tricks aren't only for kids

It was raining softly outside this morning, and my first thought was: that poor little toilet paper ghost is going to be all melted!

Yesterday when walking through the Boltons near home - a lovely eye-shaped island, surrounding a church, of large white mansions - I suddenly came upon this image. Then I felt, rather than saw, the movement of a child, running into the huge house.

When I told Mr. Dot after, he said 'they must be Americans' because - and this part I never got - Halloween really is perceived as an American holiday here, altho it came from British/Celtic culture originally. Curious, I started googling, and the very first article, in the Independent, caught my eye: Trick or treat: Is Halloween another tacky American import or a bit of harmless fun that boosts the economy? (I swear: that is all one title: longer than most of mine! But it's a good read.)

Because it's raining, and because I have work to do at home, I'm not out trying to shoot trick-or-treaters, as I know there will be, at best, a few stragglers (I do hope number 5, the Boltons, gets someone appreciating their efforts!) Instead, I've assembled some blurry/spooky shots taken at the V&A: a weird juxtaposition of events, the opening of the ceramic exhibit upstairs (which Mr. Dot's friend wanted to see), and, in the lobby, a fashion-week related event.

And it got me thinking, how lovely a tradition Halloween is. I mean, what is fashion, anyway, but expressing ourselves creatively. And Halloween is that one time of year when we can really go nuts, even if we're no longer children. The funny thing about the Brits is, they might not do Halloween, but they LOVE 'fancy dress' parties, which is really the same thing.

As a kid, I gave a lot of thought to my daily 'outfits', but we thought all year about our Halloween costumes. Some years I wanted to be pretty, all fairylike, but other years.. one year I went as a tramp. Why? What was I thinking? (One year, just after college, I went as a different type of tramp. Wore tight jeans, low cut top... sadly, no one got it). My favourite costume, for sure, was as a Geisha, in a pink silk kimono my dad had brought back from Japan, one of my favourite items of clothing. I wish I knew where it is, but I can remember so clearly the raised gold embroidery of the dragon... beautiful memories.

Are you dressing up this year? If so, what are you going as? If you'd like, send me a jpg, I'll post it. Hope wherever you are in the world, you're not getting tricked, but are, instead, getting lots o' treats.

Thank you to an anonymous 'girl in Finland' for sourcing this wonderful ceramic girl: the artist's name is Kim Simonsson and the ceramic girl is actually quite large: almost the size of a real little girl. Wonderful, wonderful work.

Actually if you got this far, you deserve to see a much better post: check out thats so rad today, it's such a hoot! (& the last shot, when I took the first shot I hadn't focused it, so I used a glass filter. This was the first result that came up & I kept it because it feels so spooky... kinda like 'the scream' by Munch.)


black cat walk

A little pre Halloween special for you: more shots from my first ever London catwalk show, the wacky KTZ guys. They had some great colour, but when it comes down to it, black is still the new black.

Hair do's, and don'ts. Would you go out in public with this do? If someone paid you? And if so, how much?


sliding doors (I could be in Albania right now)

I saw this girl on the platform at Notting Hill station. Soon as I snapped this, the train arrived & she got on.

Has anyone seen that film Sliding Doors? Who knows what could have been different in her life if she didn't get on that train. Life is that random: I think of that from time to time. How different my life could have been if, instead of going to that loft birthday party in Tribeca (NY) where I met Mr. Dot, I'd gone to Indochine, as planned, with my friend Claudia from Berlin, and the French guys. For one thing, I wouldn't be reporting to you here, in London, on street style. I could be, who knows, in Albania perhaps!

Anything is possible. Oh, and I love her boots, and now I'll never know where she got them. Unless, of course, any of you out there can tell me.


This isn't what I meant to post today, but I've been thinking about Min. I had spotted her on Portobello Road, looking very serene and sophisticated, with this wacky combo of stripes plaid, motorcycle jacket, and breton striped cardigan sticking way out of her jacket. I asked to take a quick shot, barely caught her name, tossed my card at her, and continued on my way.

A day later, an email arrived that was almost like haiku. It was from Min. She's from Korea, studying here, and was feeling very lonely that day, homesick, missing her family and friends. It really touched me. Especially since, earlier that day, I had been reminded of when we first moved here, years ago, because it was also a grey day. I'd gone alone to Notting HIll because it was meant to be such fun, and instead was wandering, cold and lonely, wondering what the hell I was doing here, newly married to a British man who was busy with his career. And here I was, years later, meeting one friend for coffee and bumping into another on the street, alone yet not alone, if you know what I mean.

And I promised Min that, in time, London will become her home away from home.

I wonder how many people reading this right now are in a new place, and are missing home. Or perhaps where you are now, is becoming home, as well. Where is home to you?

window shopping: the zanotti effect

(Whew. That was scary. Couldn't upload, and knew I'd be out for a while, as I was scooting over to Marylebone High Street to see my fabulous friend Jodi after yoga! Was actually thinking all day: what if I've lost photobucket forever? Scary thought!)

And now, back to our regularly scheduled program:

Maybe it's because the Louboutin shop isn't on my path to walk from A to B, and Zanotti's shoe shop is, but it seems each time I pass the corner by Brompton Cross, some little jewel like scupture catches my eye, glittering in the sun.

Guiseppe Zanotti makes Balmain's shoes, did I tell you that? I just like the sound of the man: he just seems really nice, and his sales staff so proud to work for him. And he doesn't even know I exist, and of course, no one's asking me to keep gushing about him. It's just become my own private obsession. Okay, maybe not so private! ; )

I don't want to know what they cost, or even try them on, let alone buy them. Knowing me, I'd just scuff them up & wouldn't store them properly in my already cluttered closet. If this is indeed, shoe porn, then I suppose I'm simply a voyeur.


Okay this is weird: I can't upload from photobucket! Which means I can't post. AND I'm late for yoga class! So just wanted to say thank you for your lovely lovely comments recently, and your patience.

back soon.... or not... xoxo


these boots are made for walking

Georgie, being a catwalk model in Russell & Bromley boots. Top by.. you won't believe this, but I do believe it's Topshop!

There's been a lot of debate lately between being a bootie girl, or over-the-knee. Can't we be both?

santa, baby, i'd like the whole kate moss collection, please

How exciting: just got a sneak preview of Kate Moss's Christmas collection, and, girls, it's so gorgeous, that I'm breaking with my tradition of just posting my own shots (altho, man, would I love to do my own street shoot with this line!)

Thank you for your lovely, lovely comments yesterday on the underwear-as-outerwear thing. So glad you get it: it doesn't matter who coined the phrase, altho I still think it's me ; ) - it's the idea of wow, we're all connected, we're all on the same page. That's the whole point of blogging!

Which makes Kate's new collection - which launches tomorrow, I believe - all the more interesting. I can't show you everything in one go - I'll show more later, I promise - but this time there's some gorgeous underwear which no one is stopping you from wearing as outerwear, (these are bras you seriously must be seen in) and in some cases like this dress, revealing the lace underneath is intentionally built into the design.

This such a rich collection, lots of glam factor, as we'd expect from our Kate at Christmas, but what really spells luxury for me are the traditional Japanese and Chinese influences. I've always wanted one of these Cheongsam dresses, and the one time I found one at a charity shop, the silk was so restricting I felt I couldn't breathe. But this is cleverly done in lurex knit, so we can do more than breathe in it. If you get my drift ; )

Last but not least, these yummy rose print silk pyjamas, adorned with an embroidered K, which come with a drawstring bag in the same material (don't you love those bags? Perfect for traveling, even to the pool @ the gym). And either the top or bottom would look great on the street.

Santa, baby, I so know what I want under my tree this year!



don't shoot me, i'm only the photographer (it's so zen)

Okay, so far, not doing so well with my contest to come up with a faux phrase to set loose in the blogosphere, altho I do like Sid's new colour name: electric shock therapy blue. Instead, I've been accused of falsifying the truth, and giving myself airs. Someone who goes by the name Anonymous has accused me of NOT coining the phrase Underwear as Outerwear, on the basis that he or she has 'heard that expression countless of times and honestly doubt you had the slightest influence on it.'

It stung a bit, to wake & get a not so nice message, but as Mr. Dot pointed out, it's an occupational hazard and I should basically pull my socks up. And it's not like I'm posting shots of myself every day, which I personally feel is far braver, and opens oneself to all sorts of scrutiny, insults, and worse. In fact, to show just how brave I can be: here I am. Rip me to shreds, girls!

Just to set the record straight: I'm not claiming to have started that underwear as outerwear trend. I'm just the messenger here. I simply happened to notice, since starting this blog last spring, that some cool looks were springing out of exposing one's undergarments to the elements. I could have sworn that phrase 'underwear as outerwear' came out of my little old head, as I don't recall seeing it elsewhere. If anyone can show me an example of it having been written prior to my first post, go ahead: make my day!

It's not like I get royalties each times it's used.

Anyway: this is Diandre (top shot), a lovely woman from Korea who lives in London and shoots for a private Korean subscription only blog. She was going round shooting people @ fashion week, and at the same time, people were shooting her cause she's so stylish & gorgeous. Self included. And she asked to shoot me. But I can't see the shots she took, as they're on the private Korean site (if at all).

I contorted my feet for the shot to show off my lovely handmade tights, by Jun the sleek geek, who was one of my early blog friends (she hasn't posted since August, I don't know why: she's young, and perhaps school and life took over). She had custom made these tights & posted them in the most wonderful packaging, and I was saving them for a special occasion, but wore them this day to LFW. Alas, when I went to hand wash them that night, I discovered she had drawn my name in Chinese in non-indelible ink, and they ran like tears down the drain. I've saved them, and cherish Diandre's shots, as this is all that's left of their once perfectness. It's so Zen.

Oh, credit where credit is due:
sequin motorcycle jacket: Topshop. black skirt: model's own. tee: the Gap. pompom ballet flats: Topshop
handmade chinese calligraphy tights: jun, the sleek geek

beautiful boy

So beautiful, in fact, I'm not quite sure he's actually human.

fashion can be fun

Katie and her wacky friends at Somerset House in September. Her jacket and skirt are from 'somewhere in Canada'. It's such a myth that the fashion world takes themselves so seriously. In my observation, people worked really hard but can keep it in proportion, and have a laugh.

Part of an on-going series on the colour red, which, while not my thing personally, is a colour that's cropping up everywhere this fall, and paired with the most unlikely combinations, not just crisp black and white, like I noticed last winter. To me this American style Varsity Cheerleader jacket works with the ripped hem because the skirt is cream, not white.

Not that I would necessarily (as you might have noticed, I'm not really a red girl), but there's an infinite number of ways to wear red now, from plum to russet, cool blue reds & warm tomato reds.. tiny amounts of accent colour, like just lips or nails (but, heaven forbid, not both! or at least, not matching!) or even, several shades at once. And, breaking the old rule, red & purple are looking so gorgeous to me right now.

In fact I'd go so far as declare that red might possibly be the new grey.


this is not just another love song

Like saving my chocolate Easter Bunny til Thanksgiving (and then, finally relinquishing it only after my mom cajoled me to 'make room in the fridge for the chocolate Turkey'), I've been hoarding this shot from Somerset House since September, for the right day. It was probably before the Ashish show @ fashion week, and I didn't even ask this sweet model for her name. And today is a gift from the gods here in London, unseasonably warm and semi-sunny. As perfect an English day in late October can reasonably hope to get. There must be some compensation somewhere in the world: I bet you somewhere in the Carribean, it's raining.

I've been thinking a lot lately about 'blog power', especially in the fashion world. For example: you know I've been banging on since I started my blog, about this 'underwear as outerwear' phenomenon. Well, sure enough: this Saturday's Telegraph magazine did a whole thing about it. In fact, they used these very words:

'If you thought showing your bra straps was unslightly, prepare to be horrified by next summer's key trend: UNDERWEAR AS OUTERWEAR.'

Now, granted, I didn't copyright the phrase, and there's no way of knowing if the author, Jeremy Farr, read my blog, or if we're just on the same page. But, still.

So I'm wondering: who else out there has noticed that what they're posting is ending up in the press?

I'd love to do an experiment. What if we - as a group - made up a trend. Just a phrase or stupid word, like elephants. 'Elephant grey'. I mean, as Pearl of fashion pearls of wisdom pointed out, someone out there coined 'coatigan' and some other genius came up with 'jeggings'.

We could just make something up. And then we start using it, and, like the Emporer's New Clothes, time how long it takes for a fashion editor to print it. Bit like tracking birds in the wild.

Any suggestions? Winner gets a free Obama Underground tee shirt (click here for image, and story).


John and his purple trainers, sketching

Inspired by a recent post from the gorgeous Erica, of Fashion Chalet, I'm going for a purple and red theme with these three shots taken within minutes of each other on Friday at the V&A. I love that combination even tho I recently said I don't like a) red, or b), purple with grey.

As I was posting this, our reincarnated cat decided that we didn't give him enough attention (we've just come back from the weekend in the Herefordshire countryside) so he knocked my entire full mug of PG Tips tea off my night stand, all over my favourite White Company pj's, the carpet, the laptop case, and several innocent books in the area. AND the last episode of Emma has already started & I'm missing it. I'm hardly jumping for joy about the situation.

So, lucky you, you get the shots without much explanation apart from the top shot is a sweet student from Germany (more about her & her friends soon), middle is a purple hair/coat combo I saw on the front steps and bottom, John, sketching a statue in purple trainers from China.


Vicky outside the V&A

Yesterday was a gift from the gods here in London: suddenly it got so warm, dry, even at times, sunny. I had a lovely coffee & chat (& lunch) @ Jaks with my friend Isabelle, then trotted off to the V&A to see my friend Dorrian (more about her next time). Outside, I saw Vicky, an artist & art student who had just had a lovely visit in the V&A.

I love how she's got that balance between comfortable & casual (Topshop 'jeggings' - how I hate that word, why can't we just call them 'leans', it's the same hybrid and at least it makes sense) and yet elements of glam in the pearls, lace, chains, and stunning orange red nail varnish.

As I was drifting off to sleep last night I was thinking: Victoria, outside the Victoria and Albert Museum. Well, it seemed more profound at the time.

Off to deepest Herefordshire & the in-laws, Mr. Dot is impatient that I haven't packed yet. Packing LOTS of grey & mucking about boots - expecting rain. Have a lovely weekend everyone!


jungle fever

Portobello Road, London.

An abundance of black, a good dose of leather, leggings, a sprinkle of brass and gold details, and a pinch of animal print: the perfect recipe for the Fall 2009 Season. (And of course, a little blackberry in one's ear. I am so looking forward to the time when this looks dated, because we've all got little teeny tiny phones in our ears. Like contacts. I'm sure someone's working on it, as we speak).

What I love about this year is how we're balancing the bling with being green: if one wants the luxury of fur, one goes vintage ('I didn't kill it, it was already dead') or faux. And the use of animal print on fabric or knit is such a sweet way to stay chic yet socially conscious. So there's just the leather factor. I was blown away by how Stella McCartney, a passionate vegetarian, has done such gorgeous non-leather shoes. It's all going in the right direction. How do you stand on the real/faux debate?

More fun fur shots coming up. Must fly! xoxo

lovely links: chain gang

Last Friday after meeting a friend for a coffee & chat on Portobello Road, I was wandering round the stalls and came across Astrid's stand, Da Lata (she shares it with a friend doing great stuff, too: more about him later). I was drawn to these bags because they remind me of some beautiful little chain purses I got from my maternal grandmother, Anna, from Belarus, who died just two weeks after I was born.

Da Lata bags tick all the boxes for me: they're glam, they go with everything, metallics are so on trend, and they're SO socially conscious. They're handmade in Brazil of recycled and sustainable materials, under the guidance of a wonderful woman named Pretinha, who coordinates a group of very disadvantage women from cooperatives in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.

It was their first day when I ran into them - for those of you in London, it's at the top of Portobello Road, near the large market, on the left. For everyone else, there's the website. (I don't get a kickback for any of these posts, by the way: I just love the bags, and think Astrid is so nice!)


purple reign

Georgie & Estelle, Regent's Park.

The other day I said I hated grey, black, and purple together (and then, just to play a little head game with myself, I wore that combo all day - on the street!) but I was thinking, I really do love purple, especially if it's a bit on the plum side, and especially, with chocolate brown shades and textures, like fur.

Georgie's deep magenta romper is from Topshop, her vintage mink coat with red paisley lining, Alexandros. Estelle's strapless pink, grey, and black flower dress is by H&M (doesn't it look like a McQueen?) and fur jacket, vintage.

Right now, I am loving glamorous, elegant touches, especially dressed down and worn during the day. Put on your pearls, girls, and go out and reign like the Princesses that you know you secretly are!

Off to tea with my wonderful widowed scientist friend, Dennis, who is in his 80s. But first, stopping by for a chat with my other gorgeous friend, Barbara, who is 97.



una: red head

Case in point: Una, a make-up artist, spotted & dotted on the platform at Notting Hill Underground station. As per previous post.

Isn't she absolutely lovely?

and now for something completely different

Dee, from Dublin, at Somerset House. September.

This wasn't remotely what I came here to post: I've got some recent shots which you'll be seeing soon, I promise (once Mr. Dot gets his dinner). But after a few days of grey, I saw this while going thru shots to give to new friends I've met at fashion week, and Dee is one of three wonderful sisters (more on them soon) & I saw this bold burst of black, white (on the background) and pink & thought, Ooh, what fun! And besides, it's springtime for half the planet. Which is so easy for me to forget on a damp grey English day.

Someone mentioned in one of my favourite fashion blog/sites, Red Carpet Fashion Awards (it's such frivolous fun & I can while hours away on it) that the tacky bleached blonde Donatella look is so over. I agree: if one is going to blatantly colour one's hair, these days in London what's catching my eye are stunning shades of red: from orange, to burgundy. (Which is rich, coming from someone who's never so much as highlighted her hair). I'm so not loving the fake yellow bottle blonde - that looks so 20th century to me - but as you've heard me say before, I do like white hot platinum (altho, for Stephanie @ Style Odyssey, I do understand her reasons.)

I love the platinum with Dee's colouring, and beautiful blue eyes. Then again, she'd look just as stunning if she'd dyed it black. I love that 'black Irish' look of blue eyes and black hair (which, according to legend, trickled down from the survivors of the Spanish Armada falling in love with the Irish lasses).

So: is this the end of the Bottled Blonde? Fingers on buzzers please.


go ahead: make my day

Wow, what a joy to wake up this morning and see comments from yesterday's post. It is so like sending messages in bottles, and seeing replies wash up on shore! And it helps me get to know you better. Our colour preferences are so emotional, so tied up with our identity.

Yesterday I wrote that I used to hate grey because I pictured it with black and purple, and couldn't get that image out of my head. Wish I had a photo: a flash of a memory, perhaps a mannequin on a high street in London in the late 90s: cheap grey pin striped suit, on WOMEN... waist coats worn over shiny synthetic black shirts with big lapels, touches of lavender... sorry, I will never like that look.

UNTIL.. the Photodiarist pointed out: "But wait a minute . . . what if the purple is vibrant and bright? Why not with grey?" and I realised: there is ALWAYS a look that will work, if you just look at it from a different angle.

Mr. Dot & I were crossing the Wobbly Bridge, as everyone calls it, leaving the Tate, and we both saw Elizabeth (or, Effy) moving at a fast clip. When I caught up with her & asked to shoot her for my blog, she hesitated as she thought she looked bad that day. (I'm always amazed when people say that: I wonder, if this is their style on a bad day, what else they've got up their fashionable sleeve!)

I love her wonderful red suede elf shoes. I say I never like red, but shoes are the one place I make an exception. She had such an unpredictable, subtle, sophisticated colour sense. I asked if she was in fashion and she said no, she's an artist. Of course.

Effy wrote me later to say she was feeling a bit low that day, and when I asked to shoot her, it made her day. Which makes MY day.

What first caught my eye was her big blue Peony, ironically, as I'd just drank my first White Peony tea, but then.. look at this, she's got this steel blue greenish grey trench working with some kind of black net skirt poking out, and PURPLE TASSLE SOCKS!!! The very combination I said would never work.

I so love being proved wrong.


grey day

Was thinking recently, it seems a lot of one's 'style' is colour, or lack of it. Some are bold colour people. Or all black. Or black, with bright or metallic accents. OR Pastel People. Or Miss Neutrals. And then there are the Greys. I've had such a love/hate relationship with grey - it really depressed me in the late 90s, it felt cheap and sad paired with black and purple. I can't explain, but that colour combination just makes me sad. And it rather tarred my feelings towards grey, I must admit.

And then this summer, I fell in love in the most sudden, lightening bolt fashion: grey, with a tan, with pale skin, in various shades, charcoal, pale, paired with neutrals and nudes and pale pinks.. then this hot sunny September, it just didn't rock my world any more. I fell out of love with grey.

But today... I'm looking at this model from fashion week, and I can see the point of it. Especially with silver, and black. And her pale blonde hair is such a sun-shiney foil. In fact, as I type this, I'm wearing a soft grey cardigan that I found on the street during fashion week, right outside Somerset House. Being run over by a taxi (the cardigan, not me - altho, close). It probably fell off a model as she jumped into a waiting car and got whisked away to a party. And now it's on me, dry and warm and loved, like a stray cat.

What colour combo are you? And are you in character today? Is there a colour, or combination, that you wouldn't be caught dead in? (for me, it's red. And as combos, there's no way I'd wear black with orange, or yellow: and yet, black with orange AND hot pink, sure!!). Sometimes, tho, it's good to go totally out of character. One of these days, perhaps, I'll embrace red, like my friend Felicia wore today: a tomato red wool coat with huge frilly collar. It almost could convert me.

But not today. Today, I'm feeling grey. In a cosy, tea drinking, luxurious sort of way.

hair do: osman or ashish?

@ Somerset House, Day Two. For either the Osman show, or Ashish. Actually, judging by the sleek, slightly rippled effect of the hair dos, I'm guessing Ashish. Osman's do's look all to be topknots.

Actually, I'm sure there's someone out there who knows. Possibly who has even been to one, or both of the shows. I love both their collections. They're so opposite: Osman's so serene, all white and gold and clean and geometric. Ashish, I LOVE his bold colours, black and turquoise and aquamarine blue, crazy pop art patterns and scary studs. And don't even get me started on his shoes!

Which are you: an Osman, or an Ashish girl?