mustard variations

Having shot street style for a few years now - four, to be exact - I'm not as interested in doing the classic posed shots. Especially not at fashion week, when everyone's either posing for, or shooting, street style. I much prefer the true 'street style' concept - as Bill Cunningham originally did, from his bicycle - of shooting off the cuff, as I'm running past.

And then the fun of realising things after. Like the way this girl's hair has that slight twinge of lavender, a lovely foil to mustard. And both are such quintessentially English flavours. Although I can't imagine ever eating lavender and mustard at the same time.


high visibility

Another thing I love about Ashish: he opened the show with this look. 'What do you call this?' I asked my husband. 'High visibility vest,' he said, after glancing at the image for a second, then went back to his book.

Among the themes of his show was the idea of the working girl. I don't have many friends who do road works (okay, none), and I don't know who might wear this, but that's not what fashion - catwalk fashion - is for. This isn't Topshop. This is high concept art, and it made me laugh. And it made me think.

And it's made of sequins.

And I love it with the little kitten heels.

have a nice day

How's your day going?

the way you wear your hat

For your listening pleasure, click below to accompany your enjoyment of this post:

All set? Good.

One thing I saw a lot of - besides statement hats - were these woolley mammoth coats. I mean, a LOT. But I'm not sure how much was a fashion statement, and how much was survival. Yes, it was sunny, but this is FEBRUARY we're talking about. Yes, I'd love to be showing off my tan toned legs, but baby, it's cold outside.


ashish: tongue in check

Gotta love Ashish.. not a whisper of the iconic Burberry check on their runway, but Ashish has adapted it so beautifully, blingingly. With sequins.

Love also how he's done her hair, like she's been in a little roadster with the top down. And those kitten heels.

So much I want to show you from this show. At first I was underwhelmed.. it wasn't like his flowery collection a while back, but the more I look at my shots, the more I see. I thought this was a gloomy show at first, but his wit and sparkle is as effervescent as ever. He's just keeping his tongue firmly in cheek.



Backstage, and on the catwalk, at Maria Grachvogel's show. As before.

There's something almost autobiographical about her work. It's beautiful and mysterious, and the girls are so young. Well, she's so young.

There is also something so spiritual in a beautiful show. But what goes on behind the scenes: that chaos, but also that quiet: it's hard to describe. It's a privilege to bear witness to it. I realise it's only fashion, but when it's a happy environment, as her show clearly was, it transcends fashion. It's just a celebration of life, and the creative spirit.



Okay, I admit it: I drink a lot of water.

Back when I was about 18, I guess, my boyfriend got me hooked on the stuff. I remember standing by the sink at night, and we'd drink THREE WHOLE GLASSES before going to sleep. And ever since, I carry a bottle of tap water wherever I go.

I've noticed that whenever models, actresses, etc, are asked their beauty secrets, they invariably say 'lots of sleep, lots of water'.

But I can be a bit evangelical about it. And since both my mother and husband don't drink nearly enough water, he's coined a new phrase: 'hydro nagging.' Yes, yes, I do understand that the more you drink, the more you're gonna have to pee - but really, you're not fooling Mother Nature if you don't drink water in the hopes that you're not going to pee. That's - in my humble opinion - simply ridiculous.

I did, however, get caught up on the flight out of Miami last week. Soon as they switched off the fasten seat belt sign, I was the first in the loo. (see above). And then, bam, the plane dropped. We hit turbulence. And there I was, butt naked - landed somehow on the closed toilet, thank God - and started getting whipped around the loo, struggling to pull my tights up, open the door, and crawl back to my seat. We then had approximately 4.5 HOURS OF TURBULENCE. The mostly English plane were behaving pretty well, as I was clutching my husband's arm and moaning and being very, let's just say, un-English. He and the guy next to him kept saying things like 'what are the odds of the plane going down' and I was just doing my best not to pee in my pants.

Shot this backstage after the wonderful Maria Grachvogel show on the last day of LFW. More to come. Off to see Lincoln soon. We can't get Sky (long story) so I can't see the Oscars tonight, something I took for granted as a NYer. I was too cool to stay in and watch the Oscars. Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got til it's gone.



I didn't think it was possible, but Leopard Print is still the new black.

It's been years now.

I mean, it's gone back and back - to caveman days, I suppose (can't you just see the women around the fire, one-upping each other on whose man got them a better quality skin), but it really did seem, back in around 2010, that the look had been done to death.

But even on the catwalk at Burberry last week: it's still there (second to last shot, above). *

So once again, I am wrong.

The print is here, bigger and bolder and more witty than ever. Best worn in spring, I feel, with your own bare skin.

Shown from top: my friend Natayla, in a shoot I did for My Wardrobe in - wow, I think Dec 2010, then a girl at Somerset House this week (as before), Hayley in also about 2010, me, a guest from the Burberry show this week, a girl in about 2011, the Burberry coat a/w 2013 and last but never least, Carine Roitfeld in 2011.

Better run: we're off to see Zero Dark Thirty. It's effing freezing, and I'm pulling out my old leopard print teddy bear coat.

* And - thank you Jessie of Fashion Limbo - also at the Moshino Cheap & Chic show, which my other friend Jessi went to (she was my assistant this season!) but it was on the day we landed and I missed it (see comments). I love what I'm seeing tho - esp. looks 12 & 13. That's the new twist on the print: pattern on pattern, bigger & bolder. As Jessi said, it's a love it or hate it thing. Leopard is the Marmite (or Bovril) of prints.


the spirit of things: matthew williamson

God bless my little camera.

Sometime last year, my husband decided that he, too, wanted to start a blog - on fly fishing - and we went on eBay and got him what we thought was my camera, my Canon EOS 50D, for something like £35. We couldn't understand why no one bid against it.

Then it arrived - without a card, of course, or a lens - but after buying four different cards, we realised why no one wanted it. It was TWELVE YEARS OLD - the first Canon of its kind, to bridge the semi-professional market - and the cards were obsolete. And since my wonderful EOS had died literally of exhausting, from slamming the shutter into oblivion shooting the fast speed at fashion weeks, I didn't have much in the way of expectation from this old boy.

So I didn't take nearly as many shots. I could feel it huffing and puffing at the Matthew Williamson show, so I turned it off and simply enjoyed the show, like a normal person. But to my surprise: it really did come through!

The press release at the show talks about 'opulent colour and print informed by the Northern Lights'... digitally printed snow-scapes with acid green-lit skies.. degrade pewter, gunmetal and sulphur yellow.

In this post I'm just focusing on one sulphur yellow look: a pants suit that reminds me of when the Beatles first played on the Ed Sullivan show.

When we arrived, before the show, I noticed this girl in a great dress - the collar seemed like a statement necklace - that's probably Matthew Williamson. I loved her bob - I might cut my hair like that again - and assumed she was Natalia Vodianova. I was telling Jessi why I think she's so great. But I was, once again, totally wrong. Apparently it's Arizona Muze. Although I still think this girl looks more like Natalia Vodianova, don't you? Whoever she is, I noticed how warm and generous she was, to friends greeting her before and after, and - during the show - catching the eye and sending support to her friends on the catwalk.

full circus

When I was a college student, my boyfriend was studying karate, and I started studying with him. He and his brother were black belts - his brother wrote the Karate Kid, based on my boyfriend's story - and we'd watch our Sensai sometime. He was tall, thin, and Japanese. We never saw him working out, not in the way we did. My boyfriend was relentless: he was like a young cat, in his prime: still a kitten in some ways, bouncing and pouncing and honing his craft, pushing himself to new heights of perfection.

Sensai, on the other hand, seemed to metaphorically lounge in the sun. Once in a while, when no one was looking, he'd stretch, do a quick move, relax again. And then, out of the blue, he'd turn into a tiger.

That memory went through my mind this week, at Somerset House. I was long past the point of enjoying 'passing the baton' onto the younger, hungrier bloggers. I was done with the circus. I'd watched something I had so enjoyed in 2009 - the anthropological aspect of street style fashion photography - become, instead, a vehicle to promote people, mainly young women, who wanted to be famous and envied for not doing anything. I was tired of people befriending me so I could be their Bailey. I'm not a Papp, and I was never getting paid. Certainly not the £1000 per photos, as claimed in Suzy Menkes' recent piece in the Times, The Circus of Fashion. And then - when bloggers  you all know and sometimes love - some who acted like my closest friends - started ambushing me and stealing my gigs to get ahead, I decided, enough is enough. I've got enough friends.

And that's when I stopped coming to fashion week.

But it's funny how something comes full circle: coming back now, with the distance of time, I could watch the next generation, with their boundless energy and enthusiasm, and see myself in them. And just like the weather turned miraculously, blindingly brilliant - if cold - I felt a kind of golden something beaming down on me. I didn't shoot much 'street style' - only occasionally asking someone to pose. Like this girl, above. I didn't even get her name.

But it gives me great pleasure, I must admit, to know that I've so honed my skills that nearly every shot I got, I like. It's because I didn't shoot any of the people that seemed to want to be shot. I just - as I did in my early days - simply went for people who seemed nice.

I could post every day for a year with the shots I got in three days. So I'll take it slow. One day at a time.


@burberry: black and blue

As before.. after Burberry. These are both girls who saw the show, but the shoes are from a lovely young Russian model/student - I forget her name but hopefully she'll find my card and get in touch - watching avidly with her friend. You can see her in this post - third down.

Oh btw: anyone who's on LookBible, you can also find my photography here.

your beating heart

So: fashion week is over, in London at least. I'm not chasing the circus to Paris or Milan, but I've gotta say: I LOVED it this year. Flew in from Miami on Day Two, slept thru that, and waltzed in on Day Three with my amazing, Amazonian friend Jessi Lindstrom (top shot), California blonde Homecoming Queen, mother of Jasper, wife of Thorsten, lived in Paris, now in London. What I love about her - and there's so much to choose from - is the REASON she was Homecoming Queen. Not because she was bitchy or competitive - or even had any desire to be - but for the freak reason that she had this habit, in high school, of noticing if someone was sitting by themselves in the cafeteria, and sitting down and getting to know the people who didn't have a lot of friends.

And they all ended up voting for her. Because she's got such a big heart.

It feels like a metaphor for me. For all my life.

Lots of photos to show you, and I'm actually a bit overwhelmed where to start, so I'll take it a day at a time. Go with Burberry again. And work my way through the colour theme spectrum. And what better place to start than cool, electric, cobalt blue. True Blue.

Oh! And re: yesterday's post, the mystery girl singing Happy Together at the Burberry Show is Misty Miller. But now - before I go out and resume my previous life, which includes adapting my novel to a screenplay, I've got to find out who played live at the end of the show. The song about 'your beating heart'. When you hold me in your arms.

So far, I can't find this song, so if anyone has a clue, please let me know.

That's what I love about Christopher Bailey: the way he, like Jessi, has the generosity of spirit to showcase new talent. But it's not just him, the Chief Creative Director at Burberry. It's Angela Ahrendts, the American businesswoman who took the helm of Burberry as CEO in 2006. I've not had the privilege of meeting her - yet. Or Mr. Bailey. But I feel what they've done with the brand is incredible. Not a trace of the iconic plaid in this show. This was a more sexed up version: 'trench-kissing', Bailey calls it. Great piece in the Telegraph, by Lisa Armstrong.

Yes, there was tan. And trenches. But rarely both. We saw it all tighter, trimmer, Christine Keeler circa early 60s, 'one part sex kitten and two parts Little Miss Prim.' Lots of black, and burgundy, and leopard print pencil skirts. And shine.

And hearts. Lots of heart.


@burberry: what's your name

We were driving up, in Jessi's car, parking near the Albert Memorial - knowing we were running late for the Burberry show. It was cold, the light getting low in the sky after a beautiful sunny day, and suddenly we see this huge glass pavilion, as we're walking - Jessi, who used to model before she moved to Paris and got married and had her darling son, Jasper. Jessi, tall and California blonde, statuesque in killer heels.

This unbelievably gorgeous, spiritual music, was pouring out, as if from the heavens. WOW. We could see the show going on, through the glass. The guards directed us where to get in to the show, but you know what? It was nearly over, and it felt right to be outside. With the crowd. Watching Jessi get papp'd, watching the blogger/celebs who didn't get Burberry invites get papp'd.. and then, as the guests poured out, watching the circus go by. Fame. What's your name.

I am a firm believer that where we are is where we're meant to be. I don't mind not being inside the show, because the people I met and the photos I took.. I'd not have had any of that experience otherwise. This is now my philosophy of life: wherever I am, I try to be present.

I'll be posting more, but I need to get over to Somerset House now. If you want to see what we didn't, here's the show in its entirety. It's really worth playing all the way thru - I've got Happy Together running through my head (& p.s.: LeahB, I found the version! It's Misty Miller singing it, thank you Eleanor Frost) - but the end.. man, oh man, is Christopher Bailey an artist, or what.


unique: topshop @ the tate modern

We were so excited, Jessi and I, to be seeing the Topshop Unique show yesterday at the Tate, that I made a decision not to even try to shoot the show. I wanted to be present, to watch it like a regular person, and I'm glad I did. It was gorgeous: perhaps the best of all the Unique shows yet.

Watch it here.

Got it? Good. Don't you love that pale blue cropped chunky jumper 3:42 in? (this is much better: I can type and see it again, in real time). Some amazing wide legged trousers that you had to see from where we sat - a kind of shaggy cashmere, at 4:29. Amazing.

LOVED the patent poodle skirt in a kind of mustard, at 4:55, paired with a cropped chunky jumper - this one a kind of variation of giant leopard. The pale dusty pinks - for fall!! - at around 5:56, especially another fifties poodle skirt in pink, with a white bomber jacket - very Sarah Jessica Parka, S&tC season 2.. the show felt like the love child of the fifties and the eighties. A hybrid I'd never considered possible, and yet I can't stop thinking about it.

And Jourdan Dunn in that gravity-defying Merlot coloured sparkling gown, at 7:55.. I can't see, frankly, anyone else wearing it that well.

So we loved the before party, and when I saw Olivia we greeted like old friends, and I didn't even feel like doing the obligatory smile shoot (that's her, walking to her seat in the pink pants). I did, later, at the Matthew Williams show - when she'd changed outfits.

Trends I'm noting so far on the crowd: black and white bold prints, (as on Victoria Pendleton, second down), and putting the colour and pattern on the trousers rather than the tops. Fun shoes: the crazy bovine platforms that caught my attention at my first fashion week - 2009 - are gone. Instead, what's cool is flats - like what Pixie wore with that big purple pattern dress - or ladylike  kitten heels, like what Kate Bosworth was wearing across from us on the front row, with clear stockings, a pretty skirt, and fluffy jumper. Another plus to not shooting during the show, but rather letting the big boys do the work: you get to see the dynamic of the girlfriends, clutching their men's arms while watching them watch the girls on the catwalk.

And of course, it gave me a little frisson of pride, to see my little friend Cara, all grown up and leading the show. BOTH shows. Click here to see her do the Harlem Shake backstage with her friend Jourdan Dunn.

Off to Burberry soon, sun's out, life is good.

catwalk magic: matthew williamson, with snow

From 80 degrees and sunny in Miami to snow at the Royal Opera House for the Matthew Williamson Show.. wrenching to leave my mom in Florida, and swimming, but there are worse things to come home to.

Esp. drawn to hot colours for fall: oranges and pinks and purples and greens.

More fashion week stuff to come, flying out the door now. Also posting to LookBible, btw, so check it out there. Gotta run. xoxo