cuckoo for coco

I don't know what is going, but it seems like everyone has woken up recently and decided to wear black and white. Self included. I was talking with my sister in Massachusetts and she said 'That's so weird..' and proceeded to describe what she'd worn out the night before. Sure enough: black and white. And I'm seeing a lot of Chanel-inspired, ladylike-with-a-twist ensembles - each very cool, chic, original, and above all, with an element of fun.
Case in point: Hind, half French, half Moroccan, but a true Londoner for the past 10 years, dotted near Whole Foods, in a gorgeous white coat (from Mango a few years back), and - brave for this time of year - bare legs and fabulous wedge sandals from Paul Smith (last year's collection). The bag is black patient Dior (new collection) and the sunglasses, from the grand lady herself: none other than Chanel. 
Past versions include IT Girl, way back in March, or more recently, Mystery Brunette and the new kid in town,  MK of Palm Beach. Stay tuned for future variations on a theme.


frida (form following function)

It started to pour, I was freezing from a whole day out shooting (under dressed) so I ducked into H&M in Knightsbridge (& of course one can't leave H&M empty handed!). Saw this girl with a calm beauty about her, and didn't realise til we started talking that she's a real model. Frida Gustavsson, with IMG. She's from Sweden, as is H&M, so she's a seasoned shopper. Taking her photo was a surreal experience: she transformed before my eyes from a sweet young girl to something.. otherworldly. Quite grown up, and self possessed. The moment I snapped the shutter, she became a regular girl again. I predict she's going to be a huge star, because she's also really, really nice. Also, she was like the only person I saw all day actually wearing a raincoat. Wise girl. Won't do these days to show up at a photo shoot with a cold. Freak everyone right out.
In Frida's own words:
"Uhm oki the trenchcoat is from Zara, the sunglasses from H&M acctually ;), tights from Falke, sneakers from GANT, the small black clutch/envelope-bag is from a really nice swedish brand called WHYRED and the backpack is vintage, thats all i think : ) "  


tip top topshop top tip (or, all that glitters might be goldin)

Went to the Tate Britain with my husband recently and saw, incongruously, a fabulous exhibit of altermodernist art. According to the manifesto, it's even more modern than postmodern, because apparently postmodern is dead. Ironic they installed it in the lovely old Tate, cause they have all that space in the Tate Modern. It's still on and there's the most brilliant video installation that's a rant on conspiracy theories.. worth going to, if you're in town, just for that. I'm definitely going back.

While there, met Jo, originally from Japan, with Chris, wearing a great top from Topshop, (last season) by a designer named Louise Goldin. I'm curious about her. Does anyone know her?* I love the way Jo made the look uniquely her own, over what looks like a traditional woven skirt, skinny straight leg jeans, and metallic ballet pumps.

(*Wow, that was fast. Minute later: bless Amy @ StyleSpy - she's directed me to all things Goldin. I'm an instant fan! And lucky me - we live in London - I'm going to find where she sells her wares. With God as my witness, I'll never go Goldinless again.)

unmasked: all a twitter

Face masks: it's what everyone's twittering on about. As of this posting, no one knows which way this is going to go, and I don't want to make light of the subject. For all we know, in a few weeks time all we'll be able to do is blog because we can't leave our homes.

Was on the street with my friend Kimber, when a woman walked by in a face mask. Turns out she's a journalist: Jasmine Gardner. Read all about it in today's Evening Standard. (My friend Adrienne said 'you must have press radar' because of the Obama thing). Here's my shot of Jasmine, with a couple of cowboys snogging in the corner, seemingly unconcerned about transmitting swine flu. I've noticed a lot of black dresses this week, often with black lace tights. Let's just hope it's not a premonition. Not to make light of things, girls: remember, wash your hands often, cover your mouth with a hanky when you sneeze, and avoid the Tube, which I'd do anyway. Those double-decker buses are so much more scenic, and oh so cute!
Similar look, without the face mask. This is Jade, dotted outside H&M on a break with her friend (they work there - both absolutely charming) - just steps away from Jasmine in her mask. Which is it, girls: mask, or un?


being green

Dotted at the Duke of York Plaza, near Sloane Square: Elizabeth & her boyfriend. We love the long green scarf (another colour, besides mustard and hot pink, that we expect to see used creatively this spring), and the great white jumper that matches her brilliant smile. Her denim cut-offs are great over black tights with her long legs & cool burgundy boots. We're seeing a lot of interesting versions of shorts with tights & boots - great way to ease into spring.
Update: Elizabeth has just told me: the Boyfriend's name is Richard, she's Danish & works in conservation - so the green theme is a bit of serendipity. Her jumper is from Camden Town but she can't remember where she got the boots - she fell in love with them when she was out buying Christmas presents. Lucky she's got a tall boyfriend to match.

Also at the Duke of York Plaza: Emma. She's a doctor. A real doctor. Now, for those of you who don't live in a country with a National Health Service, even doctors - ESPECIALLY doctors - have to shop smart these days. 
Emma's fur trimmed green jacket is from Zara, shoes from Topshop, grey cardigan from H&M. We love the NHS: where else in the world would you find such cool, stylish doctors?


good sport

Ran into Claire on a grey Sunday morning, near 'Brompton Cross' - that fashionable triangle in South Kensington made up of Bibendum, Chanel, and Old Brompton Road. She couldn't understand why I thought she looked photo-worthy, but was a good sport about letting me shoot her. One can only imagine what she looks like when she makes an effort! Note the Abercrombe & Fitch hoodie and Nike logos on her ankle socks.


because we're worth it

More postcards from Palm Beach: Worth Avenue, and Irma, from Brazil, staying cool in a trend I've seen a lot here this season: white trousers with a neon top, in this case a light polo style in chartreuse. She unapologetically had braces on her teeth and a truly genuine smile and generous spirit. That, to me, is real style.

Window shopping on Worth Avenue: diamonds, as always, appear to still be a girl's best friend.


postcards from palm beach: all the news that's fit to print

Along with this fascination with hot pink (more about that later), the ubiquitous all white/black/neutral uniform, and neon brights (especially green) with white, we're seeing a lot of pattern marching down Worth Avenue this season. Part of the reason is the classic Lily Pulitzer shift dress - she's back, got a shop in town, and is bigger than ever. This (above) is a good example of a classic print shift dress - might be by LP, but everyone's doing a version in PB.

And, of course, Tory Burch, the new(ish) kid on the block, is doing fabulous modern spins on that classic concept. I've even noticed a few rather.. large girls not at all afraid to wear big bold patterns. With confidence.

Hey: I'm not condoning the trend, girls, I'm simply reporting the news. Please, don't shoot the messenger.


new kid in town

MK had just been in Palm Beach one week when I met her on Worth Avenue. Her boyfriend writes for the Palm Beach Post. I promise you, she's going to ruffle a few feathers because she's not just tall, blonde, and beautiful, but she's also really, really nice - and smart & funny. We became instant friends.

Love her clean, confident, classic simplicity, and the whimsy of adding the white waistcoat. The menswear trend is going to be big, we predict. It's accessible - we can borrow from our men, literally - and we can be creative & make it our own style, as MK has done so successfully. (another clever interpretation is on Vicci, of Primrose Hill)

Step aside, Claudette Colbert! There's a new kid in town, and she's writing a whole new Palm Beach story.


postcards from palm beach: hot pink!

Just stopped in between swims to post this: Met Jennifer & her beau @ the beach right @ the intersection of Worth Avenue: ground zero for Palm Beach fashion. She was so much more stylish than the women roaming the streets in the noonday sun - because SHE'S having fun! They're showing a lot of hot pink in the stores (these gorgeous hot pink shoes by Guiseppe Zanotti were in Saks' window; just saw a similar pair @ Harvey Nicks) but the Palm Beach matrons would give up a trust fund or two to have Jennifer's body - and confidence - and to be able to pull off wearing this dress (by Guess).
Gotta go - I'm like a fish out of water. xoxo


bright star

Dotted in Primrose Hill: Lulu, of London. I was having lunch outside with my friend Amanda at this great Greek cafe, when Lulu breezed by with a friend. She's combined brown knitted Ugg boots, a hot pink miniskirt, black leather motorcycle jacket, and glitter eye shadow - on a weekday, in broad daylight. What a star. She's the type that when she DOES become famous, everyone will say she was always like this.


fit builder style

So I was walking down Walton Street, minding my own business, when walking towards me on a quiet Monday morning is this guy. He smiled as he passed and I thought, what the hell: it's not just women's 'Street Style London', right? I was just about to ask permission to shoot him when he continued up a ladder. He's a builder! Or maybe he's a model slash actor making ends meet as a builder. In any case, he was really nice - dutifully held that pose til I got my shot. 


street chic

Elana, of Paris via Israel, dotted on Kensington High Street.


flower drum song

Peony in Knightsbridge. Nice hat, nice Chanel bag. Nice girl, too.



Georgia, a Londoner, near the King's Road. She also shoots in film, just bought a similar camera to mine on Portobello Road. Charming girl.


scarfs & stripes

Vicci, Primrose Hill. Luminescent skin. Love the waistcoat.


you can lead a horse to water

Each season, the industry predicts a few trends that we never see on the street -  or anyone's body. It's a horse and water thing, I've noticed. Some styles they just can't make us drink. For example: I predict we are not going to wear harem pants. Has anyone out there bought any? If so: are your labels still on them? Have you worn them? Why'd you buy? To hide figure flaws? I mean: they don't even look good on models!

Okay, that's my rant for the day. I can be totally wrong - might just be my own taste. But my friends aren't wearing them, nor am I seeing them on the street. Someone out there, please: prove me wrong! If you send me a shot of someone looking good in them, I'll put it up. Cross my heart!


a walk in the park

So I was walking in Holland Park on Sunday with Mr. Dot, checking out the daffodils & the Kyoto Garden & listening to London Walks* on our iPod, when I found myself walking thru a Kodak Moment: a lovely family, near the cafe, posing for photographs with a very young baby, and having so much fun doing so.
I don't know what I noticed first, Amanda's fabulous print dress, or her laugh. Love the shoes - and the peek of blue polish on her toes.

*See London Walks under 'nice things' - downloadable, free - and fabulous!


mystery brunette

Saw a couple in the Boltons, loved the whole look, the big sunglasses and shiny killer heels, that great dress.. a cross between Gabriella from Desperate Housewives, and Posh (or what Posh might look like if she smiled).. took a quick pic, but I was in a rush, and it felt like they were, too. Now I can't remember her name! Was it.. Paola? All I know is, she's Italian. But of course!

Fashion update: Mystery solved! Her name is Claudia, she's just contacted me. Good thing I'd given her my card. And I agree with Steve: her look is more a cross between Jackie O & Audrey Hepburn. And she's also so nice. Actually: everyone has been. It's such fun!


biker chic

Saw Jo in the changing room - we'd both gone for a swim after Arup's great yoga class. Love the effortless layering, sandals with leggings & topped off with a great leather jacket, in this season's colour scheme of hints of yellow. Accessorised of course with head gear: safety first!

She was a good sport about letting me shoot her before zipping off on her bicycle. Speaking of which: Arup also builds bicycle wheels (see 'nice things'), bringing this full circle. It was all very zen & the art of motorcycle maintenance!


lars eating a sandwich near his bicycle

Lars, of Sweden, dotted on High Street Kensington with his bicycle, eating a sandwich. Note the use of two different red plaids, the necklace with the cross, and the way he's personalised his red Nikes with aqua laces. And the detail on the bicycle clips.
I asked him to wait there while I went back to 02, where my husband had my bag, to get my card. To my surprise, he was still waiting by his bicycle, in that stoic Scandinavian manner, when I got back. Lars, if you're reading this: thanks, & hope it was worth the wait.


me & my BFF michelle obama

This was shot at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday, up on the wall by the gates, waiting for the Obamas to arrive. For a change, I knew how it felt to be dotted: great, frankly!

And it couldn't have been more opposite to what was going on in the City on the same day. Everyone was so happy. And so quiet. A thousand or more people, and you could hear a pin drop. Waiting, having fun, being stylish and blase. Living life in peace. And when the First Couple finally arrived.. a magic moment. Just like that John Lennon song.

But life is strange, and because of an item of clothing, this photo - and others shot by photographers at the same time - have now appeared in so many papers, from the Guardian to the Telegraph to a big spread in Time Out - and now, online, with this cute thread about the 'girl' in the tee shirt. Someone from ABC News interviewed me on what we think of Michelle here in London, which was fun (answer: everyone loves her). Oh, if anyone's interested: I wore riding boots from Blue Velvet (King's Road), white jeans from the Gap, tee shirt, my own design as inspired by Karin Robinson and the London Underground. But we're much more interested in what Michelle was wearing. And she was dressed in Gap for Number Ten, so we're clearly on the same page.


make your mark

I was lost in a neighbourhood I knew well, Knightsbridge, on a fabulous quiet street I'd never been to before, on the way to the Palace to meet friends to greet Obama as he came to see the Queen for tea. I ran into Phil, on his way to get a visa to go to Egypt. He gave me his card and I'm intrigued by what they do (see 'make your mark', right). It's gotta be a nice thing!


chums de lycée

Dotted on Bute Street: Constance and Julie, friends who go to the French lycée nearby. Très Chic!


case closed!

Okay, some of you might recall the lovely Lucy, who was out with Wallace when I dotted them on Gloucester Road way back on the 24th of March. It was a cold day and she was mostly in black, with a great, bit grey flannel type bag, and had these sweet pumps in the kind of nude pink we're all looking forward to wearing lots more of come real spring. I was having trouble sourcing them.

Well Lucy has just got in touch! She DID get them at Liberty - at the Christmas sale - and the brand is Solea. You all probably know about this, but I'd never heard of them. According to Lucy, they're quite common - she might have seen them at Harrods, too. They're sold at Kurt Geiger online, but not that exact style. The ones shown here are the Sindy Pink Courts*, supposedly were £119 ($222 USD) but now the extraordinary price of £19- must be a typo!

* http://www.kurtgeiger.com/online-shop/15367-solea-sindy

But I still like Lucy's best. Guess we'll have to hold out for eBay, or Oxfam.

The weird thing is, this all happened while Mr. Dot & I were watching rented DVDs of the Wire. It's all quite.. mysterious.


just because

.. I thought she was sweet. Anna, on Kensington High Street.

louis, louis

Saw Paulette from Paris dashing past Chanel @ Brompton Cross. It takes real balls to combine classic Burberry plaid scarf, red nail polish, Louis Vuitton black monogram Speedy bag, Gucci logo belt buckle..God knows which designer jeans... but it works somehow on her.  Maybe because there's some relief from the pattern-on-pattern with the simple, crisp white shirt and dark, skinny leg jeans... or maybe it's simply that element of irony & FUN (repeat after me, Girls: this isn't the G20 summit, it's just fashion).

I didn't even realise until I got the film developed (yes, I shoot with real film - my dad's old Spotmatic from the sixties) that even her LOAFERS have designer logos on it - I think it might be Louis, as well. That's TWO LOUIS's in one look!