take a bow

The Style Crusader's beautiful post today got me thinking: would I post a shot of myself in a swimsuit? How much of my soul (or my body) am I prepared to reveal to total strangers on the internet?

Where do you stand on the subject of self exploitation? How far would you go in the name of Art?

I remember the day this was taken: I was in NY, it was a hot summer day and I went to the roof of the building I lived in with my dad's Pentax (which I still use) and my tripod. I was wearing a pale pink scarf a friend had brought back from Paris as a gift, a black silk vintage strapless swimsuit/dress (WHERE is it? I bet it's in storage somewhere in the North of England for the past 10 years), a pair of coral cotton socks that I adored, and black lace up boots.

The thing about self portraits using film is the surprise element: you have to focus on a certain spot, jump into the shot on the timer, and hope for the best. But you don't know til the film is developed, what you look like. Ah, those were the good old days. And apart from a handful of (male) photographer friends, I didn't know one woman who was into this self style photography stuff. I'm sure they were out there, I just didn't know them.

It's hazy and overcast and feels endlessly summer out there.

This has been a freaky week: my brother blames the summer solstice, something he called the 't-square' (anyone know about it?) but hasn't elaborated because he, too, is too busy. My nephew Anders has had emergency surgery for a collapsed lung - he is very tall and thin and just graduated college, and apparently this freak condition happens more with tall thin young men. No one can remember the last time that Wimbledon, Glastonbury and the World Cup have happened all at once, and a cute American beat an even cuter French guy in tennis after playing for 9 hours straight, then another two.

Let's see... have I left anything out? What are you doing this weekend?


Love Food said...

These pictures are amazing Jill!
I read Jen's post this morning and I said there that I don't think I would be comfortable posting a picture of me not wearing a lot on my blog.
In my posts I don't talk a lot about myself either, just trivial things, nothing too deep!

Lydia xxx


Style Odyssey said...

beautiful, J!! i did not know you were a dancer "back in the day". i mean, you were a dancer, right? seems apparent from these photos.

anyway, you were lovely then, and even more so now. thanks for putting yourself out there! as style bloggers we know firsthand what it's like to put ourselves out there for the whole world to see and critique and judge. we forget sometimes, though, that it does take some guts to do so--a bit of devil-may-care attitude. there are risks, but at the same time, it's freeing.

jill said...

Haha! I was so not a dancer. I mean, not professionally. If professionally means getting paid to dance.

Actually, I bet they'd have paid me to stop.

But I know what you mean: it IS freeing, as everyone who does it knows. And Lydia, I totally respect that. It's all trivial - and equally important. I think we all kind of edit - or, consider - what to reveal, and what not, on our blogs. That's why I found Jen's post so inspiring.

Style Slicker said...

OMG Jill, these film shots are stunning! What were you before? A ballet dancer? A Gymnast? I'd love to be flexible as you but I can only a split half way.

Matthew Spade said...

crikey, wasn't expected this one, do you do yoga! so when was this then? i'm 100% not getting me trunks out

Olivia Isabella. said...

Woah, flexible and gorgeous! Obviously as stylish back then and look great. I think because of my age I would not post a swimsuit picture of myself. But do not see any problem with anyone else doing so etc.
UO x

jazmine rocks @ jazzabelle's diary said...

you look beautiful here, jill! these photographs are jjst wonderful!

i suppose i woudn't mind posting up a picture of me in a swimsuit, if i thought i looked okay. i should hoepfully be going on a family trip to thiland next year, so watch this space! though saying that, i probably wouldn't feel too comfortable, because even though i look rather nice and skinny with clothes on, i really don't without. remember what we were talking about in the toilets at the rare event?

love, jazzabelle. xxx

Anonymous said...

amazing amazing! makes me wanna dance again and us analog film! hehe wow, you were great...and i bet you still are lovely girl! ;)

Anonymous said...

Wowzers Jill! Weren't you flexible! Were you a ballet dancer? These are amazing shots..and I can see you've always been a fashionista :)

I don't see anything stopping anyone from posing in a bikini. Personally I wouldn't put up bikini shots because I'm quite private and already a bit antsy about putting up self-style shots! But I would say other people should do it. I mean it's just skin, isn't it?


Rosalind said...

To begin with, I love these photos! The first one has a really drmmaatic element to it - before reading the text I thought you were posting a picture from an old magazine or something.
I really want to learn how to shoot in film (as well as digital) as I love the quality it gives photos, and I think it requires a very different skill.
I used to do quite a bit of self photography, it was actually one of the things that made me really intersted inlearning more about photography!
I think youur question is very interesting, how much will one reveal? I think there is a line, but it might be a in a different place for different people. I don't think I'd personally post a picture of me in a swimsuit. (as with Olivia,age is an issue - also I'm not really that kind of person.)
Thanks for sharing thse photos though, & I love the outfit you are wearing! It has a quite 'red shoes' quality to it, I'd say.
I agree with Style Odyssey, you look very much a dancer here!


the style crusader said...

jill, this is absolutely insane. i might not have known it was you... except for your legs! they literally haven't changed! how could you pull a move like that and not be a dancer?! actually... come to think of it, you did pull some wild moves outside jackies birthday in the grass! haha. this is such a great post. thanks for sharing these photos! xx

jill said...

You know what, JJ? I just tried that trick at home! I swear: in a full length mirror. Both legs. I can still do it. We'll simply have to do a photo shoot, next time I see you. For that, I need a playsuit. I'm obsessed with playsuits.

Thanks for your very kind comments everyone! I really wish I WAS a dancer, btw. ; ) xox

styleeast said...

Oh my god Jill, these shots are amazing! They wouldn't look out of place in Vogue now. Gorgeous gorgeous x

Adorngirl said...

These shots are amazing, i loved the shot anyway, and read a bit more, and then found out it was you, they made them even more lovely. Just got back from clothes show live, and am going to catch the grace kelly exhibtion tomorrow. hope you're well. xx

Kazuko said...

the outfit and the pictures are totally adorable. how old were you when you took them. shows how talented you already were back then!

jill said...

Aw, shucks, thank you all, now my head's swellin' up.

Kazuko, thanks: I'd love to tell you how old I was then, but they you might figure out how old I am now, and I'd have to kill you ; )

Platform P said...

I can't believe you have hidden an incredible past from us all- you look stuuning! The outfit, it so what some east end hipster would wear today.

I love this.

I love you!


jill said...

Oh, sweet Princess P, I love you too! ; )

It really is uncanny: all my life I haven't been wearing what was on trend, I've just been wearing whatever I liked. And now, it's all the same stuff everyone's wearing: it's constantly amazing me.

The Photodiarist said...

Wow! Fantastic.

The Photodiarist said...

I forgot to add that you are still the same size today as you were then!

The Foolish Aesthete said...

This is cool! And I love the look of real film. Do you know I lived in NYC for over a decade? Took dance classes (and nearly joined a contemporary ballet co.) at Steps on Broadway alongside my idols at American Ballet Theater & NYCB. I was glad to discover a former ABT dancer here in CA whom I now dance with. Following you too :-)

The Foolish Aesthete said...

(Thanks for pointing me to this. My reply yesterday got deleted.)

This is really cool! And I love the look of old/real film. ... Yes, I also shot myself using tripod and timer. That's why I'm partly out of frame in one photo!

Anyway, nice to "meet" a former NYer like myself! Lived there for nearly 15 yrs. Took dance classes at Steps on B'way with my idols at ABT and NYCB, even Baryshnikov (I kid you not. My husband remembers my excited phone calls after ballet class). I also lived in the UK for 5 yrs, for university and grad school! So you just need to move to CA and we'll be even. :-)