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 Renaissance (4)


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.


Picture not perfect

How I envy bloggers with outdoor spaces and live-in photographers. I’m about to call it quits on outfit shots until the summer.

How not to take photos:

  • Wait for a day when the weather is slightly cloudy. Don’t even think about taking photos if it’s sunny or overcast.
  • Wait until between 12:37pm and 2:17pm when the light comes through living room window.
  • Move couch away from wall. (First move end table away from couch.)
  • Set up ironing board in center of living room. Place camera on table-top tripod. Place tripod on ironing board. Place a small book under one leg of tripod seeing as how tripod is broken and won’t hold camera exactly vertical.
  • Set self-timer and stand near bureau, maybe in front of it, Or next to it. Repeat 10 times.
  • Download images onto computer. Delete most. Choose least horrible one and adjust size, orientation, lighting, and color. Rename and save.

But I really wanted to show off the lovely 1970s maxi dress that A. got me for Christmas.

He readily admits that he is able to buy me things I actually like due to the “power of Etsy” and the fact that all my ‘favorited’ items are public.

1970s Vicky Vaughn Junior maxi dress, present from my boyfriend. Necklace, present from my mother. Bangles from India. The sleeves are a bit short, but all the bettter for wearing bangles. I love the wine color and the bit of tapestry on the bodice and the back. And, of course, the full sleeves.

I might as well tell you about my co-star, the painted chest of drawers. It's another one of my trash finds.

About 20 years ago, a friend found it on the street outside a store that had gone out of business. It's metal and the drawers are each divided into 6 compartments. It was all scratched up and didn't have a top. I painted it the same color that my woodwork used to be, sort of a light 'raisin' (it looks a bit washed out in the photos in this post). I salvaged a nice piece of birch from the trash where I worked at the time and painted it silver and affixed it to the chest. And painted the drawer handles silver. The interior is quite cavernous and it has served me well.

Label from my dress.

If anyone has a better way to take photos, please let me know.

Linking up with Lakota's Ta-Dah! Tuesday.

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Confessions of an Art History Nerd: Rogier Van Der Weyden

Two recent thrift stores finds helped me concoct a look vaguely inspired by one of my favorite Northern Renaissance artists, Rogier Van Der Weyden.

Rogier van der Weyden (Flemish, c. 1400-1464), Mary Magdalene, Detail from Braque Family Triptych c. 1450

Funhouse NYC stretch ultra suede dress, $6.99, Goodwill; One World long-sleeve T-shirt, $4.99, Goodwill; tights from Cambridge Clogs; purple paratrooper boots from Vegetarian Shoes, Brighton, UK; my trusty moon face pendant purchased in the 1970s; bangles from India.

Guess I should have made the pattern in my tights line up. Oh well.

One World long-sleeve T-shirt as above; short-sleeve T-shirt, Goodwill, Cambridge, $4.99; 1970s jeans free from a clothing swap. And it works well for my uniform (see here) of short-sleeve top over long-sleeve top.

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Confessions of an Art History Nerd: Vittorio Carpaccio

I often draw inspiration from historical styles of dress as shown in paintings. As much as I love the styles of the 1960s and 70s, I love clothing styles and art work of Art Nouveau, Pre-Raphaelite, Renaissance and Medieval  periods as well.

I have a graduate degree in art history and was a museum curator for a decade and a half. Ever since high school, I have paid attention to clothing depicted in paintings (In graduate school, I entertained the idea of creating a line of hats and shoes based on Northern Renaissance paintings).

Whenever I go to a museum, I take a little notebook and make sketches and notes of dress styles/color combinations I might want to emulate. Spread over dozens of notebooks, it seemed like a good idea to record those notes here in order to have them all in one place. I’m a nerd, I know.

Last spring, in Venice, I spent hours poring over two series of painting– Miracles of the True Cross and Stories from the Life of St. Ursula in the Gallerie dell’Accademia. My previous post showing my Marks & Spencer vertical-stripe leggings reminded me that I had tried to find leggings with geometric designs or Renaissance patterns after that trip. Although I like wild patterns, they are usually tempered by being in earth or dark tones (like the blue, olive, brown stripes of the M & S leggings).

Detail of The Healing of a Possessed Man, 1494, Miracles of the True Cross, by Vittorio Carpaccio (c. 1465-1525/1526), Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice.

Check out the patterned hose of the gondolier in the front left.

Detail of Arrival of the English Ambassadors, 1495-1500, Stories from the Life of St. Ursula, Vittorio Carpaccio (c. 1465-1525/26), Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice.

The red coat with black velvet (?) collar and cuffs is quite fetching as are the tri-colored hose of the figure on the left. (Hey, I have those green boots worn by the man in the center!)

(After seeing so many images of men in close-fitting leggings, I wondered how they were constructed back then. The website, Dressing a Venetian Nobleman in 1500, explains how.)

The closest I’ve found to the Venetian hose from 1500 are these tights by birdapparel on Etsy.

OK, not Renaissance inspired, but I quite like these brown and white ikat print leggings by PeekoApparel on Etsy.

I might just experiment with thrift store leggings and sew two different-colored legs together to get this look.


Photo: iMAXTREE, Bernhard Wilhelm, 2008 Menswear Collection.

These are ugly color combinations, but I see that this designer was inspired by the look as well.