Monday, 16 December 2019

It's My Obsession - Afghan Nomad Dresses


 I've only gone and found myself another vintage Afghan nomad dress to add to my collection.


Worn by the Kuchi, Afghanistan's nomadic tribe, these dresses - usually made from heavy cotton - feature a hand-embroidered bodice with a notch opening than can be worn at the front or the back and have wide sleeves and a very full skirt. They were traditionally worn over trousers that gather at the ankle with a chador (headscarf) to cover the hair. The dress with the black skirt and the one alongside it with the mirrored inserts on the bodice are traditional dresses that would have once been worn by the tribal woman themselves while the others were produced especially for export to the West, when the hip and trendy became obsessed with ethnic fashion in the late '60s/early 1970s.


Ethnic dresses are hugely popular and deservedly so, even Zara do passable imitations, but the original versions can go for crazy amounts of money. It took me a few years to find an Afghan dress at an affordable price but, as any collector will tell you, as soon as you finally find the item you've been searching for, like buses, others soon start turning up.


I could gaze at images of Kuchi women in their traditional dress all day. I was definitely born in the wrong country, tweed, tartan, pearls and Burberry raincoats in endless neutral shades, the clothes we Brits are well known for, have never appealed.

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Give me rich vegetable-dyed cottons, intricate embroidery, sparkling mirrorwork and lashings of heavy metal jewellery that clanks when you move.

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Despite their bastard massive size the oxidised tribal earrings I'm wearing aren't visible in my photos. Like the dress they're vintage Kuchi and were a lucky find on eBay.



WEARING: 1970s Afghan nomadic dress & Reiss wool fedora (both eBay), 1960s cranberry suede & patent leather go-go boots (car boot sale over a decade ago)
Unless you live under a rock you'll know all about Thursday's UK general election results and, like 99.9% of my friends, I'm utterly devastated but here's a vote with results that made me very happy indeed.....


Not only did I win Best Blog in the Vintage Pony Awards 2019 but also Vintage Guy/Gal! I can't promise that I'll change anything with my win, I shall just continue in the way I always have done, dressing from head-to-toe in vintage clothes and writing about stuff that interests me to anyone willing to read it.

Thank you so much to everyone who was kind enough to vote for me and for putting a smile back on my face for the first time in days.

See you soon!

51 comments:

  1. wonderful win, the other vote...
    I still have the Folkware pattern for the Afghan dress, one of these days I'll make one. If my mind isn't playing tricks I think I started making the bodice way too long ago. I might even have it somewhere

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    1. Thank you!
      Yes, I have that Folkwear pattern, too but it's so lovely to look at that I can't bring myself to cut it up! x

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  2. Well, Vix, the timing on those wins was perfect to offset the political news! I am glad of that. In my opinion you enrich all of us with your special finds, your joy in other cultures and your happy spirit. Long may it all continue.

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    1. Thanks, Jan! Winning a double Pony Award cheered me up no end!

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  4. I love your ethnic dresses - and those earrings! So so pretty. Congrats again on your wins - nobody deserves it more.

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  5. Love this one vix , I love the roses trim most of all xx

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    1. Thanks, Eileen! I loved those overblown roses, a bit of Englishness on an exotic dress! z

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  6. They're glorious photos, and clearly those dresses are much loved and well worn by their owners. Your new one is a Corker, the boots add your take on it and are a perfect accompaniment.
    I'm now avoiding all news, something I was watching obsessively until last Friday. As someone said to me after the result, it's got to be about concentrating on each other and being kind now, I couldn't agree more.
    So good to hear of your success, at least your awards put a smile on my face. xxx

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    1. +1 to Sally's remarks about avoiding news and being kind to each other. My sympathies re: Boris; I only fear that we're going to have another 4 years of The Donald here in the U.S. after the 2020 elections. (Expletives deleted.)

      But congratulations on your continued fabulous finds, as well as the blog awards! I don't comment often, but you certainly get my award for giving me much-needed doses of color and life.

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    2. Thanks, Sally! I did try and take a break from the news but I seem compelled to watch it, depressing though it may be. We do have to be kinder than ever now, don't we? xxx

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    3. Always lovely to hear from you, A.Marie. I hope you get some respite from The Donald eventually but it does feel like the world is turning increasingly right wing.
      Thanks for reading and your support. xxx

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  7. Your collection of richly coloured Afghan dresses is a sight for sore eyes and they suit you so well! I'm absolutely loving your new treasure. What an amazing colour and the roses print! And congratulations on your win. I wasn't at all surprised to read you've won both the awards! xxx

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    1. Thanks so much. I was amazed to win two Ponies. I'm glad I dusted the mantelpiece last weekend now!
      The lady was selling two dresses (she bought them from a secondhand stall on Camden Market back in the early 1980s) but both were scheduled to finish within a few seconds of one another and luckily for me most people placed bids on the first to finish leaving this beauty to me and one other bidder! Phew! xxx

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  8. What a glorious collection of dresses. You look amazing in them.
    Love the photo of the lady with all the bells on her dress and the enormous rings.
    Congratulations on your wins.
    Hugs-x-

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    1. Thanks, Sheila! I love the details on that photo, I'd kill for that jewellery. xxx

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  9. Double congratulations are in order. Firstly, for your awards. Well done you! Secondly, for that fabulous find. The Afghan dresses are truly beautiful and the the detail on them is fascinating. The jewellery is amazing; look at the size of those bastard massive rings! I loved your earrings although they do look really heavy; I hope they're not!

    It seems hard to find much to smile about after the election result but happily your blog is one of the things that always brings a smile to my face - thank you!

    Have a great week.
    xxx

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    1. Thanks, Vronni! I love the overblown roses on that tribal dress, such a contrast. I wonder what the Afghan lady who made the dress made of that print?
      I did worry about how heavy those earrings would be (the downside of buying online!) but fortunately for me they're lightweight tin and really comfy. I hate heavy earrings.
      I'm glad I managed to put a bit of a smile on your face. I'm over the sadness now and just angry instead. xxx

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  10. Congratulations on your win, Vix - so well deserved. Your Blog is the best and I love seeing your outfits and all the wonderful things you have found out op-shopping.

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    1. Thank you so much, Alli! You are kind and your support is much appreciated. xxx

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  11. Firstly, congratulations on your win! I'm so pleased. Love reading your blog, seeing all your new finds and sharing in your fabulous ventures abroad.

    What a beautiful collection of Afghan dresses you have. The rose print on your new one is gorgeous. You model them so well!

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    1. Thanks so much, Suzy! The double win certainly brightened up an otherwise miserable few days.
      Isn't that rose print amazing? It's like a soft furnishing from an English country house. xxx

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  12. I've been sending good vibes your way since I heard the results. Gads, and we have "the Donald" to the south too...I'm just going to hide up north here.

    Lovely dress - wow, those women went/go all out with the ornamentation. Aren't those earrings heavy? My poor lobes can't handle weight much anymore.

    Congratulations on the well-deserved wins! You are an inspiration.

    PS - putting in my request for a picture of Frank and his giant fish toy. :)

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    1. You Canadians are a lot more sensible having the charismatic Justin. It's not fair!
      I just replied to Vronni's question - the earrings are surprisingly light- always a gamble when you buy online. Despite the fact they brush my shoulders I forgot I was wearing them yesterday.
      I shall photograph Frank and his giant fish, he does look silly grappling it! xxx

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  13. Congradulation on your blog award. I hope you will give us more on history of clothing. I like the bells on her dress.
    Coffee is on

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    1. Thanks so much, Dora! I love that image of the lady with the bell-trimmed dress, those Kuchi women certainly know how to adorn themselves. xxx

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  14. Firstly, your afghan dress is like a ray of sunshine, I love its panels, the roses print, the sleeves, everything!. Your collection is increasing in fabulousness!!. Thanks for sharing these pics of Kuchi women, they bring lots of joy and inspiration!. And I've laughed at those 'endless neutral shades' which are not your cup of tea, ;DDD. I understand that feeling of being like an exotic rare bird in a starlings flock. A colorful one!

    Congratulations on your blog award and all the good vibes provided by it and by all the fab people sending support and being kind!. I've been trying my best to cheer up my british friends!.
    besos

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    1. Thanks, Monica! I thought I'd be satisfied when i finally found an Afghan dress within my budget last year but they're so lovely to wear I've become a bit of an addict! At least I could justify this one for being totally different to all the others!
      You've done a wonderful job trying to cheer us up this week. I've never felt less British in my entire life. xxx

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  15. congratulations to the double price winning!!!
    you are the best!!!
    i love your nomad dresses and jewelry - and it is the perfekt style for you. the newest dress is such a cool mix with this european rose design patches.
    maybe all cool brits should come to germany, then our problem with being hopeless hillbilly will get solved :-D
    xxxxx

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    1. Thanks so much, Beate, winning two awards was very exciting!
      We'd happily move to Germany and get away from this terrible mess. The thought of being trapped on this island surrounded by people who think Brexit and the Tory party are a good thing scare me to death. xxx

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  16. Congratulations Vix. But then how could you not win with such a colourful interesting blog. I once read somewhere that some people are born to be colourful birds of paradise and others are born to be little brown sparrows. You definitely fall into the bird of paradise section

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    1. Thanks so much, Cherie! I'm very happy to be compared to a Bird of Paradise! xxx

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  17. Wohoo! I'm glad you won : ) I voted for you. It is well deserved.

    I can certainly see you in all the example photos here.

    Your collection is growing and your newest piece is gorgeous. It is very cool that you have truly defined your style.

    Suzanne
    http://www.suzannecarillo.com

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    1. Yay! Thank you so much, Suzanne!
      I've definitely refined my style over the last year or so, investing in pieces I truly love. xxx

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  18. Stunning dress and photos--- just love everything! Earrings are incredible. Congrats on blogger award!!! I'm so upset about your election, as well. It's just awful tbh...

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    1. Thanks, Becky! I had to have those earrings, I watched them for ten days, they needed to be mine! xxx

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  19. I agree with you, give me bright colours and intricate embroidery any day of the week!
    Congratulations on your win. Of course I had to vote for you - I love reading your blog.
    Have a lovely week. X

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  20. congratulations on your awards - I did try to add my vote but wasn't able to negotiate the site very well - glad other people succeeded though. Love the Afghan dresses - you are so good at spotting these things and the heavy earings are beautiful - not likely to see another pair of those so pretty much unique. Betty x

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    1. Thanks for trying to vote, Betty! I'm not very good with Instagram. It took me about a year to figure out that DM meant a direct message!
      The Ethnic/Tribal jewellery section on eBay is fascinating, most of it is rubbish (or eye wateringly expensive) but well worth ploughing through every week or so when earrings like these pop up! xxx

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    2. still loving the silver hoops I bought after you pointed me in the right direction, my friend gave me some silver and turqoise danglies for my birthday, yet to wear - time to get glammed up!

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    3. Oh yes! Get those fabulous earrings and Anokhi treasures on your back and shine! xxx

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  21. Those Afghan dresses are truly gorgeous, especially the original ones. How beautiful are those women in their traditional clothes....simply stunning. You look absolutely fabulous in your traditional Afghan dress and I just love your earrings. These warm colours suit you so well.

    Congrats on winning both the awards, you deserve them.

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    1. The Kuchi women are magnificent, aren't they? Thanks, Ivana! x

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  22. Congrats on your well-deserved win. We are very disappointed in your election results because my prediction was that if your jerk won again, so would ours.

    I can't believe the dresses you found are in such good condition. And now they are in a home where they will continue to be well card for.

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    1. Thank you! It seems like the Western world is taking a worrying turn to the right, I seriously worry for our future. xxx

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  23. Nomad Fashion rocks! Congrats on the Win!

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  24. Ha, I'll have your tartan and tweed, I love them! And if I ever find an Afghan dress I'll bag it for you.

    If only we could find someone to take the shower of shites in government off our hands...

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  25. Congratulations on the double win in the Vintage Pony Awards! I think you could have been a member of a Kuchi tribe in a previous lifetime, which may account for your connection to their garments and adornments. The colours and patterns are lovely, and they definitely suit you so I understand the obsession!

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Thank you for leaving a comment. If you have a blog I'll pop over and return the favour.

Lots of love, Vix