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 India (4)


It's hard to say goodbye

I leave London tomorrow. Bunhill Fields seemed a suitable somber location to take my last outfit photo of this visit.

Greek Fisherman’s cap, purchased in London in the 1990s. Handknit cardigan, from Goodwill thrift store. Tie dye scarf purchased from a street vendor in Rome in the 1990s. H & M denim skirt, purchased in the 1990s. Tights, from Goodwill thrift store. Boots, purchased at Vegetarian Shoes, Brighton, UK. Bag painted by me.Today was a quick visit to Spitalfields stopping at Bunhill Fields on the way. This site was used as the cemetery for the City of London from 1665 to 1854. And where one of my favorite artists, William Blake, is buried.

William Blake’s watercolor etching, The Ancient of Days in Europe a Prophecy copy D from the British Museum. Originally published in 1794 (later copies were made by Blake).Yesterday, the City of London organized a “Give and Take” day for people to give unwanted items and take whatever they want. We dropped off our stuff in the morning, the organizers set up, and we queued up in the afternoon for entrance. After checking for proof of city residency, the public was allowed in.

The event should have been called “give and grab” as it was a mad dash in and a crazy free-for-all as people started stuffing clothes, housewares and all manner of things into the bags they had brought along. A scan of the clothes revealed nothing of interest, then I quickly made my way to the jewelry, decorative tchotchkes, and books.

I was very surprised not to see any vintage but later learned the reason why. My boyfriend chatted with the organizers and learned that the charity shop TRAID, which sells vintage, had been allowed in early to take their pick. Same with a charity bookshop and the books. Oh well.

Anyway, I’m quite happy with my takings:

A vintage Tchibo tea tin, two Indian scarves and assorted buttons.

Scraps of very expensive silk velvets, linens, jersey and silk to be used for craft projects.Detail of fabric.Detail of fabric.Detail of fabric. The Encyclopedia of Fashion, a set of Margaret Rutherford/Miss Marple dvds, a Morrissey cd and The Smiths cd.A jar of assorted jewelry bits and a box of big glass beads. I passed up some other desirable items as I already knew I wouldn’t be able to get all of these things into my suitcase. Speaking of which, I must get packing.

Linking up to Not Dead Yet Style’s Visible Monday and Spy Girl's Pantone Party. Although I often wear this year's Pantone color, Marsala, I'm thinking today's outfit is a combination of Mimosa, Tangerine Tango and Emerald.


Everyone jump upon the peace train

The two biggest categories of clothing in my wardrobe are 'things I've bought in India' and 'vintage 1970s'. So what do I do when MarketPlace: Handwork of India, which offers high-quality clothing made in India, asks me to collaborate by styling one of their garments on my blog? I take it through the 'way-back' machine.

First with an early 1970s, Teaser-and-the-Firecat sort of vibe.

MarketPlace Manipur Tunic DressAs anyone who's been reading my blog knows, my interest in India has focused on textiles and animal issues. I spent much of my travels there visiting and buying from artisans and connecting with animal welfare organizations. I've always been keen on supporting artisans and the preservation of traditional crafts. So, when MarketPlace contacted me, I jumped at the chance to collaborate.

MarketPlace is a non-profit, fair trade organization that has provided economic opportunities for low-income women in India since 1986. I used to get their print catalog and enjoyed reading about and seeing the faces of some of the 480 artisans whose work was represented. The artisans are organized into 14 independent cooperatives. These cooperatives create an empowered space where women can develop leadership skills and acquire the tools and confidence to advocate for social change in their communities. They have tackled a number of public health and social issues, and are more committed to keeping their daughters in school to get a better education than many of them did as girls. Please do read more about MarketPlace's mission here.

I love the combination of the ikat print with the block-printed floral print on the Manipur Tunic Dress. The floral print is embellished with hand-worked embroidery and sequins. And you'all know, I'm a sucker for fabric-covered buttons. MarketPlace Manipur Tunic Dress. Hat purchased at a street market in Toronto in the 1990s. 1960s Indian scarf. Assortment of metal pins I've had since the 1970s. Bangles purchased in India. Le Fleur boots by Vegetarian Shoes, Brighton, UK. At barely 5 ft. 3 inches tall, I often have a problem with clothes being made for someone taller. But many of MarketPlace's styles come in petite sizes, so the length of this dress is perfect.

The Manipur Tunic Dress nudged me into the mid-1970s as well.

MarketPlace Manipur Tunic Dress. Israeli Tichel scarf, purchased new. Embroidered velvet bag, gift from Vix. Churidar (pants) purchased in India. Bangles purchased in India. Clogs, thrifted and painted metallic blue by me. Just last night, after I had already taken the photo above, I was browsing some vintage Vogue magazines online and came across this.

Editorial from Vogue U.K. September 1975Linking up to Not Dead Yet Style's Visible Monday, where Patti has her MarketPlace jacket beautifully styled. Also check out the stunning MarketPlace tunic dress on Val's blog, Late Blooming Sparkle.

I was given an item of clothing by MarketPlace: Handwork of India for free, but my review is entirely my own opinion. Sponsored posts are not my thing, but I was already a fan of this organization, so am happy to lend my support.

Oh, and thanks for the book recommendations from my last post.


Some dreams do come true

My last full week in London has been jam-packed.

I visited the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow 20 or so years ago. Since then it went through a major redevelopment and has just won £100,000 Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year so I was eager to see it again.

I enjoyed the works by Morris, stained glass by Burne-Jones, embroidered bags by May Morris and all the other original Arts and Crafts works. I did not enjoy the floor-to-ceiling, “where do I look now” installation geared for the attention deficit and the interactive children’s activities in every gallery (which meant that there were children banging on things and running around throughout).

I also saw the multi-media David Bowie exhibition at the V & A and quite enjoyed seeing the many creative avenues Bowie has been down: songwriting and music, stage set, costume, acting, painting and drawing, and probably a few more that I’m forgetting. I’m not an obsessive Bowie fan so I didn’t fight the crowds to see every hand-written lyric sheet or set design notes. It was fun to see his costumes and learn about all the influences for each phase of his persona.

V & A David Bowie is exhibition, 2013. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London A sign at the entrance of the exhibit said, “No photography or sketching.” Sketching? I wondered if my memory would be erased at the end, but thankfully it wasn’t. Or maybe it was that they didn’t want visitors parked too long at any point.

As a child, I had a re-occurring dream. Struggling to wake up to get ready for school, I would dream that I did get up. And when I walked into my tiny closet to find something to wear, it had turned into a giant closet filled with the most gorgeous clothes imaginable. I got to live that dream in the vintage wonderland that is Frocktasia's stockroom.

I had volunteered for the role of personal shopper for a friend in the States who was looking for a special vintage maxi for a special occasion. Jennie kindly pulled out every frock that fit the brief. To get a sense of the fit, I tried on each candidate and Jennie took pictures for me to email to my friend.

Of course, I couldn’t help falling in love with a number of dresses for myself. I bought this slinky purple ‘New Generation’ number. 

I love the color, the 70s-does-30s vibe and the label! Jennie also gave me two presents that couldn’t have been more perfect. One, a flouncy brown lace blouse, I wore that evening. Check out the gorgeous print of this skirt! The other present was this Indian printed wrap-around skirt, that I wore the next day.

Given that my outfit shot before I left the flat to go to Jennie's looked like this:

I asked Jennie to take some pics at the end of my visit and she graciously agreed.

This printed rayon top is one of my most favorite and I wear it often. Jennie saw the print on it and pulled out the skirt--with it's matching print--for me!

Hat, purchased from Frocktasia. Indian blouse, purchased 6 years ago at a consignment shop. Velour jacket, thrifted. Jeans, purchased at Gap and patched by me over the years. Clogs, thrifted and painted by me. Pakistani tote bag, thrifted, Boomerang. Bangles, purchased in India. Necklaces, purchased in the 1970s, purchased from Frocktasia and purchased in India.

There were far more activities this week than I can comfortably fit into this post so they’ll have to wait for another time.

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



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.