About Joyatri

Avid thrifter and vintage clothes wearer. Love 1960s and early 1970s styles. Partial to Art Nouveau, Pre-Raphaelite, Victorian, Renaissance and Medieval art. Former art historian. Current packrat. On a continual quest for good-looking, comfortable vegan shoes. Bhangra dancer since 2002. Fascinated by all things Indian. Vegan and animal advocate. 

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

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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

 

 

 

Why Vegan?

 

 

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Entries in Birmingham (3)

Wednesday
Nov282012

A special dress for a special day

Yesterday was my birthday. This is what I wore.

Indian necklace purchased from yard sale. Bastar necklace purchased in India. Vintage amber beads I've had for decades. Vintage silver and bead necklace, present from A. 1970s maxi purchased from Rasberry Beret, Cambridge, MA. Fleur boots from Vegetarian Shoes, Brighton, UK.I purchased this dress recently and was looking for a special day on which to wear it, and yesterday was the day. I love this dress so much that I plan to do another post about it later.

A and I had a low-key celebration at one of my favorite restaurants in London. An Italian veggie restaurant, Amico Bio has lots of vegan options, fresh homemade food, a warm ambiance, and friendly staff.

These homemade grissini with roasted courgettes and aubergines made an impressive starter. I LOVE artichokes, here with quinoaMy boyfriend called ahead and asked if they could make a vegan dessert and serve it with a lit candle. They said they could. Well, as much as I love this restaurant, I have to say that the dessert was so bad as to be laughable.

They had simply covered three rice cakes (or pieces of Styrofoam, I'm not sure which) with chocolate and then served them layered with jam and bits of fruit. The chocolate and fruit were fine, but, in my view, rice cakes should not be classified as food. Frankly, I think the restaurant just threw together something from ingredients they had on hand and didn’t put any thought into actually making a dessert. At least A and I enjoyed a nice dinner and had a good laugh. I’ll still go back there; I just won’t be requesting any birthday cakes from them.

A had already given me a fabulous present – he funded my shopping expedition in Birmingham with Vix and Annie (although, I’m a pretty cheap date and spent less on four vintage dresses, two scarves, and a hat than most women spend on a new dress purchased retail).

He surprised me by also giving me the catalogue to the exhibition 'Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde' that we saw at the Tate Britain. Now, I get to paw over all those luscious color plates at my leisure.

I’m bummed that I’ll miss the lectures, ‘The Fabric of Art: Legacy of the Pre-Raphaelites in contemporary fashion’ on December 13 and ‘Why the Pre-Raphaelites are modern’ on January 7 at the Tate Britain.

Speaking of the Pre-Raphaelites, after my visit to the Birmingham Art Gallery and Museum, I had posted that I was obsessed with John William Waterhouse’s painting, The Lady of Shalott when I was in college.

This painting, and Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s poem that it is based on, come to life in a newly released short film by WAG Screen. You can watch it here:

Enjoy!

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
Oct302012

Vix, Vegans, and Victorian Paintings

This past weekend was my first-ever blogger meet-up, I descended on Walsall to hang out with Vix of Vintage Vixen. This was actually my second visit to Walsall, the first was about 22 years ago, when I stayed with friends of a friend. Back then my mission was the study of Victorian ceramic tiles. This time it was vintage and charity shopping. And, of course, meeting the doyenne of vintage fashion blogs.

Vix’s experienced eye honed in on the gems at Second to None. She found a purplish-brown taffeta maxi that suited me but had a non-working zipper (photo on Vix’s blog here). Sadly, I opted not to buy it. But, then, knowing my predilection for medieval-inspired double sleeves, Vix showed me a dress that she had previously tried on.

Photo courtesy of Vix With its v-neckline, butterfly-over-bell sleeves, and purplish-blue print, this maxi dress is right up my alley. And at £14, a deal for so much fabulousness.

I haven’t been able to find anything online about the label which reads ‘Aurium, Hampstead.’ This polyester paisley number is far too big, but it is ‘my colors’ and, for £7.50, was worth purchasing just for the fabric. Before hitting Second to None, we blasted through the famous charity shops of Walsall.

1970s burlap and twine bag with oversized burnished wood button, St. Michael ‘Made in Italy’ label, £2.95. Embroidery thread in ‘my colors’ for tszujing bag, 20p each. Both Walsall Hospice. Purple tagua nut ring (on orange and red skeins), 99p BHF. Back at Vix’s for tea and house tour, to see where the blogging and sewing magic happen, view the legendary Wall of Misery and the much-admired patchwork curtains, drool over frocks and shoes, and more chatting. As many of you know, Vix is wise, warm, and so gosh-darn sweet!

Vix gave me this colorful Indian embroidery. She called it a waistcoat, but I‘m thinking this will be a new bag once I get back home and at the sewing machine.

The next day A. and I attended the West Midlands Vegan Festival. At the last minute, A. agreed to help out at the Vegetarian Guides table. (New London guide out next month!)

The Festival was so crowded you could barely move. I bought some Beauty Without Cruelty brand eye make-up from Honesty cosmetics.

I also tried on Freerangers vegan footwear and am deciding whether to order these 1940s-inspired sandals in ‘claret’ or ‘aubergine.’

Before the Vegan Festival, I visited a couple charity shops in Wolverhampton and found this book on ‘Street Style’ for £1.50. It’s full of great images of mods, rockers, hippies, new romantics, and other 'style tribes.'

The next day we went to Birmingham. Unfortunately all the vintage clothing shops were closed.

We had a nice lunch at The Warehouse Café and made some purchases at the One Earth Shop.

Dessert was black olive and orange cake with vanilla soya ice cream and an orange and cherry sauce.

It started to rain so we took refuge in the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, where we spent hours looking at the decorative arts. We cut short our visit to those galleries in order to see the exhibition, Love and Death: Victorian Paintings from the Tate.

J. W. Waterhouse’s The Lady of Shalott from 1888, was my all-time favorite work of art when I was in college.Sorry, I didn’t make it clear to A. that I was supposed to be the subject of the photo and not the giant poster of Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s Proserpine behind me. We didn’t see the Pre-Raphaelite paintings, the Staffordshire hoard, or the William De Morgan tiles, so another trip to Birmingham is to be planned!

Thank you to everyone who complimented my coat, smile, stripey trousers and all the other nice things you said on Vix’s account of our meeting!