Thursday, 11 November 2010

A Bright Spark & A Cloud Of Secrets

When I land back in the UK after a trip to India my grumpy mood is made worse by the drab clothes and lack of colour worn by my fellow Brits. Diana Vreeland once said that "pink was the navy blue of India" and it's true, wherever you go in India you're met with a riot of vibrant colour. Even the poorest of women dress themselves in peacock blues, shimmering emeralds and shocking pinks. 

Colour never fails to lift the spirits and even if I occasionally feel a little conspicuous walking around my gloomy town in a psychedelic maxi dress or a chartreuse yellow coat I always get thanked for cheering someone up.

I spotted this 1950's Scottish-made mohair coat in a charity shop a few weeks ago, I adored the colour but tried it on and it was just too big. I was pondering on it over a pub lunch when a lady came over to our table and said that she'd seen me try it on and that if I didn't buy it I was mad. I went back, handed over my cash and my lovely friend Liz altered it for me. 

Mohair coat (£8.50 Acorns Hospice), Jaeger pink suede belt (Courtesy of Nikki), 1960's Finnish-made leather boots (£4.99 British Heart Foundation), Dents leather gloves (25p car boot sale), Vintage umbrella (Car boot sale 50p)

The amazingly talented and creative Sarah from Cloud Of Secrets tagged me with the following "I Love Your Blog" questions. Sarah, I'm honoured.

1. Why did you create the blog?
I'm always on at people to be greener by buying second-hand clothes and to dress in a more creative way by shunning the mainstream and doing their own thing. My blog's an attempt to show that you can be stylish without slavishly following trends.

2. What kind of blogs do you follow?
I follow lots but love people who are unique, stylish, true to themselves and who make me laugh.

3. Favourite makeup brand?
Does Barry M count? I love their nail varnishes and Lip Paints, it's cheap, cruelty-free and I've been using it since I was a teenager.

4. Favourite clothing brand?
I haven't got one, I prefer vintage stuff and buy anything I find that catches my eye (and preferably costs less than a tenner).

5. Your indispensable makeup product?
Black eyeliner. I never leave the house without it. Any brand will do.

6. Your favorite colour?
Turquoise. It's my birthstone. I love it.

7. Your perfume?
Patchouli. I'm just an old hippy.

8. Your favourite film?
Impossible to choose but I do love Monsoon Wedding, I don't know how many times I've watched it but I love singing along, doing the moves and crying at the sad bits.

9. What country would you like to visit and why?
New Zealand so I can meet my darling Helga and maybe pop in and visit Pip, Claire, Kitty, Dusk and Desiree in Australia while I'm there.

10. When are you at your happiest?
Walking barefoot along the Goan seashore at sunset with my man at my side on the way to a beach bar.

Secret beach, Kerala Xmas Day 2008

I'm tagging anyone who wants to play!


  1. Hurrah, for kind strangers! I think she was right, i'm no fan of baby pink, but shocking pink looks amazing. Especially with your long dark locks ;)
    ....and you smell of patchouli....i do love you Vix!

  2. The woman in the pub was so right. Love the shape of that brolly despite hating brollies with a passion. Offensive ruddy weapons.

  3. And today you cheered my day too ,its been rainy and grey here in the Fens ,so thankyou Jan xx

  4. Love the mohair coat. It really suits you!Love Alison x

  5. You look fabulously colourful! Especially love the umbrella x

  6. Love the story about the lady in the pub. Gorgeous coat and brolly.

  7. Thank goodness for woman in the pub! It's brought some cheer to me too. It is wonderful and yes I wish I could get the pg to make a g&t. I'm so tired I've ordered Dominos!!

  8. This is my all time favourite outfit of yours and I have many faves - you look bloody gorgeous - 110% fab, fab outfit - you really do carry a bright colour!

    Great factoids too darling!

  9. I love your coat its gorgeous! the colour is fantastic! xxx

  10. love love your colorful coat and umbrella..glad someone is bringing cheer to Londres...that lady was right mama.
    you know I adore the rain..coming from sunny California and also the weather in England helps with my bad migraines.

  11. Oh, I love your rose red and pink ensemble, and that umbrella is particularly rich and ladylike. You know, in the past I've tried on a mixed pastel mohair(?) coat that was Great Aunt Elsie's. It's deep lavendar, rose, aqua blue all mingled if I remember rightly. I tried it a few times over the years. I so wanted it to work for me, but I felt it was too shapeless. But I like the belted effect you do with this similarly shaped coat. I may need to ask my mom to dig it out of storage one more time when next I travel to Michigan.

    The vibrant silken, gilt-trimmed colors in even the poorer locales of India always amaze and delight me. Just seeing women do their laundry in photos or in programs or films about's en enviable study in being comfortable with color.

    Thank you for answering the tag questions! I've enjoyed Monsoon Wedding multiple times, too. I can't remember if I've asked: have you seen Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham? It's got everything I love about Bollywood: dancing, catchy tunes, romance, drama, humor, palatial estates, local sights, jewels, silks, and oh, the colors!

  12. oh I enjoy reading about your fasinante life..I always wanted to get married in red wedding dress..maybe when I renew my vows.

  13. You did well buying that magnificent coat. And it is pink, my favourite colour, yeahhhhhhhhhhh.
    It is so nice to know more of you.

  14. I love your umbrella, it's fabulous!

  15. Oh why can't we be as colourful in Blighty? I love your coat...I was having a look for a 'new' secondhand coat today and they were all dark colours when I wanted something

  16. Oh wow, you look like such a ray of sunshine on this rainy day! I need to wear more colour on a daily basis!

  17. I love love love a bright coat and that one is fantastic. I am also coveting your brolly as well. Did you make your poppy, it is beautiful?

  18. You're sure to brighten everyone's day when you're wearing that outfit.

  19. "My blog's an attempt to show that you can be stylish without slavishly following trends."

    Trust me, it's working! I'm currently watching 14 pairs of delicious vintage boots - what was I thinking even contemplating buying those overpriced IC boots?!

    Great stuff. x

  20. That coat is fabulous and that woman was right, you would have been crazy to leave it. Pink is definitely a colour that suits you well. I wonder why women in places like India aren't afraid of colour and we are? Bizarre isn't it? I even find myself dressing more and more in brown as the cold weather bears on... I must make a concerted effort for colour. xxx

  21. I'm so glad you listened to the lovely lady - the coat is wonderful and (now) suits you like a glove and I'm sure you'll be really happy to have something bright and pink to wrap in when you come back from India. Know what? I might normally shy away from strong colours but will wear pink in you honour when you come back! xxx

  22. Amazing coat, I'm glad you went for it. I feel just the same (as you know by now). I adore colour and winter here is so depressing when everyone just wears black and grey. I am on the lookout for a green or yellow coat for myself, would be great to have something super bright for dismal days.

    Number 10 made me smile. You have your priorities sorted.

  23. Awwww That would be awesome if you came to Australia! Or even if I came to the UK I would def make a special trip to see you. Aussie woman have won your heart Vix!

    AND that woman was right to tell you your mad if you didn't buy that coat. Looks gorgeous! I especially love the umbrella as well. xxx

  24. You look so bright and colourful, such a great outfit to see in the winter :)

  25. Well that lady was quite right, such a fab coat!! I always find that if I wear something really bright or unusual so many people give me a smile (they might be laughing at me Im not always sure LOL)I like to think Ive brightened someones day! You totally brightened mine, thanks again for my lovely top xx

  26. Sure enjoyed learning more about you :)

    Re. the chandelier, I thought of you right away when I saw it! If anyone can create another one, YOU are the ONE!

  27. You really suit bright colours!I thought of you today when I picked up two 60s/70s bright maxi dresses from a charity shop for only £2 each. In fact I bought one with you in mind but it's a medium so too big for your dainty self I think x

  28. Clever Liz! I need to find a friend who has such skills with alterations as I do quite often find myself putting things back because they're just too big and I know I don't have the ability to fix them myself.

    Love how colourful you always are :) I can't and won't wear pink but you're inspiring me to try and wear more vivid colours!

  29. Feck me but you look AMAZING inthat divine coat!!And the parasol!Eeeek!!! I always have people telling me that I've brightened their day in my mad colours & get-ups! I just can't figure why they don't give it a go!!! I get a lot of smiles now with my bike helmet,too!!
    ooo,I love playing blog taggy thingys....
    LOVE Helga xxxXXXxxx

  30. I'm totally in love with this pinkish combination. it's rockin perfect! i'd love to have this darling vintage umbrella...

  31. I dont think I have seen such a brightly coat in my life!! And I have never seen anyone carry such a bright color so well!! u rock, Goddess of Pink!!

  32. How lovely of that lady to take the time to come over and say to you about the coat. I love it when 'nice' things like that happen. It really does make a difference. I did similar thing to a chap who was trying on a wax jacket in a charity shop recently .He really did look quite dashing so I took a gamble and told him. Everyones a winner! The jacket gets bought, the chap has been made to smile and I feel happy to make someone else happy. It's nice to be randomly nice!

  33. Dear Vix, those colours are stunning on you. I love pink and red together. I shall be revisiting Barry M after a long break on your recommendation and checking out Monsoon Wedding. That beach looks amazing. The Actor would love to be there for Christmas instead of England. Hope you're good, I must email you xx

  34. WOW! Simply WOW! It is a dull grey wet day here which just got brighten - Thank to you! Glad to learn more about you! You ROCK!

  35. u r so right about even the poorest dressing in bright colors in india... guess if one had to pick only one outfit, we would all choose a happy/ bright color?! so makes sense but yes some of us have the luxury to "choose" so we also end up in not so happy colors. but heyy, you look GREAT!

  36. I agree with everyone! The coat, belt, brollie, gloves, boots combo is KILLER! You look amazing. AMAZING!

  37. hello Vix. . i just tagged you on that post too and realised you've answered it already :)

    your combination of those pieces is just ingenious. . pink should be worn more often, and i love how you make it so womanly and magical at the same time

  38. Well done to the lady in the pub!! I;m glad you bought the coat, it looks fabulous on you!!

    MMmmmmm, so jealous of your holiday!!!!


  39. You are my role model. In fashion, life, and overall fabulousness. Seriously.

    I also love wearing vibrant colors. I think it's the Indian in me. I would love to visit the country one day and witness all the magical colors for myself. Sigh. You're sooooo lucky! :) xoxo

  40. Fun tag and I agree, color is a powerful thing!:D

    ***** Marie *****

  41. oooh I agree why don't people wear colour more! Even my winter coats are mostly red, but of course in the 50s, the era most of my clothes come from, colour usage was more common! I even saw someone post the other day about red seamed stockings WOW! That pink suits you :o)

  42. That coat is absolutely fantastic, it suits you perfectly. I love dark pink and fuchsia colours.

  43. The colours in your coat and umbrella are just amazing! The perfect way to brighten a bleak day...

    Ps: I think the giveaway I'm currently running will tickle your fancy!

  44. Stunning coat - it looks wonderful.

    I know it's dreary in England but the thing is the cool light here makes colours like that vibrant pink look amazing. I feel inspired to hunt out something bright to put on. Have a great hol!

  45. I can't tell you how much i enjoy reading your blog!, its so interesting.

    I love the one footprint in the sand in the last photo of beach in India-very cool :)

    Please can you do a post about your bedroom, i am updating mine and am in need of some vintage style inspiration. Can you also include your gorgeous eiderdown? and throws please?

    And i can't wait to nice at your guest bedroom when its done :)x

  46. ^This outfit is so fabulously cheerful for such recent naff weather!

    And thank you for the tag, I think I will play at some point, when I get round to it! :)

    Have a lovely weekend Vix! Xx

  47. Hi there-the mohair coat was a stunning buy and looks incredibly gorgeous and vibrant, so perfect for this dreary nasty weather we are having! Hope you have a great weekend my dear! xx

  48. It’s so interesting to hear about different cultures, and the way they dress. I can imagine India being such a visually inspiring place.
    I love that you embrace colour and that coat looks stunning, How wonderful and thoughtful of the lady in the pub to encourage you to purchase it.

    Oh my I love that vintage umbrella, it’s so dreamy xx

  49. YES PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Come over!!!!!!!! I would so love to meet you!!!!!!!

    Vix I have had this post window open all day (it's now almost 3am!!!!) just so when i do come back to my office and computer, I can see this gorgeous explosion of colour to brighten my day!

    I do not understand this obsession with NON colour that most of the western fashion world has! I would banish grey completely!!!

    LOVE knowing more about you but I already think you're one of a kind amazing! and you are STUNNING!

  50. Wow! What lovely comments. It seems like the lady in Wetherspoons was right after all. Thank you all for being so nice, your comments never fail to make my day even better. xxx
    PS Anon: Bedroom post on the way very soon...promise!

  51. "Even the poorest of women dress themselves in peacock blues, shimmering emeralds and shocking pinks." I've been to India once and this was the strongest memory I had of it. The riot of rainbow colours in saris, shawls and shoes of the women.
    You look wonderful in pink - love the lippie too. Glad you took that lady's advice and took this coat home with you!

  52. GOSH! the umbrella-coat-combo looks as if they were made for each other. fabulous!

  53. Vixy,
    My eyes all but popped out of their sockets cartoon stylee when I saw this coat, it's FANTABULOUS!
    I have to admit that I am just a smidgen jealous now...£8.50 for a 50's Scottish-made mohair coat; that has got to be the bargain of the year!
    I've been trying to bag one of these for yonks but the ones on eBay always exceed my parsimonious budget and no matter how much cosmic ordering I do, I still haven't come across one on my vintage gathering travels…maybe one day?!


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Love from Vix