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 Vix (5)

Tuesday
Dec222015

Birthday tripping

A couple weeks ago my boyfriend and I took a trip to Wales. High time, as the last time I’d been to Wales was to catch a ferry to Ireland in 1982. We visited Cardiff Castle.

The ornate interiors are the work of William Burges (1827-1881. Low lighting meant lousy photos, so I’ve just shown some details. Unfortunately, the tour guide rushed us from room to room so there wasn’t time to take in all the decoration in each room (I try to avoid guided tours as I prefer looking to listening and can’t do both at the same time).

The tunnels in the walls of the castle served as air raid shelters during the Second World War. Poster in the reconstructed kitchen area reads “Dr. Carrot, the children’s best friend.” And Potato Pete says, “I make a good soup.”

We enjoyed our spicy curry and vegan barfi at Atma.

Dinner was at Anna-Loka, where we admired the giant carved sheet rock image of Krishna.
The dense chocolate terrine topped with berry compote was a highlight of the meal.
The collections at the National Museum Cardiff were pretty impressive. It has an extensive collection of works by Augustus Johns.
And several Pre-Raphaelite paintings.
My birthday was celebrated with a yummy vegan high tea at Waterloo Tea. In Cardiff there was actually a choice of 3 tearooms for a high tea--more than in London!

I contemplated having my hair done by cats.

In Cardiff, I had the great pleasure of meeting crafty, cat-loving, book-reading, yoga-teaching, vegan food-cooking museum educator and blogger Sian and her “bookshop person” husband Bert (who may have time-traveled from the 1970s). 

We then stayed with friends on the coast. The rest of the weekend consisted of invigorating walks in the driving rain through luscious landscapes towards the sea and through seaside towns, hearty meals, lots of tea and relaxing in front of the fire with two small dogs.

Seeing the Augustus Johns collection was fortuitous as he featured in a book I was reading on this trip, The Rare and the Beautiful: The Lives of the Garmans. It was in the free book swap area of the car park of my boyfriend’s block of flats, along with these other books that I have yet to read. In the early 20th century, the beautiful, bohemian Garman sisters (whose roots were in Vix’s Walsall. She's blogged about the book) were living lives so full of art, music, travel, and lovers that I found it hard to keep track of who was living where and sleeping with whom.

I've started reading Elizabeth Taylor's A Wreath of Roses. According to the preface, Taylor once commented, "I also very much like reading books in which practically nothing happens." This could be said of the books she's authored, which I enjoy for the small details of daily life and nuances of relationships they describe.

A Taste of Honey by Shelagh Delaney is the screenplay. I loved the film with Rita Tushingham.

Can anyone recommend any of the other books?

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.

Wednesday
Oct162013

An officer and a gentleman and a brat

I had a little visitor for the past couple weeks.

Tigro, the brat cat, stayed with me while his dad (my friend Chris) was away. He's appeared on this blog several times as I'm his favorite baby-sitter.

Why “brat cat”? As much as he can be a sweetheart during the day and evening, it's at 4am that he turns into a complete brat. He has visited before and would wake me up at 6am, but this visit it was 4am. Every night, at 4am, he'd sit 3 inches from my head and hit me in the face every few minutes. I never figured out what he wanted. Getting up and feeding him made no difference. He'd have a nibble of his food, then once I was back in bed, he'd resume hitting me in the face.

I only picked up The Catalogue of Catalogues because it was 50 cents. By Maria Elena de la Inglesia, it was published in 1972 as a compendium of mail-order catalogues from around the world, from England to Ethiopia and Malta to Malaysia. It was probably out-of-date within 6 months of the publication date. I picked it up as I thought it might be useful in identifying vintage items. Once I had a thorough look-through, I found that the only entries of interest are the ones below.

Cleo Munster Cloak in navy blue, maroon, green, purple or black wool. $86.18.


Cleo, 3 Molesworth Street, Dublin, Ireland Color leaflet. 25 cents. Prices in $.
Cleo sells flamboyant clothes based on traditional Irish styles to boutiques in America and also by mail. Aran knitting appears in all sorts of colors and shapes—as ponchos, full-length hostess skirts, knickerbockers, trouser suits and even as bedspreads. Bright crochet patterns and handwoven fabrics are used for skirts, vests, capes, hats and bags. And for evening wear there are colorful new versions of tinker's shawls, and the full length sixteenth-century hooded Munster cloak which used to be worn in Southern Ireland. Most of the prices are under $25.

 

Cleo, which has been in business since 1936, still exists.

Way in Dodo cushion covers. The wooden candlesticks are made by Aarikka of Finland.

Way in Dodo, Harrod's Knightsbridge, London W1, England, Catalogue, 25 cents
Top pop for the home by Dodo Designs, which produces a witty, inexpensive line of things in '20s-'30s designs and good, strong colors. Trays, tea canisters, signs, posters, alarm clocks, plastered with Union Jacks and jokey scenes. The best are cushions with boldly designed faces of '20s film stars or gangsters, or a picture of Britannia with the suggestive message “England Expects Every Man to Do His Duty.” There are also sets of three cushions which, when put together, make a fat-thighed lady in purple-and-red corset and boots, or a mustachioed, tattooed strong man. Dishtowels and aprons in the same vein; one dishtowel shows a vamp with penciled eyebrows looking invitingly over her shoulder saying, “Honey, we're all washing up.”

I really like the sun face cushion and I know I have a little faux-basket tin by Dodo Designs somewhere. I'm guessing their 'olde time' tins are fairly common finds in charity shops in the U.K.

The entry of most interest is this one.

Country Cousins, 17” square “Officers and Gentlemen” cusion, $4.50. 13” square “Train” (or “Ship” or “Rocking Horse”) cushion in red and pink, $4.50. 6 1/2” mouse with removable red cloak and blue apron, $3. Prices include surface postage.

Country Cousins, Gorse Croft, Ranmoor Lane, Hathersage, via Sheffield S30 1BW, England
Price list and fabric samples, 45 cents

Mrs. Muriel Brown designs most of Country Cousin's toys, cushions, aprons and oven gloves, which are made up in gaily colored cottons by local people working at home. She says the cushions are by far the most popular with Americans and Canadians. First, the 17” square “Officers and Gentlemen” cushion with gold, scarlet, blue and black eighteenth-century soldiers printed on one side, and a solid color on the other, $4.50; then, patchwork cushions based on old English designs copied from museums: “Flower Garden” (top left) is a design used by Elizabeth Fry, who taught prisoners patchwork in Newgate Gaol before they were transported to Australia. The cushions, except for “Mosaic,” which has a mixture of jolly colors, are made in predominantly brown, pink or turquoise-blue tones, but any other colors can be made, and customers' own fabrics used. Patchwork quilts are made to order after a discussion of types and colors (single, $42), and old quilts can be restored. After the cushions, the most popular things are the toys: a furry white mouse with removable shawl and apron; stuffed kittens, rabbits; rag dolls; a pin-and-red weighted doorstop; and a red or green patterned hobby horse on a red stick with a wool mane, bell and bridle, $8.25.

You might recognize the "Officers and Gentlemen" cushion fabric as the same fabric used by Vix for her 'curtain couture' waistcoat.

I'll end with a few more pics of the brat-master.

Monday
Nov262012

Panic on the streets of Birmingham

It wasn’t panic so much as shopping revelry. I had the pleasure of meeting up with Vix again and meeting Annie for the first time to participate in an all-day vintage shopping extravaganza in Birmingham. (Warning to bloggers with long hair who meet up with Vix: a quick hello hug resulted in her spectacular jewelry becoming entangled in my hair and we spent the first few minutes in a sitcom-worthy scene that had Vix and Annie trying to extricate my head from the clutches of Indian silver baubles.)

We had a few shops on our list to visit and were pleasantly surprised by finding several vintage fairs happening in the Digbeth area on the same day.

In the dressing room at Cow, in my early 1970s By Jove of California dress When I was in Birmingham a few weeks ago, I went into the shop Cow and was disappointed at the lack of pre-1980s wares. However, a more thorough search turned up this early-1970s polyester dress with its sweet print – sort of a 1970s precursor of the 1990s ‘ditzy’ prints. It also has three fabric-coverd buttons at the neckline, a detail I'm a sucker for. What is it about fabric-covered buttons that is so appealing? 

This dress has a rather fun label which I'll share later.

I know I’m not alone in being a vintage clothing label geek.  So, I'm throwing out a ‘label love’ invite. If you’re a blogger, feature one to three of your favorite vintage clothing labels in a post next week, send me the link to your post by Dec. 8, and I’ll include your label photos and a link to your post in a ‘label love round-up' post.

Here's the rest of my haul:

Within an hour of arriving in Birmingham I had found this ‘mad leprechaun’ hat with its jaunty, slightly squished tapered crown and groovy metal chain.

Late 1960s hat by Jacoll.

1970s D.L. Barron floral pattern maxi. 1970s Frank Usher polyester batik print dress with a cheongsam collar. 70s finds: Jaeger wool ‘secretary’ dress. Two scarves. Woman’s Realm pattern with a great illustration. Both Vix and Annie did well and were laden down with packages by the end of the day.

Just before I headed for the train, Vix presented me with some treasures. Knowing of my collection of vintage Pakistani bags, she gave me two small versions and a Tyrolean-type belt with star-like ornaments. Thanks, Vix!

You can read Vix’s account of the day here.

I’ve set up a Facebook page in case you want to 'like' my page and follow me there. Plus, it's a more convenient way to share interesting tidbits quickly. 

Linking to Faith, Hope and Charity Shopping's Ta-Dah! Tuesday.

Tuesday
Oct302012

Vix, Vegans, and Victorian Paintings

This past weekend was my first-ever blogger meet-up, I descended on Walsall to hang out with Vix of Vintage Vixen. This was actually my second visit to Walsall, the first was about 22 years ago, when I stayed with friends of a friend. Back then my mission was the study of Victorian ceramic tiles. This time it was vintage and charity shopping. And, of course, meeting the doyenne of vintage fashion blogs.

Vix’s experienced eye honed in on the gems at Second to None. She found a purplish-brown taffeta maxi that suited me but had a non-working zipper (photo on Vix’s blog here). Sadly, I opted not to buy it. But, then, knowing my predilection for medieval-inspired double sleeves, Vix showed me a dress that she had previously tried on.

Photo courtesy of Vix With its v-neckline, butterfly-over-bell sleeves, and purplish-blue print, this maxi dress is right up my alley. And at £14, a deal for so much fabulousness.

I haven’t been able to find anything online about the label which reads ‘Aurium, Hampstead.’ This polyester paisley number is far too big, but it is ‘my colors’ and, for £7.50, was worth purchasing just for the fabric. Before hitting Second to None, we blasted through the famous charity shops of Walsall.

1970s burlap and twine bag with oversized burnished wood button, St. Michael ‘Made in Italy’ label, £2.95. Embroidery thread in ‘my colors’ for tszujing bag, 20p each. Both Walsall Hospice. Purple tagua nut ring (on orange and red skeins), 99p BHF. Back at Vix’s for tea and house tour, to see where the blogging and sewing magic happen, view the legendary Wall of Misery and the much-admired patchwork curtains, drool over frocks and shoes, and more chatting. As many of you know, Vix is wise, warm, and so gosh-darn sweet!

Vix gave me this colorful Indian embroidery. She called it a waistcoat, but I‘m thinking this will be a new bag once I get back home and at the sewing machine.

The next day A. and I attended the West Midlands Vegan Festival. At the last minute, A. agreed to help out at the Vegetarian Guides table. (New London guide out next month!)

The Festival was so crowded you could barely move. I bought some Beauty Without Cruelty brand eye make-up from Honesty cosmetics.

I also tried on Freerangers vegan footwear and am deciding whether to order these 1940s-inspired sandals in ‘claret’ or ‘aubergine.’

Before the Vegan Festival, I visited a couple charity shops in Wolverhampton and found this book on ‘Street Style’ for £1.50. It’s full of great images of mods, rockers, hippies, new romantics, and other 'style tribes.'

The next day we went to Birmingham. Unfortunately all the vintage clothing shops were closed.

We had a nice lunch at The Warehouse Café and made some purchases at the One Earth Shop.

Dessert was black olive and orange cake with vanilla soya ice cream and an orange and cherry sauce.

It started to rain so we took refuge in the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, where we spent hours looking at the decorative arts. We cut short our visit to those galleries in order to see the exhibition, Love and Death: Victorian Paintings from the Tate.

J. W. Waterhouse’s The Lady of Shalott from 1888, was my all-time favorite work of art when I was in college.Sorry, I didn’t make it clear to A. that I was supposed to be the subject of the photo and not the giant poster of Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s Proserpine behind me. We didn’t see the Pre-Raphaelite paintings, the Staffordshire hoard, or the William De Morgan tiles, so another trip to Birmingham is to be planned!

Thank you to everyone who complimented my coat, smile, stripey trousers and all the other nice things you said on Vix’s account of our meeting!