Monday, 16 March 2015

Outfit of The Day - Tribal Gypsy Meets the '70s




The more observant of readers will have seen this dress feature plenty of times on my blog over the past five years.


Being a die-hard vintage chick I wear my clothes again and again and again. I'm not remotely swayed by fashion, trends or the colour of the year, I'm happy with my style and have no reason to change even though it might not make for the most thrilling of blog reads.

Polly Piglet photobomb!

Given the choice between more clothes and new jewellery & I'll choose jewellery every time. Even when I'm naked I've always got several rings on my fingers, one through my nose & another in my belly button.


It isn't jewellery, its armour against mediocrity.


Mention vintage jewellery to most people and they'll talk of blingy brooches and engraved lockets. Ever the weirdo, here's some of mine.


To the uninitiated the metal torque in the top left hand corner could be dismissed as tat when in fact it's a rare tribal piece from Karnataka dating from the late 19th century. While our European Great-grandmothers were wearing cameos, a wild gypsy woman was rocking the hell out of this. The coin belt (with the red thread), is from Gujarat and designed as a show of wealth. Of the coins featured, one dates from 1947 when George V1 was still King Emperor of India.


In a collection built up after 25 visits to India I've accumulated bejewelled hair clips, Rajasthani toe rings, bangles made from scrap metal & Bakelite buttons and anklets threaded with obsolete currency. Nothing cost me more than a tenner and many command mentally high prices on the internet, not that I'd ever dream of selling. Each and every piece brings back memories of good natured haggling in sweaty markets throughout the sub-continent.

There's some hair clips in action!

This is Laxmi, my Lamani friend in South Goa, I bought some of her family pieces (and her blouse!) 


I spotted this 19th Century tribal neck piece on the stall next to us at the vintage market we worked in Bristol at the weekend. It turned out that the stall holder was as obsessed by India as we were and we spent a happy afternoon chatting about the places we'd visited and the joy we still feel each time we visit. At £8, trimmed with bells and featuring a peacock, a bull and cobra I just had to have it. 

Wearing: 1970s cocktail dress (darling Helga)

I could write about how you couldn't get a "statement" necklace from the high street for less than £8 and how feeble a statement you'd be making by wearing a mass produced item owned by at least half the female population of your home town but I've been in Wetherspoons all afternoon and the £1.80 double measures of Pinot Grigio have rendered me incapable so I'm off for a lie-down on the settee and eat crisps instead.

See you soon.

60 comments:

  1. My god - £1.80 for double measures! Pass the crisps.

    Loving the jewellery, having big jewellery envy but there you go - can't have everything!

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  2. The colour of your dress is gorgeous Vix , and your jewellery is fabulous !!! I love it all have a great week and best wishes x

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  3. I love how you can make my insides rumble with laughter. How you can make me ooh and aagh at your fabulous frocks, no matter how long you've had them and yeh I don't mind wearing my stuff again and again and again. My green suede number is one of my favourites x x x

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  4. I always love seeing your funky vintage jewellery! I'm not so keen on wearing heavy stuff myself but I love looking at it! I'm not so keen on all these fancy big plasticky statement gem stuff around but I love quirky acrylic stuff, like lego or a magpie or something!!
    Always love your stories.x

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  5. A vision in blue! I do love this frock and you look wondrous in it.
    Love that tribal piece....what a find and what a statement. It fits in perfectly with your collection. That photo of Laxmi is beautiful. What a smile. I like the idea of hair jewellery.
    Have a great week, pet.
    Loves ya!
    xxxxxxhn

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  6. Stunning Vix! I've come round to the same idea of more jewels than clothes too. Your friend Laxmi is so beautiful!

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  7. thank you for showing us all your Indian jewelry at once. It's all so beautiful

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  8. Gorgeous ! Of course one should use clothes that gorgeous over and over again !
    the jewellry is to die for ....
    xxx

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  9. I don't have words for how much I love your jewelry. I've always had an eye for anything that would be worn by a gypsy or belly dancer, especially if it jingles.
    That blue dress was made with you in mind!

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  10. I love all your jewellery Vix,your hands look so interesting! I wear costume jewellery but have two very special things bought in Dubai 30 odd years ago(where I expect you know the best gold jewellery is worked by Indian craftsmen) ... an Indian gold pendant necklace and heavy gold vali glass hoop earings (24k) - they are the only jewellery I possess of value and I still love them. Indians are always asking me about them and want to buy them off me as of course they wisely buy gold as an investment. Maybe I will blog them sometime as our jewellery is so much a part of who we are, isnt it?

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  11. It is especially wonderful that the pieces you've collected over the years each have such a history and story to tell.

    Although I make most of my own jewellery and have lots of it I don't wear it nearly as often as I probably should. I find it is too much of a pain when I'm constantly cleaning my hands. I hate bracelets or rings that clatter and move. I do wish I could wear earrings more often.

    You look amazing this this blue with your dark hair and blue eyes. Truly a gypsy at heart.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  12. It's really amazing. I thought it was carved wood when I first saw it, but it's bronze or brass is it?
    Do you know anything about gypsy dowry bags at all?
    I have one and I don't know how you go about dating it. The embroidery on it is quite Indian. Could I send you pics if you know anything about them?
    I expect you don't get to creep up on people and startle them wearing all your trinkets! xxx

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  13. Your jewellery collection is amazing, I'm the same always buying little trinkets normally on eBay! x

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  14. What a fabulous collection, Vix - and I love seeing you wear your pieces so beautifully. I like jewelry that means something to me (it can be new or old, but mostly old). I'm wearing the ring my dad gave my mom in 1953. xox

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  15. There is so much talk these days about statement jewelry but you, dear Vix, have the real thing. Statement pieces that actually carry on a conversation!

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  16. That's quite a collection you have built up over the years, and you wear it so well! I'm partial to oversized rings myself and yours are stunning! Beautiful dress and those suede boots are just the mutts nuts!

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  17. mwahaha, it's so delightful to read your posts!!, love your rings, love those massive turquoises and your pretty blue nails!. A girl can't have too many huge silver rings, as I'm concerned.
    Your bijouterie collection is fabulousness, love all those genuine and evocative pieces. Really, love that every piece has a story to tell!
    besos & wine

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  18. I would love to get my hands on your jewellery collection, it's too divoon for words!
    Love Helga XXX

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  19. Your jewelry is spectacular! And that new piece is perfectly you. Truly, it is PERFECT for you! xox

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  20. I love your look - and again, blue is definitely one of the best colours on you!

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  21. You are my kinda gal! Your collection is enviable!!!

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  22. We both have the same views on fashion, I wear what I like as many times as I like! That dress is wonderful and the jewelry is amazing! Stay the way you are, we have too many bloggers that look like each other. :)

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  23. I love this tribal gypsy named Vix.I have always loved your style, never change .I would love you even when you keep repeating your clothes again again and again.I will never get tired :)

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  24. It isn't jewellery, its armour against mediocrity.

    You so need to write a book!

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  25. If you wore all of your jewellery at once you'd need to be wheeled around in a wheelbarrow, it would be so heavy. Excellent.
    I love how you mash together the '70s love child maxi with your jewellery from India. That's pure style.

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  26. I so, so, SO love your collection of jewellery! Never take me to your house....I might just run away with some of these gorgeous pieces!! <3

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  27. if you hear it rustling at night - its me, sneaking in your house and stealing your jewelry ;-)
    awesome pieces! all this history and work and life in them. just beautiful!!!!
    i can give the whole comment/compliment on my last post back to you! first time i saw your blog i was thrilled with your personality!
    xxxxxxx

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  28. It's a super dress, but your jewellery collection really is the star of the show here! I have seen similar torques to the one you pointed out, not quite as old, but there was definitely a resurgence in the early to mid 20th century. My goodness have you seen some of the prices on antique websites like this one: http://www.rabari.co.uk/ethnic-tribal-silver-jewellery/necklaces

    Crazy! Imagine all the Pinot Grigio you could get for that.
    xx

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  29. Love the ring with the serpents heads, don't think I've noticed it before. I would wear far more jewellery if I didn't work, but it's such a drag taking it all off for airport security every day that I only wear a watch and earrings. Your new pendant is super eye-catching but does it weigh a ton?
    Lovely pic of Laxmi, no doubt you are missing the vibrancy of India with these perpetual grey skies of ours? xxx

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  30. Ooh you know I love a jewellery stash, and yours dear Vix is the best.
    I love chunky jewellery, and always look out at Glasto for my jewellery, would hate seeing someone else wearing something I'd picked up.
    x

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  31. I know that I'm being repetitive, but - your hair. Love it!

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  32. I do enjoy a bit of day drinking now and again! And I loved this post. Your jewellery is so interesting and beautiful, as are you. xo

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  33. Wow, thank you for sharing the photos of your jewellery - it's really fascinating, and such a personal collection. Do the vendors tell you the origins of the pieces, or do you research them after buying?

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  34. Your collection of tribal jewelry is incredible! Whenever I see any piece of it on you I can't stop admiring it.

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  35. Your jewelry is gorgeous and I love the stories behind them, 20 years has amassed treasure - you look gorgeous and must sound beautiful with the movement of your pieces - Love the pic of Laxmi - and double pino grigio, £1.80? that's my type of place, a crisp buttie would be the perfect end for me x x x

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  36. Your tribal jewellery pieces are beautiful, Vix, but even more valuable are your words of wisdom: "...it's armour against mediocracy!" So, too, are your brilliantly chosen and assembled outfits.

    I had to go in hospital for tests this morning which entailed wearing a simple velour pantsuit with sandals. In your honor I added an Indian patchwork bag of gorgeous fabrics. The women who must spend their working days in scrubs petted it. Bah to boring!

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  37. If you like something in your wardrobe then why get rid of it at the end of a season. I have heaps of stuff I wear every year and all year. Polly Piglet is perfect.

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  38. Ha ha! Love it, 'let them eat crisps'! Tribal jewellery is wonderful. I did not see too much of it when I was in California in the 70s, but it reminds me of Mexican silver which we all cherished and picked up for nothing at markets. Jim Morrison's gorgeous girlfriend used to wear, and sell items like yours in her LA shop. Love the nail varnish too! x

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  39. I love the matching nails and paint-stroke-like print of the dress :D

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  40. Woah what a find and so great to find some kindred spirits! I love all your jewellery, it's beautiful, especially all those necklaces. It's lovely to have pieces that actually mean something rather than a bunch of high street rubbish! Double measures of Pinot would be amazing right now, enjoy the crisps! XX

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  41. You know I love silver jewellery, especially rings, so I am all drool-y over your jewellery collection. It's so cool that each piece has a story or memory attached to it.

    I think of my whole outfits as "Armour against Mediocrity", which is a brilliant turn of phrase. Right on, Sister!!

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  42. I'm late late late to this tribal gypsy party, but here at last...
    Love this piece, it has your name written all over it. I also love the way you take antique pieces, wear them with vintage, and always look entirely natural and unique, it's not forced or costume-y, or anything other that YOU. The statement you make with that fab frock and your wonderful necklace (and all your rings and colourful nails too, of course) couldn't be further away from a Primark or Matalan "statement" necklace, could it?
    Polly Piglet stalking off made me chuckle, and your Indian silver collection is bloody amazing. No wonder you (and Laxmi) are smiling!
    At those prices, I'm not surprised you made some inroads into 'Spoons supply of Pinot Grigio - wine-induced crisp-eating is the best!
    Love you! xxxx

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  43. Love the colour of your dress it really suits you , Your jewellery is so unique , Its nice to be different , Fabulous as usual xxx

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  44. You did it again! our jaws dropeed over your collection , the stories and your very personal but true sense of style!

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  45. Clothes, accessories, colors, make-up .. all great and very stylish! Congratulations also to the beautiful cat!

    serena

    http://madhouseautoproduzioni.blogspot.com

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  46. you are so fabulous vix. and never ever worry about being mediocre. i have all those bases covered. :))) xo

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  47. I love seeing old favourites re-featured. It shows the longevity of items that bring years of pleasure. Great sleeves on this dress too. My Mum has a 70s chiffon maxi hanging on the back of the bathroom door that she hasn't yet worn (shades of swirly green) that has identically styled sleeves. Sadly a little too tight for me or I would have snaffled it for the sleeves.

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  48. Vixy please dont ever change your wardrobe! I love seeing you wear the same things over and over. Most fashion bloggers either have the biggest wardrobes ever filled with once worn clothes or a contract with several brands to keep them on a cycle of new clothes everyday. Your jewellery collection is very impressive! I have a few little non-typical pieces myself made from brass which are really hard to date because their so non-typical of vintage jewellery. That new necklace - (i'm gonna call it neckpiece cause its so awesome) is fantastic. great find!

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  49. That is a fabulous and enviable jewelry collection! Like you, I prefer jewelry to clothes and do not have any interest in trendy or mass produced things. I don't spend a lot of money on it, but I like locally crafted pieces, vintage silver and Celtic pieces. I mix in new silver chains or beaded things sometimes. I am not comfortable wearing heavy pieces so I can imagine collecting and displaying but not wearing pieces like some of yours.

    I love the blue of your dress and it really looks fantastic on you. Bright blues, pinks and purples are my favourite colours on you and I think they really show off your gorgeous skin and make your eyes sparkle. You always look stunning though and so uniquely yourself your blog could never be dull nor could you. xoxo

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  50. It isn't jewellery, it's armour against mediocrity! You do make me laugh. Totally beautiful armour that is. Your new piece is exquisite, but then so is the rest of it. My ex used to give me silver Indian jewellery for my birthdays, and I had some bits from living in Africa and the middle East, but I was burgled and it was all taken. Now, as you know, I am a bit eagle eyed, but I don't recall ever seeing this Helga beauty. Dull? No, never dull. Xxxxx

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  51. I far prefer silver (or platinum!) to gold and vintage/2nd hand jewellry to new. I have a friend who wouldn't dream of buying anything someone else has previously owned, including houses - she has only ever lived in brand new houses - and yet she often admires my previously owned bits and bobs. Your collection is divine! x

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  52. Incredible pieces, you know I love it!!!!

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  53. Fabulous in blue! I can't come up with a reason for you to change your style - you are the happiest-in-her-own-clothes person I've seen! The jewelry collection is truly glorious, and I admire your tribal piece! xxx

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  54. Great post Vix. I just love your style - don't ever change! xx

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  55. I am jealous!! I want all that jewelry! It costs an arm and a leg to get Indian jewelry like that over here!!

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  56. I'll blame it on the American Tribal belly dancers for driving up the cost!

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  57. I always used to wear Indian jewellery adorned with bells, it drove a friend of mine up the wall as I jingled along when I walked!
    xxx

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  58. I love this frock Vix and I love your view of the world! I've got clothes I've had for 5 years and longer and I still wear them because I love them. To hell with "fashion" (whatever that is). Also thanks for sharing your jewellery collection with us - so many incredible treasures!

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Love from Vix
xxx