31.8.11

thank kew





When Frida, on behalf of the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, got in touch last June, the plan was to do a photo shoot there - you know, kind of self style etcetera. When we finally did it on this Bank Holiday Monday - nearly the end of August - one of the outfits I chose is what I also wore to my mom's birthday dinner this summer, on the North Fork.

Dress, designed by me, made to my specifications (high squarish arms, slightly boat neck, split up the back seam to make moving easier) from fabric I found at the Cloth House, in Soho. They had the best kinds of silky woven fabrics, with a bit of lycra for give. This dress was made by a lovely dressmaker named Gillian, in Herefordshire, in 1997: a year when I simply could not find anything I liked in the shops. Everything was cut on the bias, and long, and worn with thick clunky mid heeled shoes.. so not me. This is the look I tend to gravitate to, regardless of current trends. Call me old fashioned, I guess.





Shoes: an Italian brand I do not know, in silvery lizard, and zebra patterned possibly pony skin, which I got at Oxfam for £20 a few years ago. Pearls, gift from my husband, NYC, before we were married. That's about it, really, apart from the haircut, which I did myself that morning: I wash my hair, comb it to one side, take the scissor and one quick snip, on an angle. Oh and the gold 'scented' nails, by Revlon, which look slightly green in the bottle, but gold in sunlight. Been wearing them all summer: goes with everything.

I really love pale green with a little bit of pink, for accent. In this case, my hot pink Storm watch, but if not, nails.. something pink. Just a little bit.

Thank you to Frida, for arranging the tickets for us. If you're headed to Kew, check out the different worlds: more about that, coming up.

20 comments:

Lauren said...

Very pretty! Love her zebra print shoes.

The Styleseer
http://styleseer.blogspot.com

Lauren said...

Very pretty! Love her zebra print shoes.

The Styleseer
http://styleseer.blogspot.com

alexandratherese said...

Love these shots of you Jill - especially the first one - you look as though you are being papped! I've always thought that in your own outfit posts you look like a famous person (in a good way obviously! You manage to command the camera and not shy away from it). I love the act that you had a dress made to your exact specifications - I've always wanted to do that but I've never known where to go as tailors and dressmakers seem to be few and far between these days. On a very different note, and forgive me if I've asked before because I've forgotten, but what make and model of camera do you use? I'm in the process of researching DSLRs because it's about time I bought one - I'm never inspired to do shoots for my blog with my own point and shoot. Thanks, Alexandra xx

polka dot said...

Thanks Lauren!

Alexandra: you're so sweet. I mean, really generous: I think in this case, it's partly cause my husband was shooting & it was tricky because - you can't tell from these shots - there were SO MANY PEOPLE walking thru. It was pretty funny, actually. I should email you the out-takes (maybe I'll do an out-take post).

re: cameras - in the middle of cooking, so typing this quickly but I just checked my camera, it's a Canon 50D. It was really hard to switch from film - I had always used my dad's Pentax from the 60s, a Spotmatic - I've been so sentimental about it, because he died 8 years ago, and I felt like I was betraying him somehow, but I also know he was really keen on new technology and he would especially feel that if I was shooting so much, it was crazy to keep on paying for film, developing and scanning - as I did for the first part of my streetstyle blog. I loved shooting in film because I had the method down - adjusting aparture, speed, focus, all manually while shooting - it was a fun challenge. Digital feels too easy - you can make some choices but the camera does the focusing (some people do focus manually, but with my lens - a 50 mm, to get as close as possible to a film quality), it's really tricky focusing manually. It's just hard to get it right.

The problem with digital is, as you can see in the example I chose - where I'm out of focus - it might randomly choose to focus on, say, the leaves. the good news, tho, is you can shoot so much that you've got more choice. But for someone like me - too much choice isn't always a good thing.

Just one last thing - because I'm probably burning dinner. When I shot streetstyle with the Pentax, I would allow one, two top, shots per person. So I'm more proud of my results, if that makes sense. If you'd like, take a look thru the first six months, in 2009 - it's all film.

Email me if you'd like: jill@haybooks.com. I can answer your questions. Also: I bought mine USED, from a shop my husband found near the British Museum. The lens is new but the camera itself isn't: saves a lot of money. I don't believe one needs the Sartorialist's kind of expensive camera, to get good results: it's all about one's eye. IMHO ; )

styleeast said...

It's great you got this dress made! I should do that more often, you can't beat the feeling of it being all yours. Love all the greens in these photos xx

Pearl Westwood said...

You know what I have liked about you recent posts Jill is that you are in them!! You just look so happy in them all, it is so nice to see you. I really love your outfit, the green and the zebra makes you look right at home in the jungle :) xxx

style odyssey said...

OMG. Jill. Gorgeous! This ought to be your uniform look for dress-up. Come to think of it, I think it already is. I recall your writing about how your style is a bit Jackie O. However, you give it a personalized, unfussy twist that I just love. Seriously, this suits you to a "t".
The shoes...I thought they were Manolo Blahnik, they look like his d'Orsay design.
Thanks for your sweet tweets! xo

adrielleroyale said...

Well, sheesh! YOU should have been a designer! What a beautiful, classic dress! And I LOVE those shoes!! :) Great look, b e a utiful!!!

Fashion Limbo said...

Stunning legs Jill, WOW. Love the fabric in that dress, it moves beautifully when you move, really liking it. It's a classic no-fail dress so kudos to you. I don't think this kind of shape will ever stop ceasing to be classy and look stunning, you look fantastic xxx

the nyanzi report said...

wonderful creation Jill.

polka dot said...

Oh you are each so lovely, thank you. David (Nyanzi) how funny that you wrote that just as I saw your comment on Imogen's wonderful post on why we blog:

http://eightlondon.blogspot.com/2011/08/quote-of-week-on-blogging.html

Fashion, Art and other fancies said...

What a delightful post. I adore the flowers in the background and I love the Kew Gardens too. Those shoes are divine!

Kathleen said...

I love your dress!!! That style is so classic, and you carry it so elegantly. I buy dresses like that whenever I see them because they fit me perfectly and can be worn forever (believe it or not, I even have -- and have worn -- a version that my mom wore in 1968!) Now, I just need to find a tailor to make my own and I'll never have to shop again...

Emily said...

Those shoes are AMAZING!! I want!!! So glamorous and yet understated too :)

Anonymous said...

Great dress. Great shots. Great gams, girl.

The Foolish Aesthete said...

Very stylish, and I love the shoes!

AvaPilar said...

You look smashing in that dress! I love how you paired the dress with bare legs and heels. Very classy.

Bellena said...

She made her personality beautiful with the help of wear some sort of accessories like jewellery, shoes and clothes which are so attractive and admirable she also looking awesome. Thanks for sharing.

SabinePsynopsis said...

Looking gorgeous! You are so right, Jill, this dress is perfect for you and the shoes are so elegant. In the end it's about finding what suits us... A lesson we can learn from French women.
xoxo

polka dot said...

I agree, Sabine.

Thank you, you darling darling, beautiful women. xox