Don't be fooled by the outward appearance of this rather mundane looking vintage suitcase.
Once opened its contents reveal a riot of colour and the overwhelming smell of Nag Champa.
|Stephen Squirrel photobomb!|
This is my India suitcase containing the stuff I only ever wear when I'm there. It's where the clothes I've found throughout the year get stashed away, ready to be rediscovered when I'm packing for my next trip. Saddo that I am, there's a real thrill in pulling out things I'd forgotten about, like finding them at the car boot sale/charity shop all over again and not having to pay for them.
The 1970s block printed tunic came from a clearance rail at a vintage fair, the bastard massive retro sunglasses were from a car boot trader, who owed me 50p change but didn't have any coins. The cotton jersey maxis aren't the most exciting of things but can be chucked into a bag & don't need ironing & therefore ideal for our gypsy-like travels, layered with a tunic over the top for a bit of modesty when we visit temples or non-touristy places and comfy for sleeping in if we're on an overnight train. I fell in love with this tie-dye bandeau bikini when I accidentally spotted it on the internet last year but couldn't bring myself to pay £32. Eight months later I saw it on a stall at the car boot sale, in my size with the tags still attached, for £1. Get in!
This tooled leather handbag was a £1.99 charity shop find and I bought the metallic chappals from Colaba market in Mumbai back in January (they were around £2.50).
Most of the India suitcase is stuffed with clothes I've had for years and years. Just taking something out of the case instantly transports me back to previous times I've worn it.
This 1970s Jinty's, London maxi takes me back to sunset on Mumbai's Chowpatty beach (blog post HERE). I'm wearing it with my trusty denim waistcoat.
The tasseled Rajasthani bag (bought from a street stall in Agonda, South Goa) and one of a pair of block printed cotton wrap maxi skirts (bought from the fabulous Cotton Cottage in Margao, Goa's second city) remind me of the day we explored the Palácio Do Deão, deep in the state's interior. (Blog post HERE)
The second block printed skirt takes me back for a paddle in the Arabian Sea on the morning we walked eight kilometres along the beach from Benaulim to Betalbatim. The organic cotton vest was from a second-hand clothing sale in North Goa in aid of a local orphanage about 8 years ago.
The block printed wrap skirt (bought from a wonderful Indian family with a tiny shop in South Goa) has been patched up countless times, the hem worn away from trailing along the dusty pavements of India. Here it is in the Medieval temple town of Gokarna in Karnataka (Blog post HERE). The original 1970s Miss Selfridge halterneck was 50p from a chazza.
The same top crops up again here when we visited the incredible Palace in the Jungle (blog post HERE). My 1970s Dollyrockers maxi skirt was 99p from eBay about 10 years ago. In 2014 I bust the zip and paid a street tailor in Patnem 50p to replace it.
This was taken a couple of weeks later in Coorg, a remote hill station in Karnataka (blog post HERE). The insane 1970s deadstock Italian sunnies came from a vintage fair.
The same sunglasses worn with a vintage Rabari tribal skirt (Banardos, £1.99) on the train to Mangalore. That Ganesh tote bag is still going strong.
The Dollyrockers skirt again! This time worn with a vintage tribal print tie-back top (courtesy of Tania) and my trusty Jaipuri bag (via a car boot sale). I'm in the paddy fields in Sernabatim, South Goa.
It's that skirt & bag again! This time I'm wearing them to explore a derelict Portuguese era mansion (Blog post HERE). The vest is also in the suitcase, it's one of a pair featuring Hindu deities bought from a street stall for a couple of quid.
The Jaipuri leather bag strikes again! This time worn over a 1970s tribal print maxi dress (which hasn't been to India since 2012 but attended the Cornbury Festival back in the summer) and a 1970s fringed lace shawl (£3, charity shop) to visit an elephant festival in Kerala (blog post HERE).
This vintage Banjara tribal top came from a car boot sale. Seen here with the Dollyrockers skirt (and you thought I wore my denim waistcoat a lot!) enjoying a night out with a fabulous couple we met in South Goa.
In a very shabby, but wonderfully atmospheric, colonial era lodging house in downtown Madras (Chennai), celebrating my 40th birthday. Wearing my denim waistcoat with a black cotton gypsy skirt.
The tooled leather bag and gypsy skirt travel to the Matri Mandir at the Auroville Ashram (just down the road from Pondicherry, the former French colony (blog post HERE).
Of course, no adventure would be complete without a special mention to my denim waistcoat which although bought new, I've now had for so long that it's officially vintage. It's got so many holes in it that I've had to patch it up with a napkin given to me by our friends Pat & Matthew of A Vintage Affair. I'm hoping it'll see me through my travels for a good few years yet.
|Wearing: Vintage Lady Lichfield maxi (courtesy of Helga), Silver Chelsea boots (new!)|
I had every intention of actually packing this afternoon (nothing like being almost four weeks early) but I got distracted reminiscing about previous trips....must be my age. I'll be going to vintage fairs next and telling the stallholder how I used to have one of them.
See you soon!