it's a wrap

This has been the craziest weather, and no one knows how to dress for it. This weekend (the parts when we were in town) I've seen such fabulous style - I mean, it was like shooting fish, and the best looks were the ones that got away - but I've also never seen such a variety of looks. Finally, the long maxi dresses that I saw in the Hamptons, and what my role model and the reason I'm street shooting, Bill Cunningham, caught in NYC, have emerged like ground hogs from the closets of British women, and will not appear again, I predict, til next summer's one sunny day.

One brilliant look that caught my eye was on Rachel, steps from Kensington Gardens, who I spotted & dotted near the Royal Garden hotel. She's wearing a towel as a cape. (I also love the look of the girls that got caught in the shot). It's funny because moments earlier, I spotted Irra wearing a similar look: turquoise pashmina as wrap. If only that peek of shorts didn't show, it could pass as a dress. I wonder if this is the start of a trend. Any sightings in other cities, girls?

fancy footwork: to the maxx

Saw a tall blonde woman with her friend, crossing Kensington High Street. Leaving Mr. Dot in the lurch, I ran after her, dodged a few motor vehicles of various descriptions, and caught up, panting. 'Where did you get those leggings?', I gasped. I think they (the girls, that is, not the leggings) might have been Swedish; she pointed down the street and gestured and said something like TK Maxx (I thought that was just an American brand, I didn't even know it was on High Street Ken!). I asked if I could shoot her feet and she was fine with that, but when I asked if I could shoot her for my blog, she and her friend just started laughing hysterically.

Don't ask me where she got her flats. Cool look tho, no?

jesus rocks

Jesus Rocks, and Louis is everywhere. Louis Vuitton, that is. I don't know why: could be a random coincidence, but it seems like everyone I've come across recently is sporting a classic LV monogram bag, in varying shapes, forms, and sizes. Any idea why that is? Is it just me? I thought IT bags were so over, and it was meant to be all about shoes. But maybe that's the point: when the economy is in meltdown, perhaps people stick with what is safe, and there's nothing more classic (apart from a Tiffany engagement ring) than a LV

When were at the coast yesterday, freezing on the shore near the White Cliffs of Dover, I read a brilliant article in the London Times Style section, by Shane Watson, called the new trend for wearable clothes. It's so what I've been thinking for a while, and couldn't have said it better myself. I'd so love to hear your thoughts on the subject.

Love this girl's fringe top with the studded 'jesus rocks' suede belt and denim skirt. They were having such an intense chat - about boys, I'm sure - that I didn't want to interrupt with a posed shot. I prefer un-posed, frankly. Photo taken in Hyde Park, near the Serpentine.


it's back!!

It's back!!!

The Jacket. The Topshop nude sequin motorcycle jacket is back. I saw it yesterday, in the flesh, @ the Topshop High Street Kensington branch (or is it Kensington High Street? Whatever). We had left the park and I just had to peek in, and there it was! I was talking about it last JUNE ('on friendship...') and I couldn't believe it's back. It's something like £85. I tried it on and of course it looks great. It would look great on anyone, how could it not? Totally different look on me than on Karla (altho, I'd definitely wear it with my skinny white jeans, too, as I wear them year round: winter white). I asked Kate, the manager, if I could shoot myself in it, and she said sure, as long as I didn't publish the shot, to which I stupidly asked, 'does a blog count?'

She almost caved, started coming around, saying 'well I can't physically stop you..' but I didn't want her to get in trouble, she was so nice. I told her about Karla and how there's been this kind of jacket envy conversation going round, over this jacket (which had sold out) and - get this - she was really excited and said 'Karla's Closet!' The manager of the London High Street Kensington Topshop knows about Karla and her closet! Funny old world.

I know how I'd wear this jacket (there's a million different ways I'd wear this jacket, actually). I'd wear it over my vintage non-designer pale pink nude sleeveless Jackie O dress (one that I DIDN'T have made), with Jun's hand-made white tights with black Chinese writing, and any heels. Or maybe my Topshop harlequin black suede pom pom ballet pumps. Or even little booties, if and when I get the perfect pair, which I actually also saw at Topshop... little soft black leather flats with a lot of gold detailing.. I can't find them online, but they're kind of a cross between this and this. But my little black bootie obsession is another story, for another day and another post.

There's also a great white sequin jacket which is more my style: I can't show you the photo for some reason, but click here to see it. I love it, but I also really really love The Jacket.

So: if you had The Jacket, how would YOU wear it?

babes off the bike

Last, glorious, Sunday, when I swam in the Serpentine and it felt like the whole world was gloriously happy, I shot these two friends wearing clothes from, left, Spitalfields Market and right, from a shop somewhere in Shoreditch. It was such a fun little photo shoot - I wish I could post all four shots, they're a delightful little 'film' - that I forgot to write down their names, and it's flown right out of my head. Hopefully one of them will get in touch.

Didn't even realise til I looked at the shots, they've got helmets, so presumably they'd cycled over in flip flops. Still, it qualifies for the babes on a bike series, in a way, no?

Off to the beach - meant to be freezing so wearing a soft grey cotton knit hoodie (vintage, as in I've had it forever) paired with soft grey velour sweatpants, and thick socks. Have a lovely Sunday, wherever in the world you may be! xoxo


coral tango mall

At the place where the two forks of Long Island meet (the North Fork, and what has become the Hamptons, on the South Fork) is an idyllic area with a golf course and a park, and the start of a river. That port, which is no longer used as a port, is the town of Riverhead. And in recent years, it has become known for one thing and one thing only: Tanger Mall.

Tanger Mall is, to my mind, a freaky, scary place, where people come to shop til they drop. There is every brand, including a Barneys and a Brooks Brothers. As interested as I am in fashion and trends, I always feel that every minute I spend there is a minute spent away from the beach, the pool, or relaxing with family and friends. I have inherited from my mom a dread of shopping.

So it was a lucky surprise to spot Manuela, from NYC, in Banana Republic, looking like a sultry young Penelope Cruz. When I asked to shoot her, her face transformed to this pearly smile. In her own words: 'Yes my pink cardigan was from Gap, my headband from Roberta Freyman (its actually a sarong but I made it into a headband), then my white tanktop and my shorts were from J Crew and my shoes from Sperry Top Siders.'


just the facts, ma'am

I do like a man in a uniform. And when I met CJ the Cop on the clean streets of Southampton (Jobs Lane, to be precise), walking his beat, the mood was Andy of Mayberry meets It's a Wonderful Life. My husband, Mr. Dot, was at one of the two coveted sidewalk tables at The Drivers' Seat, and I joined him for a coffee and a grilled chicken sandwich.

Suddenly, several things happened at once: one of my very best friends in the world, Sherri, appeared on a bicycle with her sister-in-law. Neither of us knew we'd be in the Hamptons that day. A minute earlier, I'd come from the ladies room downstairs, where I'd passed a couple on the stairs. The girl was great street style material: a lovely cream and poppy print dress, and great super high sandals. I was just about to introduce myself when something stopped me. Something in the way he was holding her. And her gorgeous blue eyes (like Sherri's) were not just teary.. something was very, very wrong.

As Sherri & I were doing the whole 'what are you doing here' thing, the mood suddenly turned into a David Lynch film. A girl was lying on the sidewalk, just a few feet from where we sat. That same girl! CJ and his colleagues snapped to attention, re-directing traffic and acting official, and an ambulance appeared. All this within seconds. Some very stylish and attractive emergency workers, looking like the cast from Grey's Anatomy, jumped out and started putting her on a gurney. This was serious. I have no idea what happened, but I sure hope she's okay. (And I hope they didn't have to cut that great print dress!)

I'll tell you this much: the Southampton police staff aren't just there for their cuteness: they take care of business. And their uniforms are in just that right shade of cool blue.

my old white bikini, drying in the sun

Been promising my fair skinned & lovely, newly shorn platinum blond blog-friend Stephanie, of Style Odyssey, for the longest time, that I'd post a shot of my white eyelet with turquoise lining bikini (from Izrah Mizrahi @ Target, two seasons back). Here it is, drying in the sun on the deck over the Sound. How I wish I were there with it, still (actually, it's with me, in dark rainy old London Town).

My mother thinks it's a baggy, ill fitting rag, and has asked me to stop wearing it in public. I, on the other hand, feel when I wear it like I'm in a California surfing film circa 1962, with the Beach Boys playing in the background. So how do I thank her for her hospitality, not to mention giving birth to me? I go and post said loathsome swimsuit on my blog! (Mom, if you're reading this - which no doubt you are, because you are supportive and wonderful - think of it this way: at least I'm not posing in it, right?)


fine prints

Last week in the Hamptons, under a very very hot noonday sun, those that weren't on the beach or lounging round a pool, but rather in town, were moving very slowly, if at all. The day felt languid.. Southern. We could have been in Mississippi. So it was apt that the town was called South, rather than East, or even West, Hampton. (Hey! There's no Northampton, I just realised. Except in England, of course).

I know I've been banging on and on about white, because that's all I felt like wearing this season on Long Island, so that's what my eye was drawn to. Still is. I'm also still really into the shades of turquoise and blue, so you can expect more of that, too. (And Stephanie, I promise to post a shot of my swimsuit with the turquoise lining that I shot just for you!) But I did see, (as I expected to see in London but didn't), lots o' prints. Fine retro patterns. Big bold tropical splashes. I'm not sure why this trend has taken off in NY but not here. Probably because it's more compatible with hot sunny weather, which we've pretty much given up any hope of ever seeing again. (So much for global warming: anyone remember that threat? I'm thinking of stopping my obsessive recycling regime, if it will mean adding a few degrees to the UK annual temperatures).

What about where you are? Are prints popular, and if so, are they tiny, or big?

Two very different brunettes, two very different looks. The shots were taken within minutes (and yards) from one another. Which one is more you? And why? I know which one is more me, but I'm not saying til you do.


yankee spirit

We were in Hyde Park on Sunday - it was glorious & warm & I swam in the Serpentine - and everyone was so stylish, so clearly glad to be alive, I shot so much I could post just on that day from now til December and still not have shown you everything. We passed this couple, George and Robin, and my husband, Mr. Dot, remarked that I should shoot her cause she's 'all in Chanel'.

Actually, her quilted black bag is classic Chanel, but the fabulous white jacket with sienna piping is 100% Zara. And I shot her because I love her style and her smile and her spirit, and I think they're a cool couple. George is American and I'm guessing Robin is, too (if she was English and her name was Robin, she'd be a guy). Also, note they're drinking Starbucks, an American brand.

I liked the way George asked, totally deadpan, if I was planning to make fun of them in my blog. I truly don't get why the Brits think we Americans don't get irony. We do. We just try to keep a low profile on the irony front, talk in ironic code amongst ourselves, and basically let it be your British thing. After all, you did lose us as a colony, it's the least we can do. We get Rhode Island, hot dogs, and Coney Island, and you get bangers and mash, and Irony.

Still loving white, by the way, especially with blue jeans. I am determined to break the rule of 'no white after Labor Day' which is easier to pull off here in London, as they don't celebrate Labor Day. How about you? Where do you stand on the No White After Labor Day rule? Do other countries have something equally ridiculous?

re: source (babe on a bike)

You remember Kari ('sunshine', 18 August)? My fashion savvy blog-friend, Sophie, of modediktat, said that the Sartorialist 'would be envious that you've found the perfect Summer babe on a bike instead of him. Hehe...' I did offer to send it to him, but he hasn't replied just yet : )

She also wondered if Kari's dress was a Melissa Odabash tunic dress. Good guess, Sophie, but it's actually Cejon, and a it's technically not a dress, but swim cover up (she was on her way to the beach when I ran into her - not literally - in town). She said it's quite sheer in bright light, in case anyone's ordering it online. Guess I just caught the sunshine going in the right direction.

Kari's just got a few more precious days of Hampton sun, before heading back to the Big Apple, so Kari, if you're reading this, have a glorious time & swim a bit for me. It's cool & blustery here in London, but I'm not giving up on summer just yet.


BCBG (with a twist)

Just before leaving for our Long Island summer get away, I saw Estelle as we were driving home in South Kensington, and asked Mr. Dot to please stop the car (he's not all THAT bad, by the way, but I am loving your comments on yesterday's post! Yay blogirls! : )

Estelle is French, and it's odd, in London, I've kind of under-represented French style, altho we live in a kind of French enclave, because all the French schools are here. I hadn't posted her shots sooner because it was a cool day and she was dressed almost fall like, but I can't wait any longer. I think she's got such a great look. And it's funny, she just happened to be near this motorcycle, but in light of a comment recently about the Sartorialist and 'babe on a bike' shots on my post on Kari ('sunshine', 18 August), perhaps, I, too, am doing a series (I am typing this with a French accent, no?)

I was thinking, while on holiday, of a phrase I remember hearing many many years ago - the 80s, to be exact. Around the time of Sloane Rangers in London and Preppies in NY, there was a phrase I haven't forgotten: BCBG, or bon chic, bon genre. Any French bloggers out there, are you old enough to remember this? Does anyone still use it? Wikipedia mentions it, more on it here, (under 'list of chics' which made me smile. There's even a 'Chelsea Chic, did you know that?) Well I feel Estelle's look is classic BCBG, with a twist. It's like she's taken the cliche of the Parisian beauty's understanding of the art of scarfs, and wacked it on the head with a great giant leopard print one. So cool. She sourced some of her stuff for me, but after all that sun & swimming, it's gone right out of my head. When I hear from her next, I'll update you all.

Don't you just love the way her red boots are so reminiscent of Dorothy's original red shoes in yesterday's post? Just another one of life's little coincidences!


patterns emerging

Not everyone in the Hamptons was wearing white. There were also sighting of bold patterns, in deep, bold colours, often with black. Here are a few examples, again in Southampton. I really liked the way the top girl was moving at a fast clip down the street. I never saw her face: she gave me the slip. But I like that little knot in her shirt, presumably to change the shape of the top, and I love the detailing. And Pucci prints, in my mind, like classic Indian motifs, will never lose their cache.

My husband, Mr. Dot, has been saying that I'm writing too much, and veering too far off street style. (There's no point in telling him to get his own blog: he wears the trousers in our family - even when I'm wearing them, literally, he's still the boss.) It's ironic that he should feel I write too much, because coincidentally, he feels I talk too much, too (even more ironic when you consider that he never hears anything I've said: I've read that men literally don't hear women because our voices are too high. And yet they tend to find high voiced women more attractive than deep voiced women, who they respect more. So we've got a world where men are sleeping with women they never listen to, or respect. Big surprise there).

So I've decided to split my blogs and make one with all kinds of photos. I'll let you know when that's up & running, possibly tomorrow. I might go on & on & on, or I might simply post photos & let the picture tell the story. But as long as I don't tell him the link, it will just be our little secret, and I can be my own boss. In my own little virtual world.


aqua con class

It's not like all I saw on the end of Long Island was white or turquoise, but I'm still in an aqua frame of mind. And turquoise. And blue. The colour of swimming pools and the sea, which, this time yesterday, I was blissfully swimming in. Both pool, and sea.

So, to extend the memory, I'm posting a shot of Sarah, brown bagging it on Jobs Lane in Southampton in a turquoise dress from the lower east side of Manhattan, to match her eyes. And she was sitting right by this shop.

So we're back in London, with our cat, Pooh (his real name is Tigger but he's clearly reincarnated from our previous cat, Pooh, so the name's stuck), kind of nibbling my foot in purring contentment as I post this. He's in remarkably good shape considering he fell three floors from the window of our friends Claudia & Steve's flat, where they so kindly were looking after him. What was he thinking! Perhaps it knocked some sense into him. As my mom said: he's got 8 lives left at least (7, if you count his previous incarnation).

There was some great style @ JFK and on the flight & on the street since we landed this morning: as I expected, there's already a kind of back to school, fall is in the air feel to the way British girls are dressing: lots of black, short tight black mini dresses with leggings and those fabulous super high heel boot things that I"ve been seeing on bloggers like Nini with her zip up Givenchy booties, (similar but different pair shown here), ANY of Karla's shoes, Thumblina's YSLs, -h from pret a porter p, any of Jane's sea of shoes, Erica @ fashion chalet, not to mention lynn of all things nyc, who always has some great black killer heel look going.. you get my drift. It's created a need in me: if I have that silhouette, I won't need any new clothes. I just want the mad height.

But at the AIRPORT?? These girls were clearly only carrying, at best, one small carry on, with wheels, not lugging, as I was, a laptop, bag of four plastic bottles to fill with tap water, my two cloth Accessorize bags (one, aqua, above), filled to bursting with cameras, jumpers and various layers of clothes, reading material, rocks & shells from the beach..

Still, as Dorothy, another high heel shoe wearing icon, would say, there's no place like home.


aqua marine life (big fish)

My wonderful blog friend (who feels like a real friend) Stephanie, of Style Odyssey, said recently her favourite colour is aqua, and it's mine, too. I was down on the beach, swimming & watching Mr. Dot fish (tee shirt from his favourite company, Blue Marlin, at Barneys NY, linen drawstring trousers, also Barneys, own brand: Co-op, both several seasons old, nearly vintage!), when Carol approached with her family (you can see them in the distance). I noticed her aqua attire from a distance, because it was so lovely in the light.

She happened to be carrying this sea shell by the sea shore: it wasn't posed, she was just kinda twirling it when I saw her. Met her husband & daughter, took a few shots, and they were on their way.

Moments later, seconds really: Mr. Dot was catching a fish! A big, striped bass. I've been cooking & cleaning trout he's caught for years, but never saw the actual moment of the kill. My last image - the one that haunts my dreams still - is him gasping for breath, looking at me, saying 'Jill, help me, please'.

We grilled that lovely fish on the Weber grill - his head and tail hanging off - and I've been making fish cakes & yummy things with the leftovers, ever since. In tribute to a magic night.

We leave in a few hours, and he's chomping at the bit for one more march down the 177 stairs, for one last glorious swim & stab at catching another one. Which my mother has insisted he must throw back into the sea.

It was great sharing this holiday with you all! Big kiss, big fish.


grey's anatomy (losing my religion)

Lisa and Julie, in Southampton, in the same grey dress, different tones, by James Perse. That's me in the corner (losing my religion). Now I can't get that song out of my head, and if you click here, you won't, either.

It's funny: they're such nice girls and the dress is great, but - this is how much light affects me - I'm just not lovin' grey on hot sunny Long Island in August they way I loved it in rainy London in July. It hasn't captured my imagination now the way it did then, altho, with fall just around the corner, I know I'll be loving it again, when I'm back in that London light.

What do you think? Are you feeling the grey today, or the white? Or something else entirely? : )

It's funny about Grey's Anatomy: I love the show and haven't been able to see it in London, so was really excited to be able to take it out from the library out here on the North Fork. But haven't had a chance to see it, and we leave tomorrow. Oh, and it's also on TV tonight.


too hot to shop

After yesterday's posting, I really didn't want to put a new shot up and knock Kari out of the top slot (it's not just that she's pretty, girls, it's that she's REALLY NICE: I always feel beauty comes from within, and style, as I said to Kari, is an extension of our soul, in a way). And I know that, like following Woody Allen in his heyday at a stand-up comedy show, Kari is a hard act to follow.

SO, I'm giving you today a shot that I took minutes later (or earlier) on the same day: two girls in an empty Southampton shop. (Everyone else was presumably at the beach). I was very moved by Nini's post yesterday, that she's on a shopping 'freeze' (apt term), to save for a trip home to Vietnam. I know we'll all shop again, but in keeping with today's climate (both financially and literally), and since altho I've got lots of great style shots with colour but am still in an all white mood, I'm going to just post this, and then dive into the pool (in my white turquoise lined eyelet string bikini), as we leave in only TWO DAYS : (

(Note in the top shot, I didn't realise but the white girl's reflection is in the mirror on the left. And in the close-up shot, she is literally pulling her own face off, from the sheer boredom).



It's not like all people are wearing this week on the end of Long Island is white, but it's finally a heat wave, baby, and that's all I'm wearing! As my niece Scarlett said: we love white (in bedding, as clothes, as pjs) because it's so cosy, so comfy (her two favourite words).

Met Kari in Southampton and she's just the nicest girl. I think this is the perfect summer look: white cotton lace, white flip flops, sunglasses, and a blue bicycle. I asked if she was a model (no), works in the industry (uh, no).. you'll never guess what she is: a psychologist! I don't know why that blew me away: she could have just as easily said 'brain surgeon' or 'astronaut'. It made me realise that even little old me, who thought I was above pigeon-holing people, made assumptions about her simply because she's blonde & beautiful. And she's not just brainy: she seems to have real insight into people. She's just absolutely, perfectly lovely in every way.

Sorry for the lame title, it must be the sun, my brain's starting to melt. So many great photos, so little time... it's another perfect summer day & I've gotta go swim. More later! xoxo


homage to bill, in white

Ever since I was a girl, I looked forward to the Sunday Style section of the NY Times to see the 'on the street' column by Bill Cunningham. He's actually the reason I started this blog. Over the years, I've had friends who have been shot by him, or have met him from the fashion shows, but I haven't - yet- had the honour myself. And yet I feel like I know him, grew up with him, and he just seems like the nicest, genuinely nicest man.

So today, sitting on the deck watching the calm water of the Sound, I was moved to see that his piece today was on white, specifically 'eyelet' and crochet, because that's what I've noticed recently, too (see Queen Anne's Lace, 9 August). I've been wearing a white eyelet bikini with turquoise lining, which I'll shoot for you tomorrow. The crickets are singing loudly, the fireflies are dancing just outside the porch, and I've come back from a twilight sunset swim while my husband was fishing, with my brother and niece. There are so many photos I'd like to post, but as that other great Scarlett said, tomorrow is, after all, another day.

These are just some random samples of many white crochet or eyelet sightings I had on the street in Southampton, purely coincidental (or is it?) which I am posting as an homage to the Great Man himself.


me, me, me (what's your style)

Someone asked me yesterday on my comments, what's my style? This is kind of me (well, it is me): simple, almost tom boyish altho I'm not at all tom boyish. The pizza & salad are on the deck and people have started eating and my husband, Mr. Dot, is leaving in 15 minutes to this great fishing place we found the other day, with or without me, so I'll have to explain the story of who shot this, and why, later. It was on Jobs Lane in Southampton.

Speaking of comments, I realise I don't get as many as other bloggers - my 'real' friends (vs my new blog-friends) don't really comment, altho they claim to look at my blog, and like it - but I want you to know how much I cherish your comments and feedback!

So: what's YOUR style?

. . .

p.s. update: the place we rushed to, by the way, which we expected to be so tranquil and gorgeous, was filled with people of all ages, swimming & partying & hanging out and enjoying their Saturday night. Very Pottersville, but lovely (but not to Mr. Dot, who wanted to fish. As he said: 'Some of them were swimming in their underwear', not a good look). I might post the shots later.

So to update my style: lots of vintage, either bought @ charity shops or items I've saved from being a teenager. I also wear several dresses I had made by a dressmaker of fabrics I chose - very simple, Jackie O, sleeveless boat-neck dresses. My style is pretty plain, lately pale pastel but also a lot of navy/black, beige - typical Virgo. Audrey Hepburn circa 1963.. with a twist.


hampton summer classic: raspberry blonde

Ali, Southampton, NY

It's funny, just at the moment I was about to post this, Sophie from modediktat commented on yesterday's post (about favourite colours) that she also likes 'raspberry'. I was trying to think of the word to describe this luscious colour that Ali is wearing and that's what came to mind: raspberry gelato.

Ali is just the most gorgeous girl, in the classic Hamptons sense: a stunning, blonde, all-American, really really nice girl. I took a bunch of shots and couldn't believe she wasn't a model: she just gave me a perfect shot, every time, in really lovely, creative poses. (And, for Coco, I've snuck in another window self-portrait : )

AND she sent me an email like the very next day thanking me for shooting her. Good manners never go out of style.


cool pool blue

Ladies Who Lunch, circa 2009. Southampton. (Tamara, Tris, and Sarah May).

Along with white, black, and grey, 'pool blue' (I've just coined that)- a kind of true, cool, pure blue, sometimes paired with pure aqua, is currently my favourite colour this summer. (Actually, black, white and grey aren't really colours, so that pushes it to my number one Favourite Colour slot. What's YOUR favourite colour this summer?