Thursday, 26 February 2015

Indian Colour In The Black Country



 You wouldn't have spotted this chiffon & lamé number peeping out of my improved wardrobe as it's been on the mending pile for the past 12 months. The last time I wore it I heard a sickening rip and, on further inspection, realised I'd badly torn the sleeve. I blame my bulging biceps I've developed from my thirty minute a day workout on the Wii Fit.


I don't know why I'd put off the repair for so long, a length of hemming tape, a damp tea towel and a hot iron and it was sorted in no time. Its not perfect but with fabric this fancy who's going to notice?



The dress might turn heads in the Black Country* but in India I'd fit in a treat.



On the train from Mangalore, sharing a bag of chilli banana chips with a stranger, she remarked, I'm very happy to finally meet someone from your country who doesn't dress plainly, I thought all Westerners did.


Diane Vreeland once said that Pink is the navy blue of India. Unlike in our "developed world," you won't see the masses here clad in grey & black.


Heat & noise aside, the main thing I notice when I'm back in the UK is the absence of vibrant colour on our streets.


In India everyone embraces colour, regardless of age or gender.


As children we love colour but then we grow up and get scared. We try to blend in, imprisoning ourselves within the boundaries of fashion and perceived good taste.


I say stuff grown-up dressing, embrace colour and everybody will be too dazzled by your clothes to notice the wrinkles. It works for me.


I hope shoe-horning a few gratuitous travel photos in the blog pleased those of you sweet enough to ask for more (as if I need any encouragement).

Vintage Victor Costa maxi (Courtesy of Jo), Pakistani tote bag (25, jumble sale, years ago), 70s felt hat (my friend, Zoe), Massive vintage pendant (dearest Em), Stack heeled leather boots (£1.50, Charity shop, 2011)
We're outside on Saturday, trading at Nottingham's Fayre in the Square, come and see us if you can. We'll be dressed like polar explorers (brightly dressed ones!)

Updated to link to Judith's Hat Attack #20.

See you soon.

* The Black Country, the part of the Midlands where we live, was named during the Industrial Revolution because of the black soot in the air from the heavy industry that dominated the area. 


68 comments:

  1. Love all the colours ...im having a soft spot for turqouise right now .
    you are such a gorgeous woman !

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  2. Sometimes the dark colours just sneak in, I look at my wardrobe sometimes and think, did I consciously buy that much black? Especially since I love and suit colour. It's a fabulous frock, I'm glad you fixed it. X

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  3. Gorgeous dress Vix - loving the extra holiday pics too! :D

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  4. I'd forgot that I'd given you that Victor Costa dress! It is a wonderful ode to India. I totally agree with you - I used to return from India to Cambridge (U.S.) and think that it looked like a ghost town with so few people, so quiet. And that my world was now in black and white instead of the kaleidoscope that is India.
    I hope it was indeed your bulging biceps and not flaws in the dress that caused it to end up in your mending pile.
    Best of luck in Nottingham!

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  5. I meant, "I'd forgotten." Jeesh! I can't write properly.

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  6. I always notice that when they show film on the news from New York or even Japan, actually especially Japan, all you see is a wave of navy grey and black, wouldn't it be lovely to see a wave of rainbow colors. I enjoy your travel photos, I hope you have more to share, you look lovely in you mended dress, its such a great fit!!I need color in my attire or I fade away and look like the walking dead!

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  7. You look lovely, a splash of colour on a grey day.
    twiggy

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  8. You are right, things are drab in the Western World. I am going to buy some colour next time I am at the thrift store - no more black!

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  9. Have you seen 'Bless This House', the film? There is lots of colour in clothes and houses even with the 'older' women characters. I remember in the 60s and especially the 70s that there was lots of colour, wonderful fabrics as most people made their own clothes.

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  10. Yes, I just love to add lots of color, especially this time of year. And your dress was definitely worth saving! Magnifique! :)

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  11. I can see exactly why you fit in when in India... a vision of gorgeous colour!
    Enjoyed getting another glimpse of your fabulous travel photos :-)

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  12. Lots of colour makes all the difference. What has happened I wonder because I remember that my gran and my mum and my granddad for that matter in his purple dress shirt, had wardrobes crammed with colours back in the Seventies. I find it strange to walk down a street where everyone, apart from children, is in grey or black.
    That's a belter of a dress, I'm glad you mended it. Have a lovely weekend.
    Loves ya.
    xxxxxx

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  13. Fabulous dress....my bedroom is raspberry pink and my sittingroom is morroccan pink....of course!!x

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  14. Everyone that goes to India always talks about the vibrant colours. Colour everywhere. I adore colour. This dress with your hair is spectacular. Such a 1970's vibe. I love it!

    bisous
    Suzanne
    http://www.suzannecarillo.com

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  15. That's such a glorious dress. Fuchsia and gold is one of my favourite colour combinations, can't help but make you feel better. You look beautiful in it and you have an inimitable skill for taking a really fancy, special party dress and making it seem like the obvious thing to wear on a Thursday whilst pottering around. Yep, yep and yep to your words of wisdom and well done for upping the image of Brits abroad! I vote for India photos with every post. The colour makes me so happy. Xxxxx

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  16. India definitely looks like my sort of place with all those beautiful colours.Glad you got the chance to mend that wonderful dress.

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  17. I love colour, especially in the drab weather. If I see someone colourfully dressed it makes me feel better, like pops of sunshine. You are right though, I think some do get scared as we get older, if I wear black I like to think I'm chic and mysterious haha!!! Your extra holiday photo's are always a treat, I LOVE them. And I love your dress too, isn't is fabulous! pink and gold, yes please! you look totally gorgeous, always! x x x

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  18. You look glorious - so glad you rescued the dress. xox

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  19. must confess: today I'm wearing a boring gray way too big sweater. I caught a chill. Started the day wearing a pink velvet coat with crazy beaded trim, and tons of jewelry. I'll have to take a picture next time. For now, I'm, finally,warmed up.

    Love the India photos

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  20. Yes, yes, more travel photos please! We haven't had any beach pictures either and I feel kind of cheated that we didn't! Glad the baubles arrived- I am rubbish at posting stuff so glad you got them in 2015, not 2016!!!
    THAT DRESSS is MARVELLOUS!!!! I Do agree, our streets are so drab! I love wearing bright things and fun things,definitely we should take a leaf from the Indian book!x

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  21. This dress is a stunner Vix and I so agree about colour. At work in the winter all I see is a sea of black and drab that the passengers are dressed in, so depressing. Of course vibrant colours do tend to look even better on dark skins but even my pasty old mush looks better in something cheerful. Btw, are you watching Indian Summers?
    xx

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  22. The colors!!! Ah! I know I'm gonna like it there! YOU are a vision in that vibrant gorgeous dress.

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  23. Mmmmm, that frock is totally delicious! So glad you finally fixed it, hope to see you in it often.
    Indeed, "3rd world" countries just have so much more colour and life than so called 1st world countries.
    Love Helga XXX

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  24. Spectacular! And thanks for adding more photos from your trip - I feel warmer just looking at them. xox

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  25. When I came to London for the first time it was winter. And I was struck by the gloominess of everything: sky, weather, people. It is a little better in summer but still, as you said, there is shortage of vibrant colour on the streets. The more pleasure to see someone dressed like you. This dress is fantastic, an instant eye catcher.

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  26. Yay! an India fix and a colour fix all rolled in to one! I love those bright clashy colours (you reminded me that as a child I liked to wear colour clashes but my grandma's chiding stopped me (blue and green should never be seen and other such stuff!) Betty

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  27. Life-giving colour!! I've noticed that the air in each geographical place has a distinctive colour. For example, Florida has pink/orange air. Vancouver has blue-grey air. People I think tend to dress to match the air, which I think is just plain WRONG! Heh.

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  28. you hear my prayers :-) more stunning india pics!
    thanx!
    that dress is a killer! and fit you like glove. although you don´t need it as distraction, my beautiful friend!
    xxxxxx

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  29. Hello Vix. So good to know you thorugh your profile on the blogger and the blog post. I am thrilled to see those beautiful pictures of yours with Indian dress on you as well as some beautiful picutures of life in India. I am from India living in a city called Mumbai for last 35yrs serving as a Pastor. This city is know for her contrast where richest of rich an the poorest of poor live. We reach out to the poorest of poor with the love of Christ to bring healing to the broken hearted. we also encouraghe youing people as well as adults from the West to come to Mumbai on a short / long term missions trip to work with us during their vacation time. We would love to have you visit once again and work with us in the slums of Mumbai. i am sure you will have a life changing esperience. My email id is: dhwankhede(at)gmail(dot)com and my name is Diwakar Wankhede Looking forward to hear fr om you very soon. God's richest blessings on you.

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  30. I think colours suit you, it's quite obvious . You are not a beige person and please don't ever change

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  31. What an absolutely beautiful dress! All the lovely colours in this post certainly lift the spirit.

    I'll always recall a woman coming up to me in a Supermarket and actually eying me right up and down from a foot away as I was wearing colour and she was beige right down to her perm. It was so bizarre I couldn't say a thing in response xxx

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  34. Hello Vix,

    The cerise pink suits you so perfectly. The dress is stunning and a perfect fit. It really does recall the vibrant colours of India and is the tonic so badly needed when it is wall to wall grey in England.

    What you say about blending in with the crowd is apposite. Too few people we find are prepared to stand out from the crowd in whatever way. Whether it is to wear colourful clothes or be clad head to toe in black matters not, in our view, it is all about expressing yourself and not being afraid to do so. And, as you find, connections are made with people when one shows that one is ready to reach out and dare to be different. Wishing you fun and success in Nottingham

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  35. I couldn't agree more, colour, colour, colour all the way lack of colour seriously makes me depressed. I look forward to travelling to India one day the colour, food, culture.

    You look wonderful in this dress and I'd have to agree why did you take so long to mend it.

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  36. I spent all my teenage years and most of my twenties in black and now I'm in my mid 30's I have a thing for bright colours and slowing the colourful stuff is usurping the black in my wardrobe! Love the photos

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  37. That dress is beautiful and looks like it would fit in perfectly in India. I wish I could make all of my dresses out of the gorgeous and colorful saris like in your pictures. I try to remember your quote every day, "A day without dressing up is a day wasted."

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  38. Love the outfit ,and the hat is fabulous ! great pictures of India and all the colours there . I am trying to be a bit more braver with colours in my clothes , have a good weekend Vix xxx

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  39. The dress is a beauty - what took you so long to mend it?! Ha, I know exactly how that happens, things just lie on the mending pile for an age and once you've sorted them out, you wonder why on earth you didn't crack on sooner.
    It's true, especially in winter, that we Brits are shockingly unadventurous with colour. Just when we need it the most, too. Thank goodness you don't subscribe to that view!
    Gorgeous pics of India, as always, and of you looking stunning in pink and gold. Have a good one in Nottingham - love ya! xxxx

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  40. You look so pretty in pink. What a lovely dress! I am one who pored over the additional pictures of India! Have a good weekend. I hope the market is a good one! xo

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  41. The dress is lovely, but my eyes are drawn to the intense blue of the hat. As a child I had to wear a bonnet and envied the adult ladies their hats. You're setting a good example for us, Vix, by wearing brilliant color -- and hats! -- even in a Black Country winter. I blame the 'flock of crows' appearance of city workers on a) a desire to look thinner b) a lack of will to 'make the effort' to coordinate color c) an unwillingness to appear 'different' from one's peers. Gah! Or should I saw, "caw"?

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  42. LOVE your photos from India and style, as always. Don't why it didn't occur to me before but I'm seeking to interview inspiring creatives. Would you please allow me to interview? Let me know here or via info@thriftcore.com or via my blog. I'd really appreciate it :)

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  43. Perfect fix for a smashing frock. I love that pink colour!
    <3

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  44. Hi Vix. Love that dress on you.I'm one of those that would love to see more pics of India. Brights are so nice, but not all look good on me. :-)

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  45. That dress!!!! All the photos are so magickal, but that dress... I want it! :0D

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  46. Beautiful post, and beautiful sentiment! Growing up in the USSR, we thought that Westerners were quite colorful compared to gray Soviet Union - clothes, buildings, weather, everything... Traditionally though, folk clothes is very colorful - take any culture in the world, it's never too much black or gray. Red, golden yellow, bright blue, green... I think modern people tend to go for neutral colors because and when they seek for security. Sort of conservative, safe bank-ish colors. They are beautiful too - the way gray sky can still be beautiful, it's all in the perception. But to see it in the amounts we see every single day... oi! Whatever happened to the whole spectrum of colors? Where do all the colorful clothes go from stores?

    I have a soft spot for bright colors which I discovered not too long ago, by the way, certainly well in my 30s. I think it's because I relaxed on the inside. I used to be more conservative when I was young.

    LOVE this dress on you! You look fantastically beautiful - gorgeous, gorgeous woman! xxxxx

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  47. If the only birds in the world were parrots and peacocks they would cease to be interesting. I happen to love little brown sparrows myself. ;-)
    I have noticed that the countries where people dress very colourfully have very bright sunlight, which tends to have a washing out effect and so the bright colours look perfect in that lighting. It's like how a pale pink rose looks pretty in the softer light of spring but in the brighter light of summer it looks washed out and a fuchsia coloured rose looks better. Of course what looks good is all subjective anyhow. I LOVE the fabric of your dress. So glad you got it repaired. xoxo

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  48. You're a vivacious vision, Vix, as always! Great colours in that outfit. Do you think it's weather-related? We have lots of grey weather so maybe that's why we dress drably as a nation sometimes??

    x

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  49. Hot pink and gold - very exotic. I'm sure your chatty companion on the train would wholly approve of your outfit xxx

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  50. That dress is amazing, and tsk for leaving it so long to repair and wear. Yes the colours of India are stunning. We have an Indian clothing shop in town and I love the amazing colourful explosion that hits you as you walk in the door.

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  51. That's so true … people are scared of colour … what a very odd thing to be afraid of!!
    You look stunning as usual :0)
    xx

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  52. That dress is gorgeous...and you wear it so well...love the tote Pakistan bag you matched it with.

    One of the things I noticed about India from photographs is that abundance of colours and patterns that I really admire. Their clothes are as imaginative as wonderful as their art and philosophy.

    There is elegance to be find in neutral colours and clean cuts...but who needs it every day and all the time. A little bit of colour and pattern...it can make our day so much better!

    thank you for sharing these photos, I really enjoyed seeing them.

    http://modaodaradosti.blogspot.com/

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  53. I love your dress Vix, pink looks great on you! It makes me sad how colourless our streets are in the UK. The other week I was waiting for my sister on our local high street and she said she spotted me about 100 yards away because of my bright orange scarf. Everyone else was wearing black! xx

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  54. You look beautiful and I love seeing all the color :)

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  55. What a glourious dress - I'm so glad you got around to mending it so you could share its magnificence with us. Definitely would not look out of place in India.

    I wonder if all the bright colours in India perhaps provides somewhat of a counterbalance to the poverty and overcrowding?

    Yes, we Westerners as a whole are a rather drab bunch, expecially in the Winter when the uniform around here consists of a black down-filled coat, black leggings and black boots.

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  56. That dress is absolutely gorgeous!
    I love all the brightly coloured clothing, even though I don't wear any, myself.

    Thank you for sharing more stunning images! ♥ xx

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  57. Your dress is a true treasure and I love, love, love your photos of India. Dress plainly? Never! You set a great example!

    Your gifted 70's hat accents the spectacular dress to perfection. Thank you for sharing with Hat Attack!

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  58. Beautiful colors, all of them. I love indian "fashion/style", the colors, the bangles, the saris. Your dress is fabulous, and I actually have a vintage bag just like that :)

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  59. Love that you were able to demonstrate that not every westerner wears ditchwtare-dull drabness. Back in the Black Country and Blog land your embracing of colours inspires with each post that's clicked onto. Stunning dress.

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  60. Hello vix , you bring lots of colour to the black country , Wish i was a bit more adventurous xxx

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  61. You look fab in your dress! I'm not very good at wearing colour, so I recently got round that by dyeing my hair burgundy. Bam. Colour right there. Livens up my beige and navy no end :-) It is lovely seeing colour, though, we Britsh probably should wear a bit more.

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  62. So beautiful, and colour is such a a small thing to change but I think you are right we all need more of it. It does also help that you are naturally tall and gorgeous, it all looks so good on you.

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  63. This is so very interesting! I love color, just not on me. Black makes me happy, but I surround myself in color in my decor. So people are often surprised a goth has color in her home along with my vibrant barkcloth Tiki wardrobe and our ridiculous obsession with Tiki ;)

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  64. what a dress!!! it is an absolute stunner!!!! wow! the colout´rs and print of the fabric really ´reminds mi of india or especially rajasthan.

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  65. yes yes! Colour for everyone! I loves that dress of yours. It reminds me of my Olivia dress. But mine is just a mini length version! Where I live there is quite a lot of Indian people and I get to walk home from the train station everyday seeing the Indian women in Saris and Kaftans all in very bright colours just going about their day. Their husbands all dress western, but I hope their wives never loose their love for colour!

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Love from Vix
xxx