look sharp: hardware and soft wear

Spotted and Dotted at Liberty: Georgie, fashion editor/stylist for Tank Magazine, wearing a scary jacket by Richard Nichol* for Topshop. Note her nail varnish: it seems that suddenly everyone is wearing pale turquoise this week. My shade feels too dark: I prefer this colour, it's more Tiffany blue, eggshell blue, than jade, don't you think? Whatever it is, I love it.

What do we think of Richard Nichol, by the way? If you click here, for his A/W 2010 show.. I think he's got some clever, fun things going on here, but I'm not quite sure he's found his voice yet. I loved his bustiers in nude for Topshop ('ashes to ashes') but in the collection, he's got Christopher Kane's giant gingham check, a lot of masculine whimsical references.. I think it's a bit 'watch this space'. Actually, I take it back: I do love a lot of it.

(*It's not Richard Nichol!! I am mistaken: it's ASHISH, perhaps my all time favourite designer!)

Niamh, Georgie's friend and colleague, in such a gorgeous, soft, buttery mustard leather jacket (no clue whose), perfect with a grey tee. Those are her shoes, below: such a fun mix of hardwear and soft wear (haha! Just coined a new phrase! You saw it here first, girls: April 1st. If anyone wants to use it, just ask: I'll let you, for a small fee).

Has anyone seen The Devil Wears Prada? Okay, stupid question. Has anyone NOT seen it? How about The September Issue? I ask because, I'm just wondering if it's a NY/LON thing, or if people in the fashion industry are really really nice in other cities, too. So far, I've only known the loveliest, most generous spirited, non competitive people: mostly women. I mean, these beautiful three, who are all so chic - who understand and work the trends with such confidence - but who are also really warm, friendly.. well, girl's girls.

Left to right: Niamh Brennan-Bernatt, Leo Beamish, and Georgie Maccintyre, all @ Tank.

sorbet flavour of the day: tangerine

The secret to wearing sorbet colours, I feel, is getting the proportion right, and not being too cute. It works best as an accent, as Richard, shown here at a wonderful exhibit on Indian photography at the Whitechapel Gallery, did to great success. Just a bit of sorbet trim, on a grey cardigan.

I like blocks of colour and especially, clean, casual, simple lines. I love this peachy tangerine top with creamy beige jeans (I do make exceptions: the other day I wore periwinkle trousers with a lime green knit top, but again, both were really clean lines: fitted Audrey Hepburn type stretchy ankle length trousers I had had made years ago, and the top was boat neck with 3/4 sleeves). If you're gonna go all Lolita, girls, I'd make sure some of the colours are neutral.

Think of sorbet colours as literally the icing on the cake: you want to balance it out with something a bit mashed potato, a bit bland. Yuk, that's a terrible analogy, but you get my drift.

Last in the trilogy: one of the two pair of Kate Kanzier shoes I got way back a few weeks ago (you must have seen Jen's posts by now, mine is coming soon, promise!) 30 quid. And it goes with everything!

what's wrong with sex?

Sometime last week, I put this post up, and for some reason, no one commented. At all. So, after a few hours, I took it down, embarrassed. I thought perhaps it was the title (sex). Mr. Dot, my husband (who went to the event with me) said it was because 'the stop shot is blurry, JIll, and people don't like blurry shots.' He also helpfully said that it's too long.

Even tho it is a bit of scroll down, I liked the let them eat cake aspect of the night (I've just seen Sophia Coppola's Marie Antionette again, and I'm so inspired by the colours) but I've also been in that head: how luxurious all our lives feel sometimes, and some of the fur and bling I saw that night, contrasted with the casualness of other people's dress..

So this is an experiment: I'm posting it again, but with the blurry shot 2nd down. Let's see if anyone comments this time, otherwise, 24 hours from now, down it goes. Again.

Phillips de Pury throw the best parties.

The art auction house are in partnership with the Saatchi Gallery, and have a vast white modern space on Howick Place, near Victoria Station. Their launch parties have the most stylish, arty people. Last summer, for example, they had a great party ('life imitating art', 'fancy footwork') where they served little classic English canapes: miniature tea sandwiches, tiny Battenburg cakes and other iconic miniature British desserts.

So when we were recently invited to a show simply titled Sex, how could I not go?

The art, which ranged from the beautiful to some quite explicit and shocking works, were by artists like Allen Jones, Jack Pierson, Sigmar Polke, Trace Emin, And Andy Warhol. The auction has come & gone (19th March) but just wanted to show you these because the range - from the most casual (old jeans) to quite luxe.. well, Andy would have loved it: it was a bit decadent, but the energy & the buzz was such fun.

Lovely cocktails (strong alcoholic, or non) with tropical notes like vanilla and lime, and while it was cold and rainy and gloomy outside (hence a lot of boots, and monochromic black and grey), inside, it was pretty hot.

We almost didn't go: we had other plans for that night: actually, I was torn between two plans. Sometimes, I find, the only way to break a stale-mate in conflicting plans is to introduce a Third Option.

(Oh, btw: I wore my faux fur chocolate brown jacket, one of the slightly stretchy bespoke sleeveless nude dresses I had made for me years ago - simple, Jackie O style - black opaque tights & a pair of old vintage suede pumps, with bows. What would you have worn?)


everything is connected: easing our way into spring

It started last night, when I saw this post by Erika, of the Fashion Chalet, and decided it's my favourite look of the moment. Of course, she lives in the American South, and on a sunny day can pull this off: I don't know if the London light will ever be quite right. I love the way she channels D&G (her white eyelet dress) with Chanel (the hay).. well just read the post, you'll see what I mean. (E's rings, dress and suede fringe bag by Forever 21, H&M bow hair-clip, suede fringe Minnetonka Knee-Hi boots.)

Anyway, it got me thinking about how if I had to point to one universal 'trend' - it's more than a trend, it's a meme, a movement - to mix it up (feminine/masculine, casual/chic) and decided to pull out one photo that epitomised that trend. I couldn't do just one, of course: but I think black biker jackets - leather and lace, basically - are the best example.

Note her fringe bag channels Erika's boots, and Jen: see her demure patent loafers? Aren't they exactly the ones you wanted in Kate Kanzier but they didn't have in your size?

That led me to thinking about last Friday, and how Jen couldn't decide what to wear, ('easing my way into spring') and I realised how similar her scarf/jacket looks. And how it really is all about that: easing our way into spring, with our own unique but often uncannily similar style.

(On Jen: Mulberry Scarf, Madewell Jacket, Zara T-shirt, Urban Outfitters Leggings, Kate Kanzier Green Luella Brogues)

THEN, I went to E's blog to steal her shots (with her permission, of course) and lo and behold! A new post by her ('forward march'): which, in the most serendipitous, unplanned way, kind of brings it all full circle.

Thank you Alex, for your gorgeous photos of Erika. Thank you Erika for agreeing to 'guest blog', thank you Jen for posing.. thank you blond girl whose name I forgot... thank you each of you, for reading this and maybe even commenting, because otherwise, I'm just shouting in the dark! Have a lovely Tuesday night, wherever on the planet you are, and hope you're easing your way into spring nicely (unless of course you're in the Southern Hemisphere, in which case, you're easing your way into fall).

p.s. While I was posting this, Mr. Dot found this on youtube.. you should have seen us both, mock surfin' & singing along. Something to help ease you into spring, and oldie but goodie:


You might have noticed an ongoing series I do with shop windows, especially the Chanel shop at Brompton Cross ('top brasserie', for example). They're really creative there, and I love the attitude of the dummies (I cringe using that word: they definitely would not like me to call them dummies!)

On this particular recent spring like day, after I took this shot, I noticed this woman in the harem pants, staring at the window, deep in decision-making thought.

Meanwhile, a woman bumped smack into me. Usually, Londoners aren't good with bodily contact with strangers, but she was watching the woman deciding, and didn't see me. We stood together, chatting about what a great shot it would make, as I clicked away, and people kept appearing and ruining the shot. The other woman left, I kept shooting, and even when I left, she was still standing there, undecided.

I have a real problem with indecision.

My previous post, for example. For example: I like the upper shot, because I like her face better in it, but the version below shows more of the guy doing the arranging in the window. (I sometimes think life was easier when I shot with my dad's film Pentax: one shot, two, tops, and I'm stuck with whatever I get once the film is developed).

Hence the theory that I've developed long ago. I call it Jill's Three Problem a Day Theory.

I believe life is made of decisions: what to wear, where to go, who to marry, what job to do, whether to turn left or right at the corner. Our life becomes the result of our choices - combined, of course, with chance, serendipity, and everyone else's choices. A good day, our decisions are no more serious than which shoes to buy, or which cupcake to eat. Other days, our choices might be more difficult.

A good day, we're happy with our choices. A bad day, we go to sleep having resolved nothing, or, worse, regretting a choice. But no matter, because tomorrow, we will wake up, and we'll have three new decisions to make.

So how about you? How are your choices turning out today?

Oh btw: a week later, I passed this spot. This is what she ended up choosing. Pretty good, huh? I love the way it's all neutral and Paris catwalk barnyardesque, with a few hints of sorbet colours (lime & tangerine) in the light fixtures.


give me liberty NAO!

Never mind about Global Warming. My concern is that the planet is actually shrinking.

Take last Thursday, for example: Kaz (of Style My Wardrobe) & I had thought we'd try to meet at Liberty, but we didn't have a definite plan. So I arrived the moment she was leaving: we literally bumped into each other just as I was about to text her, and she was checking her phone. Okay, good timing, but not too freaky.

So we kiss goodbye, I walk into the Liberty Press Day event and literally two minutes later, who is the very first person I see? My new lovely friend Nao, the stylist ('meow, nao', and 'the wonderful world of nao').

How I wish Nao did a self style blog. I'm tempted to do it for her, but I'd have to run into her every day & shoot her. Instead, we did a quick photo shoot in the Liberty press room. There was some lovely Christopher Kane stuff which I'll post another time (it doesn't match this post) but I did find just the right little nook to match her hobo outfit. She actually found those trousers that way! And I love her handbag: we had that same exact basket in my childhood. What a cool alternative to an It bag, don't you think? It's so Green.

Coincidentally, when I saw Kaz a minute earlier, she showed me the amazing bag they gave away at the TU press day (where I was going, after Liberty). It's not in the stores yet but will be at certain Sainsbury's branches, and it really is amazing: inexpensive, with a fabulous cloth lining - and zippered pouch for phone etc - and the whole thing closes up with a drawstring, for security. And the best part is, the straps are strong, but soft, made of fabric. It's actually brilliantly designed.

I want to thank all of you who commented on the post the other day about self image (Lydia oh Lydia). I'm always grateful for your comments, but especially this one. You really amaze me: you're all so wise. I will be posting my feelings on it soon, I promise. But first: Mr. Dot is waiting for his eggs! (cheddar omelette, green salad, Paul's bread, leftover pommes Anna, and some crispy fried sliced chorizo).

Before I go, tho, I'm leaving you with some gorgeous bangles from the Liberty event. I am so a big bangle girl. Wrists are my body part of choice, for accessorising. (I'm good with 'statement' necklaces - it always feels too weird, kind of choking. I don't do necklaces, apart from my pearls, and Laura's Alice in Wonderland charm necklace).

Where's your favourite body part to accessorise?

sorbet treats

Of course, if you're not ready to go top to toe sorbet, as Shini playfully did the other day in the cold and the rain, cupcake colours and sorbet treats are lovely in small doses: rings & things.

I shot these all last week during one of the Press Day events: you will never guess which one. I mean, you'll NEVER guess!

(update: Top marks to that clever Style Crusader, who guessed it: TU, at Sainsbury's. It was an educated guess based on the next blog & that fabulous straw handbag. Check their site for which shops are 'super shops' that carry fashion items.)

variations on a sorbet popsicle

An ex boyfriend - much younger than me - used to use this word: meme (click on it if you have time: wikipedia explains it best). It's something I'm fascinated with: how ideas travel, take on a life of their own. Everything we're doing with our blogs is a perfect example. Everyone suddenly feeling like wearing oxfords (okay, BROGUES).. even the underwear-as-outerwear thing (I saw that phrase AGAIN in the style section and said to myself I'm going to start charging them: it's MY phrase!) but of course, I can't.

We can't own a meme.

A meme has a life of its own.

For example: the phrase 'sorbet colours' to describe a current trend. Almina, of Rare, mentioned it to Jen & I when we visited for Press Day (more about that to come) and then the brilliantly talented Shini of Park & Cube showed up to Ella's Cupcakes - maybe an hour or two after we heard it. We both photographed her, at separate times, each dragging her off somewhere. It never occurred to either of us to ask 'which spot did you shoot Shini at', or even to see each other's photos - so we didn't know we'd done a photo shoot in the SAME SPOT (and oddly, Shini didn't mention it). So much was going on at once, anyway.

So the next morning, I thought to myself 'I'm going to do a post on Shini and call it 'sorbet colours and popsicle days', was toying with variations of that theme, but I posted Hedvig's shot first. Then I went to her fab Style Crusader blog.. well, read her post, because she basically said everything I was thinking. One thing she didn't mention, tho, was that Shini's nail varnish was orangey red on one hand and pale turquoise on another: I do that, too: I like the relationship between two unexpected colours. Oh, and Hedvig had the same turquoise nails.. which I'm typing with now.. and at least two or three of those present had large, turquoise rings... everything is connected, that's all I'm saying. It's all good. It's all a Sign. I get great comfort in knowing we're all on the same page.

Shini's tangerine jacket is from Reiss, not sure who made her mint sorbet jeans, her peach gelato pumps are by Kate Kanzier (more about that brand, also to come!), lacey coconut custard shirt is vintage. It's a rainy day ANd a Monday, which usually gets me down: perfect day for a sorbet refresher course.


the garden collection

It was cold & even a bit rainy @ times the other day, when we had our 2nd Official Covent Garden Cupcake Convention (the blog roll is increasing: this was all Jen's idea, bless her cotton socks: Kit, the Style Slicker, Shini from Park & Cube, and the elusive but brilliant Vanessa Jackman herself! I loved the way Shini reacted when she realised it was Vanessa: read Jen's post, she wrote exactly what I would have. Uncanny, actually. (I wonder if real life celebrities get that way when they meet: if Tom Cruise, for example, when he meets Daniel Craig, says oh my god, I just loved you in those Bond films.. actually,.. never mind, not even GOING there! ; )

Then Hedvig arrived, breathless & beautiful, in her new dress from the Garden Collection @ H&M. I think she should do a blog - her life is utterly fascinating. I for one would follow it.

You won't believe this - well, Pearl,, YOU probably will - but I must post & run, this time to the gym for a swim! But I want to say from my heart how much it meant to me to wake up & read your amazing comments on yesterday's post. I can't wait to add mine, and continue this conversation. Please, if you haven't see it already, read what people wrote: it's so how I feel.


lydia oh lydia

Last Monday, I was strolling home from a lovely chat with some friends and saw a tall, colt like, almost gangly young woman heading towards me, dressed spot on what I'm loving at the moment: hard/soft, masculine/feminine. Split second impression. Should I stop her? Do I have time?

I asked if she'd pose & she sweetly said yes. Lovely lovely girl - not conventionally pretty, gap in her teeth.. not at all like the countless of perfectly pretty posh girls I see in our part of town. Once again: the moment I snapped, there was something about her pose.. 'Are you a model?' Yes. Of course. She is Lydia Beesley, from Storm.

So I went online this morning - because she'd given me her card & I promised to get in touch - and I couldn't find her on the Storm site. There was a Lydia, but that girl looked nothing like her. But wait: it IS her!

(Thank you to Storm, who have unwittingly let me borrow these two shots: this gorgeous one is by Andrew Vowles).

I've been thinking a lot lately about beauty, and how hard we are on ourselves (women, I mean, altho, disturbingly, sometimes guys, too), and we were talking yesterday at the Cupcake Convention about people that get 'work' done.. but if I start banging on about it now, Mr. Dot will go to the cinema without me, and I'll be in BIG trouble.

Just curious: is there anyone out there who is perfectly happy with their appearance the way they are? Is there anything you'd change? WOULD you actually change it, tho, or would you just like it to be different?


variations of an enigma

So glad she's not my imagination: after I did my Mystery Muse post last night, I had this weird feeling I'd wake up & see a white box. (That's the only catch with the blog format: if you're waking up & reading this, it will make no sense unless you read the previous post first).

Anyway, I'm so into the Bora colours: (me & everyone else) - the nude/dusty pink/pale blue/tan/beige/bit o' black knitted soft slightly ripped bit of an edge thing. That's how I'm dressing today: the more moth holes, the better, I say!

On left: My Muse. On right: catwalk, Bora Aksu, London Fashion Week, February A/W 2010.

Gotta run: more Press Day stuff! Then another Cupcake Convention. Have a lovely Friday everyone! xox

icon vs enigma

Every once in a while, I find someone who weaves fashion references into their own unique fabric. Preferably, with a pinch of irony. And often, they go completely under the radar.

You might remember my mystery muse a few posts back. Tonight, having seen the model DJ in the ubiquitous Burberry check scarf (a pattern, btw, that you hardly see on the new gorgeous Burberry lines), I went back thru the images in my mind - then on my laptop - and found what I had seen, if for no other reason than to know it wasn't a figment of my imagination.

This wasn't one of the people that 'everyone' photographed. No one has yet told me they know her, or know of her. She seems so serious (I've yet to see her smile), I usually see her alone, and she seems to have very much her own style. Apart from that, she's a total enigma to me.

I have finally finished compressing LFW images, btw. Whew. Now can finally start properly showing you what I've been seeing & doing since. There really is life after fashion week, you know.


who's that girl: mystery model DJ, on the run

It was that breathy, exhilarating first day back of school mania that was Day One of London Fashion Week in February, and we were all running - many in crazy heels - thru the streets of the West End, to get from one catwalk show to another on time.

As I ran, I was shooting this couple ahead of me. It was like being in a war torn country, & I was a BBC camerawoman. Their friend - running alongside me - said 'you can ask, you know: they'll pose' but I didn't have time to stop, and assumed they didn't, either.

When we finally got to the venue, we did this quick shoot. I didn't have time to write down her name as we all had to go inside. And I am kicking myself I didn't ask where she got her coat & shoes. I mean, the back of that coat, with the painting on it.. who made it?? All I know is what she told me, that she's a DJ, and a model.

There is someone who anonymously comments here from time to time - my fashion Deep Throat. Anonymous: who is this girl please??

I love all her elements but especially, I love a white, or pale nude/pink/pale blue coat or dress, with black tights and nude/beige heeled peep toe shoes. And a topknot. Notice how she was wearing her Burberry classic check scarf at first, but took it off for the 'shoot'. I love how that has become such an ironic, iconic look. I'm guessing the headphones are meant as decoration, i.e., jewelry, as opposed to function. But who knows?

Perhaps we never will know for sure. All I know is, for me, these elements - and something about Mystery Girl's own particular personality, her STYLE - adds up, for me, to something close to perfection.