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 Vegetarian Shoes (9)


A happy holiday

It seems like ages ago now, but in mid-December, A. and I spent 10 days in Lisbon, Madrid, and Barcelona.

Psychedelic interior of Juicy Jones café, BarcelonaHere are the highlights:


Left to right, top to bottom: Tiled barbershop facade (now a restaurant), Madrid. Store facade, Lisbon. Art Nouveau tiles on store facade, Barcelona. Art Nouveau tiles by Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro at the, National Tile Museum, Lisbon. 17th c. Portuguese tile panel of Bacchus in the National Tile Museum, Lisbon.Art

I finally saw much-loved works of art that I'd only ever seen pictures of: Hieronymous Bosch's The Garden of Earthly Delights, Rogier van der Weyden's The Descent from the Cross, Albrecht Dürer's Self-Portrait and Fra Angelico's The Annunciation. And I discovered new works to love at the Gulbenkian in Lisbon and the museums in Madrid.

The Sultan's Horses, Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso, 1912; The Mirror of Venus by Edward Burne-Jones, and painting for a clothing store by José de Almada Negreiros, 1913. Portrait of a Woman, Hans Baldung Grien, 1530. Richard Lindner, Thank You, 1971. 


All three cities, especially Barcelona, were extremely vegan-friendly. We ate very well.

Vegan burger plate, The Green Room, Lisbon. Lasagna, Teresa Carles Cocina Vegetariana restaurant, Barcelona. Eggplant sandwich, Gopal Maxi burger, patatas bravas at Gopal, Barcelona. Avocado sandwich and tomato bread at Juicy Jones, Barcelona.And my sweet tooth was well-satisfied in Barcelona.

Doughnut and cinnamon bun at Gopal, Barcelona. Pumpkin-walnut cake at Biocenter, Barcelona. Lujuria Vegana gateau, Barcelona. 'Sweet Kryptonite' avocado/pistachio smoothie at Juicy Jones, Barcelona. Architecture

In Barcelona, we toured the Palau de la Música Catalana, built between 1905 and 1908 by the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner (who also designed the interiors of our hotel). Every surface is covered in Art Nouveau decoration.

Palau de la Música Catalana, Barcelona Park Güell, Basilica of La Sagrada Familia, Casa Milà, (‘La Pedrera’), and Palau Güell. All by Antonio Gaudí in Barcelona.I was very impressed with all of the museums and architectural sites in Barcelona. The labels, audio-guides, overall interpretation, and contextual materials were extremely well done. Even the museum shops were filled with tempting, high-quality products.

This is a shot from a video at Casa Milà which depicted how Gaudí designed furniture, door handles and such to fit the human body. Here ghost-like figures in stripey pajamas relax on a two-seat bench.In front of the modern courtyard outside our room at Hotel España, Barcelona. Michael Kors top I've had since the 1990s. Thrifted contemporary plaid skirt. Thrifted tights.' Restricted' brand non-leather boots. Earrings and bangles purchased in India.

Outside the National Tile Museum, Lisbon. 1970s Butte Knit velvet jacket, thrifted. Contemporary plaid skirt, thrifted. Tights, thrifted. Fleur boots, Vegetarian Shoes, Brighton, UK. Fringed scarf, thrifted. 1990s DKNY nylon bag, painted by me. Tote bag I made from a thrifted batik tablecloth.Joining Not Dead Yet Style's Visible Monday get-together as I was certainly visible on my holiday in my short skirt, gold tights and red boots. In Lisbon and Madrid, women my age conservatively dressed in camel, navy, and brown scowled at my legs. Thankfully, there was no scowling in Barcelona.

I leave you with this little guy.

Feral cat at ruins of Carmo Convent, Lisbon.


Everyone jump upon the peace train

The two biggest categories of clothing in my wardrobe are 'things I've bought in India' and 'vintage 1970s'. So what do I do when MarketPlace: Handwork of India, which offers high-quality clothing made in India, asks me to collaborate by styling one of their garments on my blog? I take it through the 'way-back' machine.

First with an early 1970s, Teaser-and-the-Firecat sort of vibe.

MarketPlace Manipur Tunic DressAs anyone who's been reading my blog knows, my interest in India has focused on textiles and animal issues. I spent much of my travels there visiting and buying from artisans and connecting with animal welfare organizations. I've always been keen on supporting artisans and the preservation of traditional crafts. So, when MarketPlace contacted me, I jumped at the chance to collaborate.

MarketPlace is a non-profit, fair trade organization that has provided economic opportunities for low-income women in India since 1986. I used to get their print catalog and enjoyed reading about and seeing the faces of some of the 480 artisans whose work was represented. The artisans are organized into 14 independent cooperatives. These cooperatives create an empowered space where women can develop leadership skills and acquire the tools and confidence to advocate for social change in their communities. They have tackled a number of public health and social issues, and are more committed to keeping their daughters in school to get a better education than many of them did as girls. Please do read more about MarketPlace's mission here.

I love the combination of the ikat print with the block-printed floral print on the Manipur Tunic Dress. The floral print is embellished with hand-worked embroidery and sequins. And you'all know, I'm a sucker for fabric-covered buttons. MarketPlace Manipur Tunic Dress. Hat purchased at a street market in Toronto in the 1990s. 1960s Indian scarf. Assortment of metal pins I've had since the 1970s. Bangles purchased in India. Le Fleur boots by Vegetarian Shoes, Brighton, UK. At barely 5 ft. 3 inches tall, I often have a problem with clothes being made for someone taller. But many of MarketPlace's styles come in petite sizes, so the length of this dress is perfect.

The Manipur Tunic Dress nudged me into the mid-1970s as well.

MarketPlace Manipur Tunic Dress. Israeli Tichel scarf, purchased new. Embroidered velvet bag, gift from Vix. Churidar (pants) purchased in India. Bangles purchased in India. Clogs, thrifted and painted metallic blue by me. Just last night, after I had already taken the photo above, I was browsing some vintage Vogue magazines online and came across this.

Editorial from Vogue U.K. September 1975Linking up to Not Dead Yet Style's Visible Monday, where Patti has her MarketPlace jacket beautifully styled. Also check out the stunning MarketPlace tunic dress on Val's blog, Late Blooming Sparkle.

I was given an item of clothing by MarketPlace: Handwork of India for free, but my review is entirely my own opinion. Sponsored posts are not my thing, but I was already a fan of this organization, so am happy to lend my support.

Oh, and thanks for the book recommendations from my last post.


Guilty pleasure: polyester

For many folks, ‘polyester’ conjures up images of powder-blue leisure suits, Ban-Lon pants and the John Waters’ cult film. Or the cheap, flimsy, woven fabric that many clothes are made of nowadays. But, I like to think of the easy-care, flattering, polyester double knits that were lauded in fashion magazines of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Knit-Away, Inc. ad from Seventeen Magazine, August, 1971These thick, textured knits were available in a huge array of patterns, made possible because of new computer programmed knitting machines. And they were marketed directly to home-sewers.

I recently thrifted a pair of polyester pants with an orange, red and blue print and I’ve been wearing them a lot. Here’s a detail of the print.

OMG, in posting this, I just realized that these are crazy clown heads! Some are wearing hats and some aren’t. Please tell me you see it too?

Worn with the “jerkin” I altered recently, thermal underwear shirt, and calico scarf – all thrifted. Vegetarian Shoes Fleur boots. Rajasthani wedding bangles purchased in India.Thrited calico scarf. Yeah, it has a couple holes but I couldn't resist the pattern and colors. Rajasthani wedding bangles.Pants cuffed to show purple Vegetarian Shoes paratrooper boots. Coat purchased at Greenwich Market, UK. Scarf purchased at a yard sale.  Yesterday, this look prompted a hipster 40-something man at Whole Foods to say, “I like your colors!”

I was intrigued by the fabric care label sewn into what are obviously home-stitched pants. Being a nerd, I had to research fabric care labels.

I especially like the courteousness of the label: “Wash as often as you like by machine or hand.” The RN number is registered to Universal Knitting Mills, Inc. in Florida. Vintage clothing aficionados know that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission issued the Care Labeling Rule in 1971. According to Textiles by Norma Hollen and Jane Sadler (4th ed. 1973), the U.S. Federal Trade Commission issued rules that “require that textiles used by home sewers for apparel must be accompanied by care labels that the consumer can affix permanently to the finished product.” (p. 3) Not having seen this before, I looked at the FTC’s website and see that the current rule is that textiles for home use have to have the fabric care instructions on the end of the bolt. If anyone has clarification on when care labels for fashion fabrics were no longer required (or if they, in fact, weren’t ever required), please let me know.

I recently looked through American Fabrics magazine from the years 1968 to 1972. American Fabrics was an industry magazine that featured the latest designs accompanied by fabric swatches as well as articles on trends and technology. Here’s a sampling of the polyester double knits I covet.

Contemporary Paisley by Waumbec Mills, from American Fabrics, Spring, 1969. Heraldic Print Knit by William Heller, from American Fabrics, Fall, 1969. Persia in a Single Knit by Cohama, from American Fabrics, Summer, 1970.Maybe I'll find a "Scary Clown Head" swatch the next time I'm at the library looking at American Fabrics.

I proudly wear 'clown pants' -- and they've already proven their eye-catching qualities so I'm linking up to Not Dead Yet Style's Visible Monday. Do check out the stylish folks there.


Reporting for duty

I’ve been MIA lately, taking an llittle, unannounced break. I'm back and have a lot of catching up to do with everyone’s blogs.

Here's a tiny bit of what I've been up to.

My street. Those are cars buried under the snow on both sides fo the road.Out walking in the blizzard.

The main road at the top of my streetJean-Paul Gauthier jacket, Dirk Bikkemberg trousers, both purchased new in the early 1990s.Attended an exhibition of 1980s art at the Institute of Contemporary Art. Everything in the show seemed very familiar as the 1980s were the last time I actually paid attention to contemporary art.

I wore my early 1990s Jean-Paul Gaultier jacket with its row of snaps down the front that I always felt was like a line of ‘vestigial nipples.’

I went to an all-vegan Valentine’s Day dinner (alas without my Valentine) where my friend and I shared these two incredible cakes.

I baby-sat for Tigro. He looks all sweet and innocent here, but the little brat's nighttime routine was to hit me in the face every few hours.

I made a pair of pajama pants out of this happy print (I bought the fabric new, but it reminded me of the whimsical prints of the 1970s).

Thrifted LizWear dress, t-shirt and Willi Smith corduroys; thrifted 1970s scarf; bangles from India; Vegetarian Shoes paratrooper boots purchased new.

And altered this thrifted black velveteen dress to fit so that I could wear it as a jerkin. I also altered the thrifted purple paisley corduroys which were three sizes too big. 

I thrifted this pair of never-worn white go-go boots and these so-ugly-they're-awesome late 1960s polyester double-knit trousers. The boots are glossy vinyl, but I’m going to figure out a way to paint them as I’m not really a white go-go boot kinda girl.

Thrifted sweater dress by Fabrizio del Carlo from Goodwill; 1970s vinyl applique bag, Etsy; lac bangles from India; necklace gift from my mother, Restricted Barricade non-leather boot, purchased new on sale.

I blogged recently about how I used to buy new—but heavily discounted—  designer clothes, and still have most of them. Now, I don’t buy anything new and most of the clothing of good quality I find at thrift stores is vintage. However, this cotton/rayon sweater dress jumped out at me recently. I wasn't sure a sweater dress would be flattering on me, but I liked the wide scooped neckline (it also scoops in the back), the length of the sleeves and the fact that it skims instead of clings.

Almond Joy cheesecake at Veggie Galaxy.The fact that I took the outfit photo after returning home from dinner and the dessert above is a testament to the magical skimming qualities of this dress.

As I haven't been visible in the blogosphere for a month, I'm joining Visible Monday to get back into the swing of things.


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.


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!


These boots were made for walking

Given that it has been cold and rainy in what is supposed to be summer here in the U.K., I was able to wear my new red boots straight away -- walking for about 6-7 hours -- and they were very comfortable.

Top half too awful to show. Cotton patchwork wrap skirt sold by a non-profit that trained former sex workers to sew, bought at a fair trade bazaar ages ago, $15; purple tights from Sainsbury’s supermarket in the U.K. at a price far cheaper than I could get them in the U.S.; bag made by me.The boots first day out included a visit to the Geffrye Museum in Shoreditch.  The building was originally an almshouse in the 18th century and now houses decorative arts in period room settings. It was a nice day so we spent more time in the walled herb garden behind the museum than in the museum.

Sweet woodruff, Galium odoratumLamb's ear, Stachys byzantinaSheep and lambs rescued by Farm Sanctuary Funhouse NYC stretch ultra suede dress, $6.99, Goodwill; Cha Cha Vente shirred sleeve and waist blouse, $4.49, Goodwill; Fleur boots, Vegetarian Shoes, gift.And worn again the next day, when A. and I had dinner at the veggie, organic, Italian restaurant, Amico Bio near the old Smithfield Meat Market.

Ironically, there are two of my favourite London veggie restaurants a stone’s throw from the old Smithfield Meat Market. In addition to Amico Bio, there’s The Smithfield Tavern, a pub with a veggie menu.

Harkening back to its meaty days, the exterior has golden cow heads on either side of the sign. The interior has the dark and cosy ambiance with deep red walls and vintage photos and prints. Animal-friendly sentiments are written on chalkboards throughout. In a 6 week period, A. and I ate there 4 times. 

The first time we had the Portobello burgers (with the arms of my 1970s yellow floral Adrienne Vittadini t-shirt in the background).

Then we had the lunch buffet (all-you-can-eat for £6.95) special featured for National Vegetarian week.

Gee, this post sort of meandered. Feel free to leave comments on anything from red boots (do you have some, want some?) to your favorite veggie restaurant (anywhere, as who knows where I'll travel to).


Boots and tart

The red elf boots I coveted are now mine.

Fleur boots, Vegetarian ShoesA. had purchased the boots for me a few months ago, but the pair he got was too small. So we went to the Vegetarian Shoes shop in Brighton last weekend and I exchanged them for the correct size.

While in Brighton we had lunch at Infinity Foods Cafe.

Mushrooms and spinach on toast I haven't had a Bakewell tart (an almond filling with a layer of jam in a shortbread crust, topped with icing)  in years and was so happy to find a vegan version at Infinity Foods Cafe. The filling was not as dense as I remember having had before, but had a strong almond flavor nicely complimented by the raspberry jam.


Elf boots

These boots from Vegetarian Shoes in Brighton were to have been my Christmas present, however, they were sold out by the time I arrived in the UK. And they won't be in stock again until after I leave. I have a thing for red boots, and boots that look like they might be worn by an elf. It is particularly difficult to find vegan red elf boots, which is why I was excited when I saw these on the Vegetarian Shoes website. I even planned my entire wardrobe that I brought to the UK with me around the assumption that I would have red boots.