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.

From my collection to yours: Check out Joyatri on Etsy shop.


 

Please do leave a comment and let me know that you stopped by! I love hearing from you.

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?

 

 

 Follow me here:

bloglovin

Joyatri is on Spy Girl's Digital Catwalk


I hang out here:

Login
  •  

Entries in London (30)

Sunday
Jan112015

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.

Wednesday
Dec242014

Fair-y tales

Contrary to my last couple of posts, this visit to London hasn’t been all about silent films. There have been vintage fair to go to.

The North London Vintage Fair marked the opening of the Hornsey Town Hall in the Crouch End area of north London. The 1935 Modernist building that has been closed for years (but used as a film and tv location) is now being redeveloped as an arts center. I only saw the hallways that housed the vintage fair, but I’ve read that the rooms still have their original furnishings and details.

I've not seen the 'Lori ann' label before. I drooled over a medieval/peasant maxi dress offered by Lady Jane’s Vintage Bandwagon.

Lady Jane’s also offered a mind-blowing selection of original posters.

 

And I was photographed by stylist Tamara Cincik, also selling vintage clothing and other items.

The next day was the Bethnal Green Affordable Vintage Fair. I’m finding that I gravitate to the same styles of vintage clothes. So, although Bottle Green Vintage had a 1970s olive green dress that fit me perfectly, I didn’t buy it. It was just too similar to things I already own. I guess it’s time to either stop acquiring or get rid of things I already have. Do you find that your clothes are all starting to look alike?

The label on the dress is 'Wendy.'I had to snap a pic of the adorable dress and vest outfit worn by Bottle Green's proprietor, Zoe. I love A-line skirts and puffy sleeves.

Photo by Hollie of H.E.R. VintageI was wearing the 1970s St. Michael’s faux-patchwork velveteen skirt (that I bought on my Second to None excursion with Vix and Annie last year) when Hollie of H.E.R. Vintage took my photo for her “best dressed ladies of 2014” list. 

No way will I be able to cart all of these big, heavy books home. I bought nothing at the vintage fairs but scored some great fashion reference books--and one on the Green Man--at the local library, each just £1 or 2. ($1.50 – 3.00).

Pretty low-key Christmas festivities going on here. We’ve got vegan panettone purchased at Amico Bio, a Harold and Maude DVD to watch, and a decorated dragon tree (with some token gifts; mine purchased at charity shops). Tomorrow, it’s a veganized version of Nigel Slater’s vegetarian Christmas dinner

Happy holidays to you and yours!

 

Monday
Dec152014

Party like it's 1929

To continue with the “early cinema” theme of the last post—my boyfriend hired the Cinema Museum in London for his 50th birthday party. We got the food from Tibits, silent films were screened and a grand time was had by all.

The suggested attire was to reflect early cinema so I opted for an early-to-mid-1920s look with a sleeveless shift dress with a drop-waist and nearly-to-the-ankles length.

Oops, my slip is too short.Of course, I found it at my local thrift store (for $7.99). You can’t really see in the photo, but it has sequin trim around the neckline and hanging down in two loops at the dropped waist.

I’ve posted about the Cinema Museum before. It’s housed in what was the administrative building of the Victorian workhouse in which Charlie Chaplin spent part of his boyhood (hence the homage to Charlie throughout).

I kept the jewelry minimal: a Victorian bracelet and early 20th-century necklace I’ve owned for decades.

These Bobbi Blu shoes from the thrift store have a vintage feel and were just $4.

One of the short films shown at the party was this early animation combined with live action film: Out of the Inkwell: Jumping Beans produced by Max Fleischer in 1922.

Michelle Nicole West/New York dress from Goodwill. Early 20th-century faceted glass bead necklace and Victorian enamelled metal and pearl bracelet, both owned for decades. Bobbi Blu shoes from Boomerang.

Since every blog post is better with a cat, here’s the neighborhood kitty, who has a home and a family, but likes to hang out at the Cinema museum.

I'm also joining in the party over on Not Dead Yet Style's Visible Monday.

Monday
Dec022013

In the home of the brash, outrageous and free

I'm in the U.K visiting my boyfriend. It was a challenge packing two months worth of clothes suitable for a variable London winter into one suitcase and a carry-on bag. Here's a few of my outfits so far.

At the British Film Institute. Vintage hat, Frocktasia. Custo Barcelona top, thrifted, Goodwill. 1970s Butte Knit velvet jacket, thrifted, Goodwill. Contemporary plaid skirt, thrifted, Goodwill. Restricted non-leather boots, purchased on sale. 1970s gypsy shawl, thrifted, Goodwill. DKNY bag, purchased in the 1990s and painted by me. Indian necklaces and bangles.
At the Cinema Museum, London. Hat, gift in 1984. 1970s ASA wool vest, thrifted. Fab India wool kurta, purchased in India. Leggings, thrifted, Goodwill. Restricted non-leather boots, purchased on sale. Silver and black scarf purchased in India.
At Royal Festival Hall. Greek fisherman's hat, purchased in London in the 1990s. 1970s The Villager velvet vest, thrifted, Goodwill. Mustard leg 'o mutton t-shirt, thrifted, Goodwill. Contemporary plaid skirt, thrifted, Goodwill. Mustard tights, thrifted, Goodwill. Clogs, thrifted, Goodwill and painted by me. Necklace purchased in India. 1940s Bakelite brooch I've had for decades.
At the Barbican Design Market. Vintage hat, Frocktasia. 1970s Butte Knit velvet jacket. 1960s Styled by Sybil blouse, thrifted, Goodwill. Leggings, thrifted, Goodwill. Restricted non-leather boots, purchased on sale.
In the 10 days I've been in London so far, A. and I have seen four films and one exhibition. We've been to a design and crafts market and an antiques fair. I've also been to a book club/author event and a Zumba class. Still from the silent film, Flesh and the Devil (1926) with Greta Garbo and John Gilbert

In addition to "Flesh and the Devil," we saw a charming romantic comedy from 1935 called “Car of Dreams.” (You can watch the entire film on YouTube here). And we went to a monthly silent-film event at the Cinema Museum. I saw this book in their little shop.

Cinema Uniforms: Sartorial Elegance at the Picture Palace by David TriggThe highlight was a 6-hour screening of the 1926 silent film, Napoleon, which was, and still is, a tour-de-force, of cinema. The members of the Royal Festival Hall Philharmonia Orchestra and the conductor, Carl Davis, showed remarkable endurance. There were several intermissions, but still! 

Click for sourceWe saw Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! at Somerset House. I admired Blow's ability to turn herself into a work of art through fashion and accessories and I enjoyed seeing the incredible craftsmanship and inventiveness of the Philip Treacy hats and fashion by Alexander McQueen and others.

http://www.80trains.com/Now that I've read the book (which I highly recommend) and met the author, I need to go to the book's website and read Monisha Rajesh's blog.

Another highlight of my time so far was a blogger meet-up in Walsall. When I got off the train, it was easy to spot Vix and Annie who were beacons of color in a train station full of drably dressed people. First we went for a quick hot drink and exchange of gifts.

A pretty rainbow-colored butterfly necklace and packet of beads from Annie. From Vix, a green velvet coat, 70s striped jersey, and Liberty-print dress I had admired from the "suitcase of forgotten 70s fashion" seen on Vix's blog here

First stop was the vintage shop, Second to None. As soon as I entered the door my eyes were immediately drawn to the back of the store. Could it be? Yes, it was. A Marks & Spencer velvet skirt in a faux patchwork print.

Kelly of Grunge Queen has the matching jacket and Vix has this same skirt.

Not even waiting to go upstairs to the changing room I tried it on under my dress.

Vix attacking the rails with gusto. Annie bought this wonderfully slinky snakeskin-print maxi that looked amazing on her.Annie bought the most and Vix did quite well. I only bought the skirt and a blouse, but was quite happy with my finds.

With a medieval heraldic horse print, there was no way I could pass up this Chelsea Girl blouse.

Not bad at 50p each.We made the rounds of the chairty shops where I purchased four pairs of ribbed tights.

Lovely, fluffy chips all around.A Walsall blogger meet-up tradition is a trip to Weatherspoons where I witnessed the "Vix effect" of all eyes in the pub riveted by her. Ensconsed in a cozy corner, we spent several hours chatting and gorging on chips. Then, I caught the train from Walsall to Birmingham with Annie, then back to London.

Whew! Now after this monster post, I'm off to read Vix's account of the day.

Linking up to Patti's Visible Monday and Judith's Hat Attack.

Thursday
Jun272013

Blogging pals' big day out

For my last full day in London, I offered to take Jennie to lunch and then to a ‘secret location’ that I thought she would enjoy.

Figuring out how to get to the 'secret' location. Lunch was to be at bizarre café whose décor is more fitting for a goth/new age/horror film-inspired art installation than an eating establishment. But, it wasn’t open. I learned later that the woman who runs it was just late  that day—so, hopefully, we can go another time (although I don't have high hopes for it surviving much longer) After a sandwich elsewhere, we got on the train to Rotherhithe to the Sands Film Studio.

Last week, my boyfriend had been to a silent film screening at the Sands Film Studio, a film production company that also offers costume and set production and hire services. Recent projects have included costumes for the films ‘Les Misérables’ and Spielberg’s ‘Lincoln.’ You can get a good sense of the place from this narrated slideshow

When A. saw the stacks of fashion magazines, costumes on display, and the library at the Sands, he knew I’d want to visit. The Studio houses the Rotherhithe Picture Research Library, a free resource for stage and film set and costume designers.

So, last week A. and I poked around the Research Library for a bit and this was the ‘secret location’ I whisked Jennie to.

Interior, stacks of fashion magazines, and one of the picture catalogs. I chose 'Costume' as the first index to dive into.Near the entrance there are large, hand-written indices of the picture catalogs that fill the shelves. Categories include furnishings, interiors, architecture, transportation, costumes, and many more.

These large scrapbooks have an image glued to each page. Each is dated, but unfortunately, the source is not always provided.

Dated '1972.'I remember this look from the early 1970s very well: smock top, rolled-up straight-leg jeans, and clogs or boots. Some images from the 1969-1972 costume picture catalogs.

We admired the exquisite embroidery on view.

Embroidered doublets, waistcoats and accessories produced at the Sands Studio and used in various films and stage productionsIn the corner of the library is a little embroidery workshop.View from the exterior of a second-floor window. The Studio has occupied a Grade II-listed former granary since 1975. Jennie and I stayed glued to our seats pouring through vintage magazines well after closing time (no one bothered to tell us to leave). We came away with tons of ideas for projects (I really want to paint a shirt with a rainbow like Julie Driscoll's above). Now if we only had tons of time!

We then popped around to the church and graveyard next door for a little photo shoot. Jennie got all goth in the graveyard and suggested the contrast of the bright blue door for me. The fabulous flouncy, lacy blouse I'm wearing was a gift from Jennie when I went to her house last week.

Frilly lace blouse, gift from Jennie. Patchwork wrap skirt, purchased at a fair-trade bazaar years ago. 1950s reversible man’s waistcoat, purchased by my brother in the 1970s. Fleur boots, purchased at Vegetarian Shoes. 1970s bag, purchased at the Rock and Roll Yard Sale, Somerville.

I'm looking forward to hanging out with Jennie on my next trip to the UK. And should either of us win the lottery we have plans to open a vegan café/bakery with a vintage threads boutique next door. We'll live nearby in a big Victorian townhouse our partners and lots of dogs and cats. And we'll invite all of our bloggers friends to come by for a visit when they're in London.

On Tuesday, British Airways gave me an upgrade on my flight home. When I asked the man at the gate why, he said it was my lucky day and that I should play the lottery when I got home. I arrived home in Boston at night and went straight home. Hoping that my luck would continue, I played the lottery the following day but, alas, didn't win. So, Jennie and my plan will have to wait.

You can read Jennie’s account of our day on her Frocktasia blog here.

The good quality photos in this post are thanks to Jennie.

Sunday
Jun162013

New friend, new frock

Vintage hat from Frocktasia. Calico scarf, thrifted, Goodwill. 1970s MMT dress from Frocktasia. Indian glass and brass necklace from Frocktasia. Acrylic bangles purchased in India. 1970s vinyl bag purchased on Etsy. Tights, retail. Clogs thrifted and painted by meThe highlight of the past week was an afternoon spent with Jennie at her cozy home. Her kind hospitality and warmth (and that of her lovely husband, too) made me feel right at home. Before I even left her kitchen--with its Indian wall-hanging, brightly painted walls, and retro canisters on every counter--I felt like I could move right in.

Jennie trades vintage clothing and accessories as Frocktasia and has an incredible eye for finding unusual pieces. Once I entered her Frocktasia stockroom, I was in awe. So many things to look at, so many gorgeous frocks and beautiful textiles and jewelry. In addition to knowing her vintage and being a gifted stylist, Jennie is also an inventive designer and I got to see some of her hand-made creations. You can see a selection of her wares here.

As other bloggers have experienced, there is something almost magical that happens at blogger meetups. You can talk your head off with someone you’ve only just met in person.

Not only did I have a blast with our tea-and-muffin-fueled chatting and rummaging, I went home with several new acquisitions. I have been searching for a wide-brimmed hat to wear with 1970s clothes and was pleased that Jennie had one in black that fit my small head.

And look at this 1970s dress from Sweden!

Manufactured by Malmö Mekaniska Tricotfabriksaktiebolag (1892-1976) and designed by Elisabeth Ladderup, it is a comfy cotton knit adorned with fantastical paisley-birds.

I also bought this Indian red glass and brass bead necklace. And, just when I thought I couldn’t be more happy with all my goodies, Jennie presented me with this obi-like belt/sash that she designed and made. I adore the bright red mixed with the black and white print and can’t wait to create an outfit with it.

Since I’ve been steeped in silent and classic films during my time here, I thought I’d include this “film noir” shot. I love this dress so much, I’ve worn it out 3 days straight. Here I've just left the flat to meet a friend from back home, who's in London for a couple weeks. We have known each other for nearly 30 years and she immediately exclaimed that this dress looked like it was made for me. How fitting!

I'll be linking up with Not Dead Yet Style's Visible Monday.

Wednesday
May292013

Liberty's re-visited

Back in the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s, I visited London several times a year, mostly for my job. For the first few years, I didn’t really know anyone in the city and, in my free time, spent hours and hours just walking around, visiting museums, bookstores, tearooms, and vegetarian cafes.

Liberty & Co. was always on my list. I could while away hours in there, looking at fabrics, rugs, Indian furniture, Arts & Crafts decorative arts, and books. There was a cafeteria-style tearoom on the basement level where learned to take milk in my tea and discovered millionaire’s shortbread (before I became vegan). I couldn’t afford much at Liberty’s, but the dollar was strong enough back then that I was able to buy some of their signature-print items as gifts.

I've popped into Liberty's in recent years and have seen many changes since I used to haunt its floors decades ago. The bookshop is gone, the lower level tearoom is gone, and there’s pretty much nothing in the store that I can afford these days. I decided to spend a little more time there today, on the 3rd and 4th floors which house fabric and ethnic and Arts & Crafts furnishings.

I love that there is still a department that sells ribbon, buttons, and sewing notions in addition to its famous printed fabrics.

The annual Arts & Crafts exhibition was on and prices have risen since the days when I used to source furniture, metalwork and ceramics from this period for a museum.

I own a couple ceramic tiles like those above. They were designed by J. Moyr Smith and depict scenes from Shakespeare’s plays. My U.K. trips provided opportunities to add to my collection of Victorian tiles, however I rarely paid more than $5 and never more than $15-20. These at Liberty were priced at £125 each.

You can view more pieces in the exhibition here.

Long-sleeve t-shirt, thrifted, Goodwill. 1960s woven belt, thrifted, Goodwill. Cotton patchwork wrap skirt sold by a non-profit that trained former sex workers to sew, bought at a fair trade bazaar ages ago for $15. Necklace made by my mother. Bangles from India. Clogs painted by me, thrifted, Goodwill. By coincidence I was wearing a belt and skirt that looked right at home in Liberty’s rugs and carpet department!

* I believe the name is just "Liberty London" now, but since I'm stuck in the 19th century, I still think of it as "Liberty & Co."

Tuesday
May282013

Let the sun shine

The weather gods that rule this country are a fickle lot. They were gracious enough to allow the sun to come out over the bank holiday weekend. But, lest anyone get spoiled, it’s gray and rainy once again.

Denim jacket, H & M, purchased new in the mid-1990s. Cotton and metallic thread scarf, purchased in India. 1970s D.L. Barron maxi dress, Mr. Bird’s Flea Market, Birmingham, UK. Vintage Pakistani velvet and applique bag, thrifted, Boomerang. Thrifted Dansko sandals painted by me, Goodwill. Socks with striped toes, thrifted, Goodwill. But, I thank them for the weekend respite. On Saturday, A. and I went to the Can’t Buy Me Love Market at The Bugaloo in Highgate. We had visited this market before, maybe a year or so ago. A. liked this market as it’s in a pub and one vendor was selling vegan cake. Beer and cake—he was happy. Vintage clothes—I was happy.

I finally wore the D. L. Barron floral maxi dress that I bought on my shopping expedition in Birmingham last year with Vix and Annie. The sandals were thrifted brown Danskos that I painted silver.

I met Jennie of Frocktasia, whose blog incites envy – for the stunning photography as well as the gorgeous frocks. Even before I recognized her, my eyes were drawn to her dress, a vibrant mod number with bands of vaguely Celtic designs. Her stall had clothes at crazy-low prices and adorable little bundles of fabric that I was drooling over.

I was thrilled when she gifted me with one little bundle. Once home and unwrapped I saw that it was a trippy foliage and floral print with a 1920s vibe in some sections. I can’t wait to make a maxi skirt out of it.

I also met Leslie, the dynamo who runs The Dandy Lion Market and chatted about shared interests (like me, I imagine she’s someone who can’t imagine ever being bored).

On Sunday, A. and I went to the Columbia Road Market to buy flowering plants for his window box, then home to clean, clean, clean. Monday morning there was more cleaning to be done. In the afternoon, I traipsed about the city, enjoying the weather. Feeling ‘vaguely medieval,’ I wore my trusty gray-green tunic with green tights. The only problem was deciding on accessories.

Shell and silver bangle purchased in India. Silver and hematite bead necklace purchased in Turkey. Bronze moon-faced pendant purchased in the 1970s. Carnelian drop earrings purchased at a yard sale. Various silver rings. First I pulled out all my ‘vaguely medieval’ jewelry. 

Do I wear it with the Indian silk scarf (that I also bought in Birmingham) as a belt and my Vegetarian Shoes red Fleur boots?

My vintage polyester green jacket (that has made numerous appearances on this blog), 1960s woven belt, and thrifted clogs (painted by me)?

The constant was the applique vinyl bag, purchased on Etsy, that I spent hours researching.

In the end, I went for the green jacket, wearing the scarf at my neck, a thrifted mod vinyl green, white and blue belt, and the green clogs.

Not a very exciting weekend. The sun being out was excitement enough!

I hope y’all had great weekends.

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!

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).

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!

Friday
Nov022012

Happy Birthday, A.

Yesterday was A.’s birthday. I made a cake.

Although it was a recipe I had made several times before (here,  but veganized by using almond milk and vegan margarine), baking with different ingredients and different equipment meant that the birthday cake was more like a large birthday cookie. No matter, it still tasted pretty good.

Instead of adding garam masala with the cocoa, I just used some cinnamon and cayenne pepper. I stayed with the orange vanilla icing with a garnish of toasted coconut.

We went to dinner at Carnavale, a Mediterranean vegetarian restaurant nearby. We shared our starters: ‘Quinoa, Wild Mushroom, Spinach and Chilli Cakes with Apricot and Ginger Chutney’ and ‘Young Artichokes stuffed with Walnuts, Lemon and Parsley on a bed of Caramelised Red Onions’ which were both outstanding but my photos didn’t make them look very good.

Phyllo Purse stuffed with Rosemary and Wild Mushrooms served with Pumpkin, Leek, Cannelini Beans and Basil Casserole topped with Pumpkin Seeds. The entrée was somewhat bland, but looks good in a photo. 

Even though we had just had cake at tea-time, we got dessert – ‘Chocolate Roulade, filled with Raspberries, Earl Grey Truffles and Vanilla Soya Cream.’ It looks rather unappetizing here, but it was delicious. Really.

At Carnevale.

ISDA & Co. gray velour dress, thrifted. 1970s waistcoat (which has a matching
dress to be shown in a later post). Antique Indian and stone pendant strung
on a cord (had as long as I can remember). Bangles from India. Purple tights, |
Sainsbury’s. Shoes thrifted and painted by me.

I know that the blogging platform I use is not the most user-friendly. So, I’m about to embark on the daunting task of transferring my blog to Blogger. This blog was originally on Blogger and, in 2006, I became dissatisfied with its limited customization abilities and abandoned it. Which means, luckily, I still have the Joyatri Blogspot URL. But, I need to figure out how to transfer 7 years of content without losing it all as well as transfer my domain name. After that, there will be a lot of re-configuring, re-doing tags, and fixing links. So, please bear with me, and, hopefully, the result will be a blog that is easier to find, follow, navigate, and comment on.

Wednesday
Oct242012

Silence of the films

The London Film Festival has just been on and A. and I saw two films, Alfred Hitchcock’s last silent film, The Manxmen (1929), and a newly restored version of the 1923 Hollywood silent production, The Spanish Dancer. Both films were accompanied by live music which adds a certain extra thrill to viewing a film.

Ad with still from The ManxmenOf course, without sound, facial expressions are critical for silent film acting so I spent a lot of time studying 1920s make-up and hairstyles during the film. So forgive me if I start painting a cupid’s bow for lips and very long thin lines for eyebrows.

Pola Negri starred in The Spanish Dancer as a feisty and clever gypsy girl who wins the heart and saves the life of an impoverished nobleman. After seeing this wonderful costume drama/comedy, I may also start wearing peasant blouses, head scarves and dangling earrings. (Oh, that's right, I already do).

1970s beret, purchased new in the 1970s. Scarf with traditional Rabari embroidery, purchased in India. Red top, thrifted at Goodwill, $4.99. South American patchwork wrap skirt purchased new from a non-profit organization. Vegetarian Shoes boots, purchased new. Bag, purchased new in the 1990s, recently painted by me and to be featured in a future post.In my movie-going outfit (you can tell by the beret) at the BFI Southbank.

This weekend I’ll be traveling to Wolverhampton to attend the West Midlands Vegan Festival and meet up with the fabulous Vix. I’m so looking forward to meeting her!

Miracle of miracles! The sun is out for the first time since I've been in the U.K. Must get outside now!