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 medieval (10)

Thursday
Nov072013

Nothing's changed

With the constant clutter in my apartment making it impossible to take photos without moving furniture, I tried improvising a backdrop to put in front of the furniture. Not sure if it saves me any work/time taking outfit pics...

I found this wonderful 1970s maroon polyester double-knit cape with its own scarf at Boomerang last week. At 20 bucks, it was more than I usually pay for clothes. But it's in perfect condition and I was hankering after a new cape after I realized that one I had since the early 70s had mysteriously disappeared.

Here I am in 1974 with oversized wire-rimmed aviator glasses, chipmunk cheeks, wide leather watchband, Indian cotton gauze blouse, and hip-length hair. And the blue wool cape (it had a hood!) that I'm pining over. I remember wearing it with clunky knee-high Timberland boots to traverse the snowdrifts of my college campus, and feeling like Kristin Lavransdatter. (I strongly recommend this trilogy written by Sigrid Undset in the 1920s)

1970s cape, no label, thrifted, Boomerang. Philosophy by Alberta Ferretti top, purchased new in the early 1990s, Filene's Basement. Restricted brand non-leather boots, purchased on sale. Hat and scarf from Frocktasia. Bangles purchased in India. 1960s glove,?, 1970s Pakistani bag, eBay.I bailed on Halloween last week. I had every intention of going to a party, sort of a community thing, with a friend (who wasn't that keen on going). But I called her at the last minute and said I couldn't go, “because I didn't have the right chain mail,” a reason she said she'd never heard before. I was planning to wear my chain mail tunic over a long gray dress that I made in 1976 and haven't worn since.

A couple days before the party I got the chain mail out of my storage space; all the other costume elements were accessible. A couple hours before the party, I realized that I had pulled out a length of chain mail, not the length of chain mail I had turned into a tunic, which wasn't to be found. I felt under-dressed without my chain mail and opted out of going out for Halloween.

Long dress made from sweatshirt material, made by me in 1976. Necklaces, also made by me in 1976. Belt, borrowed from a man in the 1990s and never returned. Wooden chalice and Indian bag I've had for decades. Man's shawl from India, no idea where I acquired this.Halloween at my office in 2007, with a colleague's princess pup. I know I've posted this pic before, but here's the tunic. I hope it turns up by next Halloween.

Garments that are vaguely (or not-so-vaguely) medieval, capes, and Indian shirts. My style really hasn't changed that much in 40 years. Do you find that you and your 13-year-old self dress similarly, too?

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.

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?

Sunday
Jan132013

Medieval me

Bill Cunningham’s Sunday video for The New York Times documents trends he notices on the streets of New York City. I got excited when I saw that today’s was “Legs of Manhattan: The gothic and medieval eras are casting their spells over fashion. Today's look of black leggings and abbreviated coats suggests men in the 1400s.”

Really, Bill, that’s the best you’ve got? Black tights or leggings and short coats do not a medieval look make. Granted there were two doublet-like jackets (shown in the still) that fit the bill, but the rest just did not impress.

As I’ve mentioned many times, I’m fascinated by all things medieval (and have been accused of having a medieval lifestyle based on my lack of interest in technology, electronics and many items of convenience). One of my first posts when I switched this blog to be about vintage/thrift clothing was about the tunic/legging look.

Some of my favorite fashion elements are drawn from medieval and Renaissance times: puffy sleeves, double sleeves, short dresses or tunics over leggings, colorful tights, lace-up bodices, talisman-like pendants, big silver rings, capes, cloaks, shawls, boots, anything velvet, earth tones, and the color purple.

Just looking through some of my pics (some which I’ve not posted before) of the past couple years, I came up with the following (i.e., without really trying):

 

If some of these outfits look a tiny bit costume-y, well, frankly, I wish life was more of a costume party than it is. It’s not like I go out in chain mail or anything. At least, not often.

I'm not in a New York Times video, but I'll pop into Visible Monday.

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.

Wednesday
Aug222012

Vegtoons and The Secret of Kells

I’ve heard of Kickstarter, an online funding site for all manner of creative projects, but only today did I use it to make a small contribution towards a very cool project. It’s called Vegtoons and it’s a series of light-hearted animated films promoting a plant-based diet. By now everyone knows that reducing – or, even better, eliminating – the consumption of animal products is good for the planet, your health and, especially, animals. Hopefully this animated series will get folks thinking about their food choices.

The music for the series will be by Nellie McKay, who I blogged about recently.

And it will be designed and animated by Cartoon Saloon who made 'The Secret of Kells', an animated film that tells the fictional story of the making of the 8th-century manuscript , the Book of Kells.

 Chi Rho page of the Book of KellsAs a former art historian who wrote my master’s thesis on medieval manuscripts (the marginalia of East Anglian manuscripts, to be precise), I need to track down and watch 'The Secret of Kells.' The animation incorporates all the crazy Celtic knotwork and swirly designs I love so much.

I love the design of this still from The Secret of Kells

Has anyone seen The Secret of Kells?

Thursday
Jul262012

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?

Wednesday
Feb082012

Caped crusader

My latest find at my local charity shop is this lightweight brown wool jacket with brightly colored embroidery and mirrorwork, similar to that done in Gujarat. It is fairly new by a label I’ve never heard of. I found some clothing on eBay by this company, but little else on the internet.

Wool jacket with embroidery and mirrorwork, Anni by natural, thrifted, $6.99; olive corduroy skirt, Free People, at least 10 years old; orange/red print polyester long-sleeved top, Philosophy by Alberta Ferretti, Filene’s Basement, at least 12 years old; brown studded tank top, Rampage, Filene’s Basement; really old sweater tights; Steve Madden non-leather bootsI never wore this studded tank top as a tank top, but it makes a good vest (and looks vaguely medieval as one).

Orange printed dupatta purchased in India; Rajasthani wedding bangles purchased in Jodhpur; yard sale silver ringsLoden cape purchased in Austria in 1982; tie-dye wool scarf from LadakhThe wool jacket works well under my cape. It’s warm but not too bulky. I love capes (I have another one somewhere, I think). I feel like I'm wrapped in a blanket when I wear one. But I have to use a smallish shoulder bag under it or I look like I’m smuggling something. Also, I can’t wear a bag across the body as I usually do, otherwise it’s too difficult to get into.

Sunday
Jan012012

Mary Tyler Moore meets Woodland Elf

My latest fashion obsession is pairing a top with short puffy sleeves and a scoop neckline over a top or tunic with full sleeves, preferably with both in heathery earth tones.  I wear them with vertical-stripe or velvety leggings and short boots. I’m sort of going for a medieval /elf look. I top them with a 1970s polyester double-knit  jacket in hunter green for a dash of Mary Tyler Moore.  

Accessories include a weighty moon-face pendant purchased in the 1970s, a beaded bracelet given to me today by my man, and blue and green woven belt I got at a clothing sway a few years back. Last week, a young man I had just met was admiring the moon-face pendant  and asked me where it was from. I told him that I didn’t remember as I had purchased it in the late 1970s. To which he replied, “So, it’s an antique then?” Gee, thanks.

Light olive green elastic waist tunic, purchased at TRAID, Camden, London, £4;heathery brown scoop neck, lined t-shirt, purchased at TRAID, Camden, London, £4; vertical-striped leggings purchased at Marks & Spencer in the early 1990s; 1970s hunter green polyester jacket, purchased at Goodwill charity shop, Cambridge, MA, $7.99 Steven Madden vegan lace-up boots; moon-face pendant purchased in the late 1970s; woven and canvas belt, free from clothing swap; seed bead bangle, gift from my man.


Linking this post to Visible Monday, as I'm fairly sure no one else is trying for a medieval/elf look.