hay: roz

The Hay Festival is on, and we're here, (I'm shooting it for the festival - and the blog) and in a bizarre act of serendipity, on our first day - while Roz and her family had, unbeknownst to us, left messages on my cell phone - we literally ran into them in the town. Turned a corner as we were rushing to the car to get to a camera shop before it closed (we had left early on Friday - with cat, litter, food, ten days' worth of summer festival clothing, chargers, laptops, you name it - but I forgot the little plastic thingy - the card reader to upload the photos!) and we were in a rush to get there before the store closed, and who did we see but Roz and her family! (her first time at the festival).

Just as I was taking these quick street style shots of Roz, in a second act of bizarre serendipity, Mr. Dot noticed that we didn't need to drive 40 minutes to Hereford town: a computer shop two doors down from the corner where we ran into them had the exact card I needed!

Sending this from deepest rural Herefordshire, at the in-laws house (with Mr. Dot & cat) - we had a big boisterous visit with cousins, dogs etc but now they're on holiday and it's just us - and we've worked out a way to get wifi, so I can post after all! But now back to the festival. The weather is dark, grey, rainy and cold, and I've got a suitcase full of flip flops and summery frocks. Roz was dressed exactly right for the look that day: Welsh slate grey, with splashes of colour: English strawberry red and Colman's Mustard. It was impossible to get a clear head to toe shot as crowds rushed by but I kind of like the randomness off the guy and the woman's mac and grey bag.

Okay enough chit chat: we've already missed AA Gill and now we'd better get on the road to catch the next event! Hope you're having a lovely Bank Holiday Weekend. Where are you? Is it warm where you are?


people we love: jessica de lotz

Jess is such a star.

Jess (Jessica de Lotz) is an effervescent, pixie of a girl with great style, who is a really jewelry designer.

Jess is also my friend Gwyneth's friend. And in an absolutely bizarre twist of fate, a month or so ago, I was meeting Gwyneth for lunch and I just happened to mention how I had 'let the lights dictate' and stumbled upon the most amazing show tied in with the Royal Wedding, at Smythson, and she looked at me in surprise and said 'That's my friend Jess!' (She had been telling me about her and how we had to meet).

And so, we did. It was the day before the Royal Wedding, when I was with Adrian shooting on the Mall, and I've been hoarding the shots ever since, because - like Jess, I'm a bit of a magpie. Her jewelry, which she creates out of crests that she designs with her brother, a graphic designer, is then made into stamps which she stamps into wax, and she casts I believe 18k gold and silver jewelry.. see, I'm so afraid I'm getting this wrong. Which is part of the reason I've been putting this post off so long. That, and there are just too many shots I want to show you. So I'll do it in stages. This is the first. Must run: to meet Gwyneth, actually!

Don't you just love her shoes? She customised the bits of fur. This is what I mean about her. I just can't do justice to her in one post. Check out her website. Everything - not just the jewelry, but all the little bits she finds and love - it's all such an extension of her unique style. OH! and she just got married to the cutest man. But that's another story.



Incredible: just as I uploaded these photos, on our white bed in the right feng shui'd position by the open window, a breeze entered the room, wrapping me in a sheer cloud of white curtain. I was so tangled up my hands couldn't even touch the keyboard. I've been waiting for, like, ever, to post these photos: part of my Hyde Park 'swan' series.

There is nothing I could say that's as gosh darn good as Veshoevius's post: RAPTURE. Click on it. Good stuff.

I think I read somewhere (or did I dream it?) that Debbie Harry wrote this song after meeting one of the early rappers ('Fab Fab Freddie', in the song) and she did her white girl version, wrote it in a few minutes. It's all kind of semi-autobiographical, actually. Rapture.

can you keep a secret?

If you're anywhere near NYC or London (Oxford Circus to be specific): starting tomorrow, Topshop is launching a secret pop up shop within a shop. It's a cute idea: people are meant to discover it by chance. The first clue will be a florist on the corner designed by Meadham Kirchoff.. well I'm not going to give the whole thing away, that would be telling. All I can say is it's the first of its kind for a high street chain: a chance for designers to produce things they wouldn't normally be able to do for their own line. I'm curious, and will be stopping by tomorrow - with camera.

Sneak preview: the model above is wearing Tom Scott, and the other pieces are Dot's special pics. Have you noticed lately I'm really really into white?

It will be running for two weeks, by the way. Selected items will be available online, but the secretive secretness of it can only be experienced in reality. Which isn't such a bad place to be: step away from the screen now and go into the sunshine, cupcakes!


nighty night, white white

What a delicious feeling.. we've re-painted the old floorboards white.. white and glossy (my brother said 'it looks like Cape Cod'. Cape Cod in South Kensington. Also doing a lot of spring cleaning: light and white. And we moved the bed around. That might not sounds like much but my friend Helen when she first saw our bedroom said 'oh no, that's bad feng shui: you can't block the window with your headboard.' It always bothered me that the bed was the wrong way. Now the room feels like twenty times the size. And so much more light. And white.

What does this have to do with fashion? Nothing, apart from the fact that - you might have noticed - I'm obsessed with white. Considering these are all from next autumn/winter's collections, really, I'm just drawn to palest shades, and white. When I'm not getting all bright bright bright, that is. Actually my favourite looks at the moment are things like my long white Gap shorts - just above the knee - with a hot pink/orange peace tee, neon green jumper, ankle socks and black loafers and a crisp black blazer. I saw a girl the other day wearing a black blazer over a soft white dress like my Vagabond Van one, with sandals, and altho I didn't have my camera at the time, I am so going to steal that look.

Top to bottom: Per Jensen skirt detail, tutu from the Triumph lingerie competition, more of the Per Jensen skirt, and dress at Topshop's press day. Off to sleep in, finally, the right direction. Pleasant dreams.

back stage

Did I post this yet? I can't remember. It's from backstage before something, last February, at Somerset House/London Fashion Week. That's all, I don't really have anything more to say. Except that today is Bob Dylan's birthday. He is 70. Happy Birthday, Bob! May you stay forever young.


high brow

Maybe it's because I've just re-read The Great Gatsby for like the 28th time, or hearing that Carey Mulligan is cast as Daisy in Baz Luhrmann's remake, but I've been thinking about eye brows a lot lately.

Hear me out, please. If you look at any given film from any decade, you could believe that, for example, in the 1930s, all women had thin lines for eyebrows, and small chins and tiny lips with cupid bows. I don't know if the standard of beauty being large puffy lips will increase, or deflate, in the next decade (and I love what Kate, of Style is Always Fashionable, said, that this generation of young woman tend to be more happy, or less critical, of their own faces - but instead tend to focus their insecurities on their bodies - that makes sense: there is probably more of an 'anything goes' variety of choice for facial features than any other time). But I do know that if you look at any film made in the 1980s, what defines that decade is without doubt, dark, thick, scraggly brows. While I don't know the official reason, my guess can be summed up in two words: Brook Shields.

I can even remember magazines instructing girls how to achieve the look: use vaseline and a toothbrush, and brush UP: use mascara, if necessary. Do not tweeze!

Whichever era a film is set in, it seems the period in which it is filmed somehow blends in with the period it's meant to take place in. Thus Mia Farrow's Daisy became so iconically 1960s. And just as I'm really psyched to see Carey and Leo try to fill Mia and Robert Redford's shoes, I'm curious how the 2011 sensibility - in costume, as well as hair and make-up - will be interpreted in this version of Long Island in the 1920s. (I shot this, btw, as part of my 'Arcadia' not real women series).

Whenever we return to the land of my childhood - that same area that Fitzgerald dubbed East and West Egg - I can sense, not just Gatsby and Daisy, but Scott and Zelda, too.

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.


we had faces then

A conversation on the phone, poolside in Surrey yesterday, with one of my best friends - since we were teenagers - my beautiful friend Sherri, in NY, got me thinking. We grew up in a time, and a community, where a lot of girls got nose jobs for their 16th birthday. Some of those same 'girls' are now grown women who regularly get 'work' done. Sherri is, and always has been, one of those natural beauties (her whole family have these luminescent pale blue eyes: they're all beautiful, even her brother), and she's just such a sunny, happy soul, she radiates inner beauty. Neither of us are the facial reconstruction 'type'. But we were talking about how, as we age, it seems our faces are.. melting. Drooping. We don't notice it until we see a photo. And then.. it's like it's us, but our faces, our jaws, are kind of.. melting.

I guess that's where the term 'face lift' came from. But I started thinking about how 'work' - botox, and especially collagen lip whatever stuff.. I'm just wondering if, say, 20 years from now, we'll look at films of Angelina Jolie, for example, and think that those puffy lips look dated. (I remember one film: ah, yes, Mr. and Mrs. Smith - where her puffiness literally moves around her lips, from scene to scene. It's her top left in one, bottom right in another.. it distracted me from watching her steal Brad from Jen, right under her perfect nose).

My curiosity got me pulling all kinds of photos from backstage.. and my obsessive photo shoot of the mannequins at the Arcadia Press Day - so I can feel a series coming on.

Oddly, you don't see that kind of 'work' on models - or at least, I didn't, backstage at London Fashion Week last February. Now some of my grown peers are starting to look alike: their smaller noses make their eyes somehow seem more.. beady. And they can't lift their eyebrows in surprise, or frown, but their cheeks all somehow seem.. puffier. And I look at someone like Sarah Jessica Parker and think: has she brought the nose back? Or was that Princess Di?


six bells

With my brother back on the road (or rather, mostly, on a private plane, in a hotel room, backstage, or on a sound check, and in between, performing), and my niece back home, and missing them both, I've had a moment to reflect on a very different kind of performance that the Dotman & I had the privilege of seeing and hearing, just days before he arrived in town.

It was my husband's school friend's band: his girlfriend, Emma Harwood, is the lead singer and songwriter. I'd only met her once before (this isn't her here) and instantly we just became such good friends. She is just so wonderful: has such a generous heart, and the most beautiful voice. And they were playing at a 'beer festival' at the Six Bells, somewhere in the Kent countryside. She has been writing her own songs, but the ones she chose to cover were exactly my taste. We were saying last night that her rendition of Jolene still gives us the chills. She's the real deal.

Thinking a lot about this because of it's Bob Dylan's birthday coming up, and we saw part one of Scorcese's great documentary last night: No Direction Home. He's the real deal, too.

Okay, Mr. D is getting antsy: we're off to Surrey, to swim. Outdoors. In the heated pool. Which has got me in the mood for turquoise, and festival hippie chic, once again. I don't have a clue who this girl was: I shot her while they were playing, and we were all so blissed out it seemed silly to ask. Besides, she didn't seem to mind.

Speaking of something charming: the lovely Lucie, of Vagabond Van, just sent me an email that 'We've just started taking advance orders for the most darling handmade charm necklaces. I began noticing them nestled in bronzed collar bones around Cape Town about a month ago and have coveted them ever since. I've tracked down the designer and am making an order this week.

We're taking advance orders now with only a limited number available. You can see them here:

What I love is that each necklace is available - handmade - in silver or gold, with a choice of eight colours for the silk 'chain' - I'd love silver with turquoise, for the wishbone or heart - and they're only £16.99! Aren't they charming.

Better run. What are you up to today? This weekend? How it's gorgeous, whatever you're doing.


stylist for a day

Talk about procrastination: I've just whiled away the better part of the afternoon going through the Topshop 'high summer' look book. I set myself three style challenges. While I don't like everything in the collection - the red stuff, for example - I was really inspired by what's on offer, especially the peasant shirt: I had one just like it. I wish I still had it. I've got my sister's, tho: her name tag from Camp Birchwood is still sewn inside, with care, by our mom. Hers (now mine) is white with blue, but mine was almost identical to this one.

I don't like everything matchy matchy, so there's always something in my outfits that is a bit.. off. Wrong. And last but not least: two looks as done by the Topshop stylists. I don't know if the items shown here are available in stores and online just yet, but they will be soon. Okay: NOW I can go out and write! Enough faux styling for one day.

orange you glad, dorothy

More from the Dorothy Perkins press day, in keeping with today's orange theme. Did you know that Dot Perkins is not an actual person, but rather, a rambler rose? According to wikipedia, Dorothy Perkins was founded in 1909 under the name H.P. Newman, and changed it to the rose in 1919. I really love the whole wikipedia story. I love that there is no actual Dorothy, or Dot.

So smitten was I from the rainbow look of the DP floor on press day, but not wanting to wait til next fall, I checked out the options online and really: it's extraordinary. Seriously. These two dresses are available now, for £26 and £28 pounds, and gosh darn if that purple lace number couldn't give Issa a run for its money.

I considered calling this post 'a rose by any other name' but after no one noticed my 'elle red' (get it? Well Read? See what I mean) I thought I should just give up.

Anyway, I'm in an orange kind of mood today. And I must say: I'm STILL not seeing colour blocking on the street, (apart from me, but I've always alternated solid neutrals with solid brights: I've been around the colour block, let's just say). If anyone is wearing bright colours please send me photos! I'll do a post. And Happy Friday.

orange you glad: paperwallet

Like most of you who have a fashion blog, I get a lot of emails. I don't have a system per se, and while I don't delete everything (I'm a hoarder, even with digital information) I do sometimes see something that catches my eye. It was back before Christmas, I think, that I received something from a guy named Steve, who represents PAPERWALLET. Such a simple concept: wallets, made from paper. Exactly what it says on the tin.

He wanted to know if I could mention it on my blog. I replied that if he sent me one, I'd go a step further and photograph it AND mention it on my blog. I don't know about you guys but I am constantly amazed that anyone gets paid for their blog, or gets free stuff. The few times I've deal with fashion brands for fees - like when I ran the ad for American Apparel - it was taking forever to get paid, and not paid much, and in the end it just wasn't worth it. I prefer to just promote what I like, not what I'm getting paid to like.

But bless his cotton socks if Steve didn't send me the wallet! AND one for Mr. Dot. He asked me to choose a colour or pattern and I chose a kind of Chanel-Vague pale aqua, my favourite colour, (click here to see it) but that wasn't available at the time, so I chose ORANGE. Back then, I wasn't wearing orange. This wallet has started my spring combination that I've worn for years - it's such a great warm weather combo - of hot pink, orange, and some brown, tan, nude, or black - just to bounce the colour off of. Sometimes even a little lime green.

Mr. Dot got his in plain old BROWN, and it's ageing like fine old leather. These wallets are sturdy, and strong, and I love the simplicity of it. I customised mine with a few drops of hot pink nail varnish, which my niece Scarlett who's just visited London to see her dad, my brother (we spent the whole week staying up late going back stage - literally on the stage - for his show) greatly admired. She left for NY the other day, he's left this morning to continue touring, and I really miss them both. It was a fun visit.

Oh and you can't beat the price: the solids are £9.99. With free shipping worldwide. I love it. And shame on me for not talking about it sooner. But better late than never.



Lately I've been drawn to the idea of the randomness of how my photos sometimes follow each other: the relationship of one unrelated shot to another. These are some from the other day - outside the Topshop press day - and a man on the street (unposed). The sequence is actually in reverse.

While I shot the woman carrying the miniature cupcakes and scones into the event, I actually had a little cupcake wrapped up, in my bag. Yum.


elle red girls

First: apologies for the totally lame title.

We were @Jaeger press day, and these two girls were admiring the rack for the vintage collection (more about that coming up) when they realised I was shooting it. SO sweet & thoughtful - one of the reasons I pinch myself to live in this wonderfully polite nation - & all apologetic so I said, forget that, let's shoot you!

I gave each of them my last card - they actually know and follow my blog! - and work at real magazines: Elle (left) and Red (right) in the same building, as they told me. But while I remember who works for what, I am totally, totally blanking on their name. Usually someone who goes by the name of Anonymous gets in touch with answers to all my queries- this blog has become for me a combination of Serendipity, Coincidence, and Divine Intervention - so til the Oracle speaks, let's just leave it as they're two very stylish editors. Don't you think? Check out those little sequin booties on the left, perfect with her wonderfully toned pins.


are you for real?

This is a true story: soon as I arrived at the Arcadia press day (Topshop etc), when I was handed a bowl of yummy beet root salad, I was sitting eating it when who should I see but the lovely Alex of Alex Loves, with two lovely blog friends (that's a whole lot o'lovely) and one of the first things she said was 'this year it's all about Dorothy Perkins.' It was almost more of a pronouncement so off I trotted to the DP floor and I was about to ask to shoot this girl, who was channelling Jerry Hall circa early 1980s, when I realised.. well I'll let the photos speak for themselves. Because she certainly didn't.

(oh and if you want to see something really moving - which IS real - check this out):