am not showing that label because it has a person’s name handwritten on it. There is also another name and number handwritten on the inside. This made me think it must have made the rounds in a college dormitory (residence hall). So, I googled the distinctive name on the Bergdorf label and was able to identify the previous owner (and the one who probably donated it to the charity shop where I bought it) as a young woman who lives in the next town over from me. And she’s also vegan like me! Chances are, I’ll probably cross paths with her one day at one of the various vegan social events I attend. In the meantime, I am trying to decide whether to turn this into a short-sleeved, shorter, more fitted jacket, or a tote bag. Maybe I'll have it on/with me when I run into the previous owner!


Channeling Susan Dey

I bought this vintage (I’m guessing 1973-4-ish) Leslie Fay knit dress with cream-colored collar and cuffs because I liked the print. It has a floral pattern in heathery teal, raspberry, purple, green and peach on a black background. I also have a thing for full sleeves and collars and cuffs in contrasting colors.

However, the “secretary” style of the dress, with its yoked bodice and self-belt, really didn’t suit me.

1970s Leslie Fay dress shortened into a shirt, $6.99, Goodwill; 1990s Max Mara vest, purchased in the early 90s, Filene’s Basement; 1970s flared jeans, free from a clothing swap; 1980s Fiorucci studded belt, $1.99, Goodwill. So, I shortened it into a shirt and ditched the ribbon and belt. Now it sort of reminds me of something Susan Dey would wear in The Partridge Family.

Adding this to:

Recycled Fashion



Learning to sew, again

I used to sew. But, not well. That didn't stop me from hoarding fabric and vintage patterns. Now, I am going to remedy that and take a sewing class. Hopefully, I will learn how to fit a pattern instead of making clothes that don't fit.

The long-sleeve, to-the-knee dress pattern from 1972 will be my project for class. For the fabric, I chose cotton in a dark, allover print to hide mistakes I no doubt will make. And the fabric was inexpensive, just under $9.00 for almost 3 yards. Wish me luck.



I wasn't sure what I was going to do with this 1970s red dress that I got at the London Vintage Kilo Sale.

Jerry Hall for Vogue Patterns, Spring/Summer1975. I recognize this as at the Peacock Gate in Jaipur.I'll make a shorter (and polyester) version of this. But, I'll probably skip the turban.  More images from this fashion spread here.


Wrap-up of time in London, Part 2

In my last week in London, I made it to the only charity shop in which I’ve actually found interesting clothes at reasonably inexpensive prices (for London). I’m not saying which one it is.

Found this Desigual long-sleeve top. I was attracted to the muted color and, at first glance, the pattern reminded me of tracery of medieval stained glass. On closer inspection, it is actually graffiti, stars, cars and the words, “slow down.” Shows you where my head's at. I plan to medievalize it anyway by pairing it with my puffy sleeved, scoop-necked heathery brown t-shirt (purchased at TRAID in Camden Town last year).

I also found an actual vintage shirt. This lovely homemade 1970s blouse has a pattern that has a sort flowy Art Nouveau pattern with a touch of Egyptian-style Deco in the flower frond motifs.

I had to fit in lunch at Food for Thought, a veggie restaurant in Covent Garden that’s been around since 1974. I ate here all the time during my frequent visits to London in the 1980s and 90s.

Also had to say hello to some of my favorite artworks at the Victoria & Albert Museum, including this late 16th-early 17th-century sculpture of Nandi. He’s got such a sweet face and I love his jewelry.

My last evening in London, my Man told me to dress up as were going somewhere nice for dinner. I didn’t really have dressy clothes with me (and I don’t really own them anymore), so I cobbled together this outfit – a 1980s purple burnout velour dress (charity shop in Cambridge), red tights (on sale at Sainsbury’s), early 1990s Anna Sui red shimmery jacket (Filene’s Basement), my recently purchased blue hat, and the necklace I got for my birthday. (Sorry for bad photo).

I wanted to check out a new vegan café under the train tracks in London Fields so I took my laptop and set up shop that afternoon at Happy Kitchen. Before I gave my order to the young woman behind the counter, she said, “I love what you’re wearing!” Definitely made me feel good about my wardrobe choice for that evening. And the tea and ginger-infused flapjack also made me feel good.

Dinner was at Benares, an upscale Indian restaurant in Mayfair, that had yummy cocktails and mocktails. The clientele wasn’t that dressed up, so I was just fine. Food was very good, but for the price, my Man and I could have eaten dinner for a week at our favorite neighborhood dosa joint.

Bye-Bye London. See you soon.