class couple

Jon and Roz ('Roz with a Zed'), on the King's Road. I love when couples walk down the street not just arm in arm, but you know the kind of thing where they're holding lightly onto each others' jeans pockets? That's what they were doing. They just seem so in sync, and their attire reflects that compatibility. They're not all matchy-matchy, yet they're a perfect match.

Usually when I see a couple, I drag the girl off to be photographed separately, as it's usually the girl wearing the plumage, but in this instance, they're pretty balanced, style wise. Two peacocks in a pod. Striped tees are back (did they ever leave?) and I love the way Roz's wedges change the silhouette, just elevate the jeans&tee thing to a slightly edgier level.

(Some bloggers have asked how we manage killer heels on London streets - many of them are cobblestones - and the answer is, we don't. That's what the ER, or A&E as they call it, is for in hospitals. Hence the expression 'fashion casualty'.)

Posting this from the North Fork of Long Island. The birds are singing, it's so quiet, looking out onto the Sound. It's starting to rain, (so I'm not homesick for London), and my mom is reading the paper, I'm eating a perfect peach from a local farm stand, drinking great coffee, and all feels still and peaceful in my world today. Yesterday was a glorious summer day of swimming and socialising, and I'm looking forward for more summer days to come, but for now, just sending a shout out to all you bloggers out there, and wishing you a magic day, rain, or shine.


jet set (sea of hats)

Flew Heathrow to JFK yesterday & met Joanna @ Virgin check-in. She's going to NYC for three months - she's a stylist - and I know she's going to take NY by storm. I was surprised she doesn't want to model, she's got such a great look, but I can kind of relate to and respect that she'd rather be behind the scenes than in front of a camera. But she made this exception for me.

I think this is just the perfect long haul flight outfit. You can take the hat off, of course, during air travel, but her grey knitted thing from Monsoon is basically a soft blanket for the over-air conditioned air. The secret of a long flight is to stick to knits - nothing hard, definitely no jeans. And it doesn't really matter what time of year you're traveling, or to what climate: when you're in the air, it's always the same season. Mildly tundra.

It's funny, I saw several cool girls wearing hats at the airport. But no men. Remember when men wore baseball caps? Turned around? I love how in films from the fifties, you'd see a scene of Manhattan and it was a sea of hats. Or in London, in the City, all those bowlers. I wonder if that's the shape of things to come: men bare headed, and chic women round the world, wearing the hats.

Just went to a great lunch with my mom and fifteen of her friends. (Oh: this was cute. My mom apologised for wearing a white handbag. I asked why and she said she read it on my post. I was trying to explain, it was just with that blue coat.. actually, hers looked great with her outfit.) Can't decide which shot of Joanna's I like best, so I'm posting them all. If anyone reading this is in NY and knows people in the fashion industry - or if you're elsewhere, but do - please let me know in comments or by email, and I'll pass it on to Joanna. Thanks!


mind the gap

The other day I posted a shot of a girl in a coral bubble skirt, and I was wondering where she got her boots. A few days later, I found a similar look in the Times Sunday Style section, as '...every fashion editor's most-wanted footwear: £98, from Gap'.

(This was clearly written by a British editor, because every American girl worth her salt knows it's THE Gap. And I'm not linking the site as I've looked: no boots there yet.) Anyway, it's not the same heel - I love the heel on the Girl with the Coral Bubble Skirt - but it's still really nice, don't you think?


a whiter shade of pale

It's such a dark gloomy day here, and before I get dressed and run out, I had to post something.. inspirational. For your viewing pleasure, open another window, click here, and turn up the volume.

Last Thursday I was having a coffee & chat with my friend Stella, a writer, at Cafe Brindisa on Berwick Street, when I saw Lucy across the street. I had to shoot her. She was so sweet, we did a few quick shots (all great) & I ran back to Stella, who was cool about it because her boyfriend is a photographer and he does this to her all the time.

This look, to me, is working on so many levels. I didn't even ask where she got that great necklace! (There's also all kinds of little silvery bits of jewelry, she just sparkles, in her eyes, her smile...) Lucy got the dress somewhere on the King's Road - vintage - and I love the way she's wearing it with scruffy white plimsoles (classic Ked sneakers) and beige socks.. she's probably got great heels tucked away in a bag for later, but this way she was able to move quickly on the street, rather than tottering around like a cripple, as some of the other girls were that day. (Note to shoe designers: stiletto heels & cobblestones, not a great mix). And that coat.. I didn't even ask her about the coat! It just happens to curl up in the same way as the dress. I am so so into pale nude/pink/soft white, bit of grey, light blue.. always have been, but this year especially.

Is it just me? What do you think?


china doll

Back when I was noticing a mini-sub trend, i.e., wearing school jackets with cool insignias in unusual ways, I posted my friend Shauna wearing it in a rather predictable way ('detail oriented') and Sophie La-La-La X, of beautiful rampage, thought "it would look really nice with a graphic tee and some ripped up faded shorts!" (which I agree).

Well, Karen, who I spotted in London's Chinatown in Leicester Square, dropped the shorts altogether and just opted for a great Katherine Hamnett-esque tee and tights. I didn't ask where she's from - she seemed to be out with a boyfriend and another couple, and sounded American - and I was on my way to dinner with my other great friend Liz, to a fabulous place called Feng Shui, and we were all pretty quick, so I didn't source anything. But I love this look, and they were a nice group for a quick fun Chinatown shoot.

(Jimena, by the way, had suggested that jacket would look good with a 'cute dress', & I like what Phillipa did, see 'all a blazer').

primary colours: true blue

An extraordinary thing happened yesterday on an ordinary, rainy Monday in London Town. It was dark, it was gloomy, and I had enough: I had to wear something bright. While I was out meeting friends, I walked home, and everywhere I looked in Chelsea and Knightsbridge, people were wearing bright colours! Orange. Yellow. Hot Pink (I saw two people in pink converse sneakers @ once, and had to decide who to shoot - I followed the guy, that shot will be up soon). And this girl, in a cobalt blue raincoat with a bow in the back. I love her shoes, but if I can be a bit critical, I'd not have chosen a white bag, even if it might be Chanel, and her hair could do with a trim.

But never mind that: Somehow, collectively, we literally brought the sun out.

Off to the airport soon - will try to post one more, but if not, will continue to from the end of Long Island! (I'll be shooting there, too, but I've got lots o' great London shots coming up). Hope you're having a fun summer, wherever you are!


Fashion update: Writing this from the end of Long Island on Wednesday, where I'm being a good daughter & not swimming just in case it does turn into a tropical storm (we're watching the weather channel). My mom at lunch today apologised for wearing a white bag and I realised I need to clarify: I don't hate all white bags. But with this, I wish she was wearing the new purple Mulberry suede Abigail bag I just saw at Heathrow yesterday. I was trying to source it for you but can't seem to lift the shot off their website, but you can see it here. I don't normally get it about IT bags, but this one really has that wow factor for me.

Alternately, she could have chosen this Lil' Riz leather hobo number (above) by Marc Jacobs

Or better yet this mustard suede Saba, by Jimmy Choo. Oh this is fun. Dressing a total stranger. Reminds me of Barbie dolls. Speaking of which, someone just put this up on eBay:

A genuine Vintage Barbie American Airlines pale blue jacket, with insignia!


pink bubble fun

Berwick Street, Soho. Was having lunch with a friend @ Brindisi. Saw a flash of coral pink go by - yes, girls, it's a bubble skirt! and, for once, it works! - a rare bird, indeed, as most women on the street that day were in grey, black, neutral. Ran after her, got this shot but didn't catch her in time to ask questions. Like where she got those boots! Do you see the heel? They're fab. Anyone know who made them? I love love love hot pink or coral with brown suede and dark skin, or a good tan.

Another example: similar palette, different proportions, totally, totally different look.

re source (another cinderella story, solved!)

Today's thought, as I often think, is that everything is connected. I recently received two seemingly unrelated emails, from two different beautiful women I photographed. You might remember this posting ('another cinderella story'), well.. I'll let her (excerpted) email speak for itself:

This is HwaJung Yoon from South Korea who you met in Waitrose... Now I have seen my pics there and read what you have "suffered" from (not knowing any details about the items and me..)

Those denim leggings are from Tabio (Japanese brand, I believe). I got coral grey ones too (few shops in London including Harrods, Sloan Sq, Covent Garden...) And the shoes are from my country, South Korea. And the brand is called 'Solmilan'. I don't know if it is imported to South Korea from elsewhere (e.g. Italy..sounds like...)
... Thank you for the pics. They are all lovely. It is great to see myself in such a beautiful blog.

Hope we run into each other soon again. Wish you a lovely evening.

Best Regards, HwaJung Yoon

(& I will post the other Cinderella story later, as Mr. Dot is getting antsy to get out of town!)



vested interest

Knightsbridge, London. Reminds me of Pat's genuine Harley Davidson silver studded leather motorcycle jacket and boots. Only different.

joe, staying cool

I've realised I haven't been shooting or posting enough guys lately. I don't know what most of you like to see: are you coming to my blog to get fashion ideas? Or for the human interest factor? Fingers on buzzers please (or, failing that, comments welcome). We aim to please.
Joe, staying cool on Cromwell Road, near Sainsbury's. He's lived across the street for 28 years and is a really nice guy. I love the pattern on pattern thing he's got going, and the stripes on his shoes with the stripes in his denim trousers.


charcoal, with an orange twist

Sora & her sister, Sinae, are visiting London from South Korea, and we met them in South Kensington yesterday, trying to find the Science Museum (wow, that's a lot of S's! : )

Our neighbourhood is rather touristy now, as expected (we're going away soon, too) and that's changing the style dynamic. But I did notice, having posted Zaira, yesterday, in charcoal, that everyone - I mean, EVERYONE - out there in London is wearing grey in one form or another. (That, and the must have item in everyone's bag: black footless tights, or leggings). It's.. freaky. I even got myself in the mood to wear charcoal (my old favourite hooded cotton knit jumper that reminds me of a knight's chain mail, but it doesn't remotely hurt), along with white long shorts & my white havaianas.

I like Sora's twist of the orange accent. I'm thinking that charcoal - with a twist, in a bold colour like orange, or crisp white - is great on brunettes, esp. pale skinned, like Zaira, while blonds or pale skinned redheads are better with palest, ethereal grey, teamed with beige, nude, or palest blue. (And yet, I think the paler palette would look brilliant on dark skin).

And I don't know if you can see on the close-up, but her nail polish was a really lovely pale pink. I didn't even look down at her feet, it's a bit washed out but her sandals look lovely, too. I wish I could have sourced her outfit for you, but I could see English wasn't too easy for them, and besides, I didn't want to hold them up. Very very nice girls, I just feel bad for them because today is an even greyer day - it's raining now - and they deserve a bit of sunshine.


apology oysters, havaianas, and eyes the colour of sky

I've been wanting to post these photos for ages, and since this week is the annual Whitstable Oyster Festival (it ends Saturday), it's time.

Zaira was hanging out, working in a shop right on the sea, talking with her friend with a vintage clothing stand next door. I heard them talk about her sneakers, from Primark for like £6, and whether it was ethical etc, but on the other hand: that's a great price for classic white Keds (or rather, Keds-like sneakers). We became instant friends: she's from Brazil (via cool East London, now living in Whitstable, and loving it there).

She noticed my white Havaianas (I actually found them one Saturday morning, years ago, on the street - literally! - on the strip of Fulham Road known as 'the beach' - in March! Just days after I'd bought a hot pink pair at Coco Ribbon, one of the first shops to source them when the trend hit London. It was as if someone, the night before, literally stepped out of them, whilst hailing a cab). In Brazil, they were originally made for poor people. No one expected them to become chic. Same with the classic white Keds, which are now being imitated for Primark, made by children, no doubt, for peanuts. Hence the ethical question: is it wrong to buy them, at that price? Actually, when I look at their website, they are being very clear just because it's cheap doesn't mean they're not ethical. So that's that sorted then!

Watching this conversation was her son, Max, with a wisdom and zen like calm beyond his years. Max was also the name of our beloved childhood car, a Ford Fairlane Station Wagon, 'the colour of sky'. My friend Sherri named him the Blue Max. Come to think of it, she, too, has eyes the colour of sky, just like Max.

Meanwhile my husband, the fabulous Mr. Dot, had wandered off, restless and bored. I didn't realise how pissed off he really was until we drove off. I tried to tell him that we didn't just talk shoes, they had also told me about the Whitstable Oyster Festival (he loves oysters) and how there are places we can pick our own. He pulled over and stopped at a beach and said that's how I could make it up to him. 'What, Apology Oysters?' I asked. 'Exactly', said he.

So I marched out into the glorious beach, and immediately, my Havaianas sunk into the gloppy charcoal grey silky, muddy sand and got stuck. I still managed to get him three, which he ate later, along with the six he'd bought in town.

I love the dark charcoal grey of Zaira's outfit, with a bit of sharp white: it perfectly fit Whitstable on an overcast day, and was the exact colour scheme of the mud, and the white of my Havanaianas, and the Apology Oysters. And the paler soft colours of cool blue grey and warm beige, on Max and their dog, are lovely. Especially if you happen to have eyes the colour of sky.

new vintage

Shop window, Whitstable by-the-sea, Kent.


slip splash

Back when we had our 'heat wave' (in hindsight, now that it's cold & rainy again, I use that term loosely), I went thru a phase where I was wearing my slip all week, styling it all different ways. Alas Mr. Dot isn't Mr. Photographer - or rather, he wouldn't document it - so I had to resort to shooting myself at the V&A, my latest favourite place next to the Serpentine, for an alternative to actual swimming (they let you wade thru the pool, but it's too shallow to swim in).

On another day that week, I was in the tube and met a really nice mother & daughter visiting from the states. Mindy, the mom, shot me with HER camera & I tossed my card at her before getting off the stop. I couldn't believe she actually took the time to email it to me when she returned home! People constantly amaze me.
I'm really into thinking of how we dress ourselves as creating a palette of colours and textures, using our own bodies and skin tones as a base. Thinking much like a gardener. To that end, I've created a little mood collage for your viewing pleasure, shot from a walk thru Kensington Gardens.


another cinderella story

I was at Waitrose on Gloucester Road and saw her feet first, behind me at the checkout counter. She told me where she got those great denim leggings (which somehow feel so glam with this outfit), but we were both busy checking out & I didn't write it down. She was such a great sport about doing a quick photo shoot, which when the film was developed felt quite catwalk to me, (our grocery bags were just outside the shot) but I haven't heard from her and can't find if I wrote down her details anywhere, even on the grocery receipt. So I'm afraid I can't tell you where she's from, her name, or even where she got her pretty shoes. For all I know, she left one of them behind.


heel, jackson!

My friend Bronwyn, a chic study in dog-walking neutrals, with Jackson, sticking firmly with this summer's most popular combination: black, white, and neon hot pink.


There is a cool little photographer's enclave near the British Museum, based around a really special place called the Camera Cafe, where you can eat great cheap asian noodles or sit with a coffee & read, and ask a zillion questions of the camera whizzes who don't seem to mind if you don't buy any equipment. I didn't get my camera from them, as they mostly sell vintage film cameras, but at the neighbouring Camera City, which isn't actually a city at all, not even a small town. It's a teeny tiny shop owned by Rachel, who's had it for 13 years.

Just minutes before I bought my digital camera, I met Lilac, (also a photographer), outside, and got my last two shots with her being blinded by the sun on a beastly hot day. I aptly ran out of film, just before going digital. This won't be my last film shot, I promise. Her dress is from a trip to India, and she is way cool.


canterbury sales

We had had the most magic summer day, exploring the Kent coastline by car, and Mr. Dot wanted to check out the town of Canterbury. We had been talking about the story of Canterbury Tales, and he was thinking of doing a kind of art piece/installation on it - recreating the route.

When we got to our car, we saw Karen with her friend, trying to figure out the parking meter. We offered her our ticket and I asked where she got her dress. XXXXX, she said, (a major chain). In fact, she works for the chain & they were going to a party for it and I said well tell your manager, I could mention if there's a sale or something on my blog. 'Well there IS a sale!' said she. 'There you go!' said I. I gave her my card & suggested she get in touch, it would impress her boss. I never screw up the light with my Pentax Spotmatic, but these shots came out ghostly, which is fitting, as I never did hear from her again, and now I can't recall the chain's name, which is a shame. Perhaps I dreamt the whole story.

On the way home, we got stuck in tremendous traffic - turns out it was the night Madonna was @ 02 and everything was going crazy round there - so (we realised in hindsight) we ended up taking the old Canterbury Tales route home, after all. In reverse. And it probably took just as long for us as it did, then.


off the cuff

I was having a yummy coffee & cake the other day at Jaks, on Walton Street, reading and waiting for my friend Liz to join me later on, and as the lunchtime crowd started heating up, everyone started walking in with black jackets with the sleeves cuffed up. Well maybe not everyone: but if I had one of those clicker counters, there's be a lot of clicking. What I'm wondering is: how did this trend start?

I mean, everyone has a masculine-tailored black jacket in our closet, but what in God's name compelled us all to pull it out on Monday? (to be fair: I was wearing it a lot the week before, but I wasn't cuffing up the sleeves, just kinda pushing them up and besides, I can't possibly be responsible). So I'm just a fashion sheep, part of a meme, a trend that has taken on a life of its own.. I'm so interested in trends. The kind that springs up from the street, not the kind the fashion industry dictates. If the Industry had Its way, we'd all be running round this S/S in Nappy Pants, or, even scarier, JUMPSUITS (do any of you have a jumpsuit, newly bought this season? If so: how many times have you actually worn it? How is it for you, when running to the loo after a few glasses of Chardonnay?)

The thing about this black jacket/cuffed up thing is it doesn't require any new financial purchase, and I bet if you don't have the right kind of jacket, you're already keeping an eye on eBay before you're hitting the shops. So what I want to know is, why now? Is it possible Michael Jackson's death has somehow compelled us to channel this trend? Or is it the 18 year theory in action (every trend takes 10 years to recycle, and it's simply time to Don Johnson that Miami Vice vibe?

I'd like to put it out there: if you've worn one in the last week, can you tell me where in the world, and why? I'm just curious. If you can send me a shot @ jill@haybooks.com, all the better!

still summer

Just came across this shot from a previous post. I know that in the fashion world, everyone's thinking ahead to a cold winter, but this reminded me that it's still summer. And as my friend Amanda posted recently, let's not forget to simply stop and smell the roses.

RIP IT!! RIP IT!! (or, let them eat cake)

As per yesterday's post (two jungs), I've kept the package I had received from Jun, the sleek geek in Hong Kong on my dresser for weeks now, unopened.. well, I hadn't actually opened the inner package with my handmade commissioned tights. I don't know what is wrong with me! What can I say: I'm the kind of girl who, at my own birthday parties, would drive my guests crazy because I'd painstakingly peel back the Scotch Tape, try to save every ribbon, didn't want to rip the wrapping paper... my friends would be screaming RIP IT! RIP IT! with frustration because the whole opening the presents stage was taking forever and they wanted to get onto the cake, and I'm sure it's been maddening for Jun, who went to all the trouble of sending this.

Anyway, yesterday I found a quiet moment, just me & the cat.

Big mistake. As I was shooting.. it would have been hilarious, if it weren't so scary. Our lovely reincarnated cat, Tigger (aka Pooh, in a previous life) was hell bent on getting those tights in his sharp clutches and ripping them to shreds. I haven't even included all the shots: I was just shooting away, because digital is free, like some kind of mad journalist in a war torn zone. I finally had to stop because the poor tights were in peril, hiding deep within the package. So, Jun, I'm afraid, I can't post a shot of me wearing them, yet, as they're safely back in their package, on a high shelf.

But from what I've seen, I LOVE THEM!! It says my name in Mandarin. I'd love to wear them with a navy silk cocktail dress I had made, and black heels with bows. Or, just about anything. What I think would be fab for single girls is to get their name made, and their phone number, and wear them out clubbing. This way you don't have to stop dancing to indicate to a cute guy to call.