we had faces then

In light of the Oscars last night, I'm showing you a collection of three women with old fashioned movie star appeal, in my humble opinion. I don't know who they are - the top one had oodles of attitude, in a good way: she burst into the Somerset House tent quickly with her friend and I snapped her without thinking and got this one shot.

As I type this I still don't know who won - haven't had a chance to look at anything online and running out to a meeting shortly. That's something I miss here: I can't see the Oscars til I go on eBay and buy a bootleg DVD. We live in a Mews House in the shadow of a taller building (nothing compared to NY proportions, or most big cities like Tokyo) but it means we can't get satellite. And when we lived in NY, I'd often go out on Oscar night and didn't care. It's so true, like Joni MItchell said, don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got til it's gone.

It's a soft grey squishy-rainy London Monday morning, and Mr. Dot's gone to take our sweet sweet old car to the garage: we were driving thru Knightsbridge yesterday and smoke started flying out: we had a ton planned including seeing a friend who just arrived from NY, and instead spent several hours - FIVE in total for the Dotman - parked across from Harvey Nicks, in front of the Mandarin Oriental, waiting to be towed (the AA were lovely when they did arrive).

So please pray for the UMS car, as we call him. He's a good little car and spent the night on a street outside a garage, and is feeling a bit poorly.

So what do you have on for today? Hope it's lovely.


garance shoots veronika

And I shoot them both.I shot Veronika* all the time at my first LFW, then didn't see her much, but other people did. Now we greet each other like old friends but I don't have a clue who she is, or what she does, just that she's really really nice. Some people are like this.

I just love the combination of a bit o' hot pink and spring green. And if I don't go out the door this minute and meet Mr. D and his friend who just arrived from NY, they're ordering dinner without me. Hope you've had and are having an excellent weekend everyone! xox

(thank you Ediot: Veronika's blog is VENKAVISION.

faith in ashish

I think it was Roz and her mum, Polly, that I was talking with at Somerset House (more about that coming up) about the idea of paying homage to a designer by, wherever possible, wearing their clothes to a catwalk show. Or if that's not possible, just kind of, you know, wearing something LIKE their clothes. (KTZ is a great example of that: the audience is just SO OUT THERE).

For Ashish, each of the three times I've seen his shows, there's been this cute as a button red haired girl that always wears his clothes. I thought I didn't see her the second time but she was there, in the front row, sure 'nuff. (See her on the left?) The papps always go crazy for her and I assumed it was just cause she was wearing Ashish, but so is the dark haired girl. Turns out, she's Paloma Faith.

Shots, by me, going back in time from last week's show to A/W 2010. She seems to wear the previous season's show to each new one. What a lovely way to support Ashish.


glad rags, mad plaid

Loved your comments and messages on yesterday's post: I agree with Pearl, every industry has its moments, especially when it's mainly female. Please don't get me wrong: I looooove fashion week! And I really had a brilliant time this season, perhaps my favourite. I really just do feel it was a full moon thing. And, like with Vegas, whatever happens at fashion week, STAYS at fashion week.

While nothing will rival the impact that my first live experience of his show had on me (A/W 2010: inspired by Turkish kilims, which I used to own), this show really blew me away. It's driving me mad that I can't find the song ('excuse me') - was dancing in my spot on the floor while shooting and trying to keep that bloke from beating up Adam. Does anyone know who's singing the song in the show?

Speaking of songs, when I was thinking about how to name this post, the phrase 'glad rags' kept coming into my head. I know we all think of Rod Stewart as this kind of cringable old geezer, but when he was young and fit, he did the most beautiful song: the lines 'your handbag's only glad rags that your poor old granddad had to sweat to buy.' If you've got a few minutes click here and listen to two really beautiful songs. They don't make lyrics like that anymore. And what he's wearing would look fabulous on a young beautiful female model, don't you think?

Like with red and black, I'm not normally all gaga over plaid as a rule. (Okay, THAT's not true: I LOVE classic plaid kilts, especially worn ironically with school jackets, if there's a bit of grown up twist to it). But one Thanksgiving, my sister was wearing this really crazy Chanel-inspired giant plaid jacket - like the one above - and altho it's so not her normal style, I liked it. So when I saw her again, she gave it to me. I haven't worn it yet but Ashish has inspired me.

I can't say that Sandra (plaid blanket as skirt) or Daniela (plaid shirt as skirt) were inspired by Ashish, as I saw them both days before the show. Maybe Ashish was inspired by them? Maybe in a dream state each girl was anticipating this collection? Maybe there was a leak within the industry. In any case, this is what I love about streetstyle: tracking trends like an anthropologist with a stun gun. Like David Attenborough. And of course, I've been embracing moth holes and unravelled jumpers for a while now, so I was thrilled to bits to see this as such an integral part of his collection. Hard Times, indeed.

I love how we all influence each other, in a good way. I love it when people wear something as something else. More on Ashish, I just can't fit everything in one post.

p.s. Thank you Gunhild (aka Ediot): yes that's the show I meant! And I love the Madness song for that, too. I meant does anyone know the song he played this season? The lyrics are 'excuse me, what's the problem here, what about you can't hear all the words I say..' which can't compare to the lyrics of handbags/glad rags, IMHO.

p.s.s. Gunhild you're such a star! This is it: MIA, Listen Up. It is such a catchy tune, I'm singing it now to the cat.



When I was a baby, I used to break out in a rash whenever we visited a couple who were friends of my parents in college. They could never get to the bottom of what caused it because she kept like a really clean house. Turns out - she kept it so clean because she was always screaming, and I was allergic to screaming. True story.

Then when I was a teenager, my best friend decorated her room - which was actually kind of a wing/extension of their house - in all gothic red and black. It just freaked me right out. Her mum, come to think of it, was a screamer, too. Ever since then - or maybe I've always been this way - I just don't really like red and black. And this season at LFW, there was a lot of it.

There was also a lot of drama. It was a full moon, and all these females, tensions running high, lack of sleep.. I think after my love affair with all that is fashion week, this time I really did see the underbelly of the beast. It wasn't remotely the BFC's fault: they were AMAZING, and everyone was just so lovely and so chilled. I blame it on high concentrations of estrogen. That's why I preferred hanging around with the blokes in the world of the photographers - people like Gigi, the big Italian guard (everyone in that room seemed to be speaking Italian, apart from Will, the most chilled out guy I've ever known).

I can't tell you how many times I'd politely talk to a stranger - maybe a blogger who seemed new to the experience, or just, you know, asking if I was in someone's way, whatever, and they'd say 'you're the first person who's been nice to me all day.' Even two of the sweetest girls I know, who never fight, had their moments: but they did resolve their differences. We all did, by the end. The majority of my experience was unbelievably wonderful, but there was this undercurrent of Black Swanism pervading the week. Or so it felt to me at the time. By the end, in hindsight, it was a wonderful week, and I can't wait to do it again.

And yet, even blokes had their moments: it was just moments before Ashish was starting, and the first time I was shooting at the 'mouth' of the catwalk, along with a lot of friends, old and new. Adam, a sweet photographer and blogger, and I were sharing the best, front, spot. Just before it started, someone saw a big bloke park his butt down in both our spots. She tried to stop him but he told her to F off.

Then Adam tried. He was shouting - this was all, it turned out, in front of the Live Streaming camcorder - and I could see this was gonna turn into a pub brawl, spilling on the catwalk where models were about to emerge andy second. They were already pulling the stuff off the catwalk. So - because I'm only scared of angry women, not men - I intervened. Literally. Sat down between them - he was shouting that he was going to get Adam thrown out of fashion week - and used myself as a human buffer. And that show was great, too. Brilliant. Can't wait to show you the shots, but in the meantime, these are more from KTZ. Just a few random shots, but I promise you more drama, coming up.

model's own: leomie

Among the sea of wannabees running around shooting each other (I literally came in and out of the back entrance, via Embankment, all week - and barely spent any time in the circus at the front) I happened to spot LEOMIE ANDERSON, alone, during one of my few quiet moments between shows. There was just something about her that I liked, her simple, elegant, casual style. Her dignity. We spoke for a few minutes, I admired her bag, then I realised she might be a model, and she said she's represented by Premier. I bet as I go thru my catwalk shots I will spot her in a lot of the shows.

It was only later - night before last - when I was watching the EXCELLENT Chanel 4 show, The Model Agency, that I realised she's one of their star new faces. I'm not surprised. Like when I first met a very young Frida Gustavsson, there is something special about this girl. It's worth downloading the first episode if you haven't seen it already, but unlike one of the other young girls, I can tell Leonie will be able to handle this extremely difficult, yet ultimately rewarding, world.

I know she was just doing her job when she posed so seriously, and I can't remember what exactly I said, but I caught just one shot with her delightful girlish smile before she put her model's face back on.


starting at the end and working backwards.

These were the last shots I took yesterday at Somerset House: my last show, KTZ, was also my very first - and there's something so special about a girl's first time. It was such a sweet sadness, cleaning out my locker (yes I got my cardigan, thank you!) and kissing goodbye to all my old friends and new - even Gigi the fabulous big bouncer in the entrance to the catwalk from the photographer's room - and then as I stepped out into the misty, beautiful post rain twilight, who should I see alone and ending a conversation on the phone but Kris, a beautiful bad boy who is a 'new face' with Nevs.

A few snaps, and I was on my way.

I love how blogs move back in time when you read them. So it's only fitting that this one goes here today - anything I do now on LFW A/W 2011 will be earlier. If that makes sense.

Off to interview Gok Wan! Anything you want me to ask him?


backstage after emilio, but before amanda

Sorry sorry sorry - there is SO MUCH I want to show you and I feel like I've gone off on holiday and forgot to arrange for someone to feed the plants and water the cat, but I've got to get back to Somerset House ASAP cause my favourite old Calvin Klein (or was it Perry Ellis?) electric blue cardigan from the 80s (part of a skirt suit) that cost more than a month's rent at the time is still in my locker in the exclusive Photographer's Press Room and since the structure is only temporary, they could take it down at any time and there goes my sweater.

Three shots from backstage after Emilio de la Morena, which was a wonderful show (photos coming up, thank you Amy at Vodafone!) and before Amanda Wakeley. Okay better run - but I'll be back and then watch out. I'm gonna be posting on this fashion week til the cows come home.


corrie corrie

At fashion week, there are two kinds of shows going on, and both are an equally important part of the creative energy and magic that makes up the fashion industry. There is the show outside, where the photographers and bloggers seem to outnumber the subjects they're shooting, and then there is the reason we're all here: the shows themselves.

For me, Corrie Nielsen, who was born in Florida and moved to London in 2000, three years after me, and worked for Vivienne Westwood before branching out on her own, is the star designer of fashion week. I can't imagine a show I will love as much as hers. The music, the hair and make-up... it was haunting, spiritual, beautiful, incredibly emotional... everything that any work of art should do to the human soul.

Corrie won the Fashion Fringe award at Covent Garden in 2010, and deservedly so. I knew when I read that her influences were 'The Elizabethan period, French Haute Courte from the 1950s, and New Romance' that I'd be in for a treat, but this surpassed even my expectations.


they're here

Day One: London Fashion Week, A/W 2011. I saw five shows.. no, six. No.. five. Five or six. My favourite was Corrie Nielsen: I think she will be my favourite of the whole week. I can't wait to show you the photos but I'm hallucinating right now. The top one was Jean Pierre Someone. The girl in yellow is from a Russian magazine, and I'll link it in the morning when I find the card (she's lovely, as are her colleagues). The last girl is I think Ilsa? From Select. It was before the.. PPG show?

It's six minutes after one a.m. and my batteries are running out. See you again tomorrow: I'll post again in the morning. Because, after all, as Scarlett O'Hara would say, tomorrow is another day.


poseidon: the calm before the storm

I'm not even sure this is Poseidon, God of the Sea, 'Earth-Shaker', creator of earthquakes. I just love the way he's hanging out, an Emperor with no Clothes, standing guard at the entrance to Somerset House, the day before the Circus comes to town.

It's such a buzz to be somewhere before something starts. See you tomorrow, Cupcakes, and pleasant dreams!

sea of sneakers

Tomorrow, London Fashion Week February 2011 begins.

Today, and I learned this the hard way last year when I couldn't be assed to do this, I went for the 12:00 Photographer's Accreditation pass and the ritual of marking one's territory in the Pit.

Apart from when I'm home with my husband and (male) cat, these days I mostly inhabit a world of women. So the sea of testosterone that greeted me at Somerset House in the long dark space that is the Photographer's Press Room really had my heart racing. Partly was the fear of getting knocked to the grown by a gang of big blokes vying for space, like a rugby scrum.

But no, this being England, it was all rather civilised. And a lot of these 'blokes' were that wonderful slender slight type of sensitive photographer, so even if it did turn ugly, at least it would be a fair fight. They don't let you in all at once: a nice big guy called out in a calm voice and when your name was called, you emerge from the dark room into the vast catwalk space, like a cathedral, and marked your territory with tape.

I was near the end of a numbered list. When my name was called, I almost didn't recognise myself I was so shaking with fear. I emerged into the light and just squeezed in with a tiny spot on the side, but in the front. My buddy Simon said that Ramondo, who will be behind me, is a really nice guy, and besides, I'm hoping that like last year I'll be able to get a lot of the shots of motion from the sides.

While we were waiting, I wanted to photograph the sea of sneakers in the dark somber gloom as we all silently waited for our names to be called, but I was so afraid I'd have my camera out and my drop my Sharpie in the process (I had brought some small red tape, but Simon kindly gave me some of his white tape, it's better. I wonder where that phrase comes from: red tape). I also managed to shoot the three females in the sea of men: one, Nicola I think is her name, has the most amazing look (with the dark fringe).

I don't have a clue what I'm wearing tomorrow - like any other day, I'll just throw on whatever I feel like when I wake up - but one thing I know I'm wearing is my new black flannel bowler hat. Considering there were like three females in the whole group, and two were wearing the same hat, I smell a trend emerging. And it's one trend I'm happy to follow: I like that little bit o blokeishness.

Next up: building the space. As the sister of a musician, I've always been fascinated with the world of roadies, builders.. the stuff that goes on before the circus begins.

Big thank you and God bless you once again to the amazing Will the intern: like Nicola and the other people at the British Fashion Council, he is such a calming influence, a smiling face in a sea of sneakers.