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 vintage fashion (18)

Wednesday
Feb012012

Wrap-up of time in London, Part 2

In my last week in London, I made it to the only charity shop in which I’ve actually found interesting clothes at reasonably inexpensive prices (for London). I’m not saying which one it is.

Found this Desigual long-sleeve top. I was attracted to the muted color and, at first glance, the pattern reminded me of tracery of medieval stained glass. On closer inspection, it is actually graffiti, stars, cars and the words, “slow down.” Shows you where my head's at. I plan to medievalize it anyway by pairing it with my puffy sleeved, scoop-necked heathery brown t-shirt (purchased at TRAID in Camden Town last year).

I also found an actual vintage shirt. This lovely homemade 1970s blouse has a pattern that has a sort flowy Art Nouveau pattern with a touch of Egyptian-style Deco in the flower frond motifs.

I had to fit in lunch at Food for Thought, a veggie restaurant in Covent Garden that’s been around since 1974. I ate here all the time during my frequent visits to London in the 1980s and 90s.

Also had to say hello to some of my favorite artworks at the Victoria & Albert Museum, including this late 16th-early 17th-century sculpture of Nandi. He’s got such a sweet face and I love his jewelry.

My last evening in London, my Man told me to dress up as were going somewhere nice for dinner. I didn’t really have dressy clothes with me (and I don’t really own them anymore), so I cobbled together this outfit – a 1980s purple burnout velour dress (charity shop in Cambridge), red tights (on sale at Sainsbury’s), early 1990s Anna Sui red shimmery jacket (Filene’s Basement), my recently purchased blue hat, and the necklace I got for my birthday. (Sorry for bad photo).

I wanted to check out a new vegan café under the train tracks in London Fields so I took my laptop and set up shop that afternoon at Happy Kitchen. Before I gave my order to the young woman behind the counter, she said, “I love what you’re wearing!” Definitely made me feel good about my wardrobe choice for that evening. And the tea and ginger-infused flapjack also made me feel good.

Dinner was at Benares, an upscale Indian restaurant in Mayfair, that had yummy cocktails and mocktails. The clientele wasn’t that dressed up, so I was just fine. Food was very good, but for the price, my Man and I could have eaten dinner for a week at our favorite neighborhood dosa joint.

Bye-Bye London. See you soon.

Monday
Jan302012

Wrap-up of time in London, Part I

My last weeks in London went by in a whirlwind. Highlights were:

Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair at Spitalfields Market. No real bargains, but, yes, it was more affordable than what I had previously seen in London.

I got a lovely blue hat.

And, a flower barrette.

Went for an 8-mile walk in Folkestone, along these cliffs. Thankfully, it was a gorgeous day. I don’t think I’d seen the sky this blue in weeks.

In walking gear. The previous week I finally found comfy vegan walking boots, made by Merrell. Best of all, they were on sale. And the striped long sleeved t-shirt I got at the London Vintage Kilo sale was the perfect shirt under my lined weatherproof jacket.

More highlights to follow.

Saturday
Jan212012

Vintage Kilo Sale, London

I went to the Vintage Kilo sale in London several weekends ago. I was curious to see how it compared with Dollar-a-Pound in Cambridge, MA, where I was a frequent visitor in the 1980s. There are many differences that make the Vintage Kilo sale nowhere as much fun as the Cambridge event. At the London event, clothing was 15 pounds per kilo. (roughly $11 a pound), and all the clothes were displayed hanging on racks and accessories were on tables. I wasn’t that impressed with the offerings. The only true vintage items I saw were stained and ripped.

Many still had their charity shop tags on them (like I want to buy stuff that doesn’t sell at a charity shop.) This 70s dress I'm examining had a great print, but was in rough shape.

At Dollar-A-Pound, clothing and other textiles were literally $1 for a pound. One day a week, I lined up with all the other insane bargain hunters at 6am. Once the doors opened, each rabid shopper ran inside, grabbing large plastic trash bags on offer,  to where several  850-pound bales of clothing and textiles had just been  cut open. You grabbed whatever looked interesting and threw it into the bag.  Within minutes, we were all walking on top of textiles piled 2 feet deep.  After a couple hours, each person retreated to some corner and sorted through their bags.  I found incredible vintage treasures – Pucci dresses, Yves St. Laurent sweaters, 1950s barkcloth curtains, and more. Those were the days.

The current incarnation of Dollar-A-Pound  is called By the Pound since the price has gone up to a whopping $1.50 a pound. Now, it’s every day of the week, with the price still $1 on Fridays. Here are some photos and a little history on Dollar-A-Pound.  I don’t know if anything good can be found nowadays. I’ll have to give it a try again.

I bought five items, slightly more than a kilo, but I was only charged 15 pounds. I'm not thrilled with my finds, but didn't want to leave empty-handed. My take included:

Too big, but I really like the teal and lilac paisley-like pattern on the dark purple background. Plus there are sparkly designs printed on it to give it a little Bollywood touch. The slit neckline appears to have been sewn closed. I’ll figure a way to resize it. By Ara Modell, W. Germany. I’m guessing 1980s.

1970s polyester dress with a cartoon-ish blue, pink, green and white floral print. Also too big, plus the elasticized bodice and cuffs have lost their stretch. I doubt I’ll re-do the elastic, so I’ll probably cut it up to make a skirt. Another German dress by VEB Jugendmode Oranienburg.

Polyester red shirtdress, which My Man declared "hideous." Not sure what I’ll do with this.

Modern brown and white striped, long-sleeved t-shirt.   I’ve never worn horizontal striped tops, but will mix it with prints for a 70s feel.

After all that bargain hunting, it was time for tea and cake.

Tuesday
Dec272011

In quest of a pair of sneakers, I braved the throngs of post-holiday shoppers at the Westfield Stratford City mall today. I also picked up a pair of gray boots  that were on sale. It is so hard to find vegan shoes or boots, I've taken the tactic of buying them when I find ones that I like, that fit and that I can afford whenever I find them. (Plus, it seems to be the case that for every 4 pairs of shoes I buy, only one ends up being comfortable enough to wear with any regularity).

The best thing about the mall was this video celebrating 100 years of style in East London that was made for its opening. The video made the rounds on the internet a few months back, but I don't tire of watching it. I only wish that it was a bit longer so I could really see the clothes.

 

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