the story of max

What I am about to tell you is in a way, a fairy tale. It is also a true story.

I was meaning to do this post since before I left for holiday, in early July, which is when I started getting comments on a post from last JANUARY where someone said 'this is my boyfriend'.

Turns out, last January, when I was doing a favour for a friend way across town, during the worst (or best) snow London has seen since we moved here, I met this guy @ the Belsize Park Tube station ('I'm a lumber jack, and I'm okay'). (Best to just click on the story, rather than repeat it).

What I didn't know at the time, was why 'Jack' was acting so pissy: he was waiting for his friend, who was late, to go play in the snow on Hampstead Heath. Turned out to be a lucky thing, cause that meant that his arrival on the Heath coincided with when Catrin, and her friends, also turning up to play in the snow. In her words:

"..I threw snowballs at him because I thought he was dressed nicely and I liked it! I was looking through his wallet today and found your card and persuaded him to have a look. Unfortunately it was not love at first sight, and we only got together a month or so later, but the story of a random woman who took his photo was definitely a useful conversation starter, so thanks for that!"

Turns out his name is not Jack, but MAX. And this is them: Max and Catrin.

Max was the name of our childhood car: the Blue Max. He was a 1964 Ford Fairline station wagon, 'the colour of sky', pale perfect blue, and I loved him like the family pet. I wrote and illustrated a children's story about him, titled 'The Story of Max', and he's been in my life in one form or another all my life. I have done endless stories, conceptual art projects, ideas for films.. it has just become like a recurring dream in my life. I see 'signs' everywhere that Max Lives (even this summer, several times, but that's for another post).

In fact, while we were in Tranquility, my brother - who didn't know we were in New Jersey - also drove there for the day, to see a breeder of a rare breed of cat, like the one he had, to surprise his daughter, Scarlett. This cat is the bluest kitten I've ever seen. She didn't know about my story (or maybe, because we are so connected, on some level, she did), but she decided to name him Max. Short for Maximum. The idea being, that he'd start out as Minimum. Altho we're already calling him Max. (She took this shot of me with him @ the summer house).

What does this have to do with the two people in these photos, you might ask. Well, the girls name is CATRIN (my family name is CARIN). The boy's name is MAX. So it's Max, and Cat. Altho, in my story, MAX was a CAR.

I found this out just before I left for a month of holidays, and Catrin and I were in touch. I wanted to do a photo shoot, maybe with her wearing Max's hoodie and jacket, a kind of fashion street shoot. We made a plan to talk when I was back, and I asked her to hound me in case I forgot. She assured me she's definitely the hounding type. (She sounds delightful, by the way).

Then, in the last 24 hours I started thinking, hey, I forgot to do that post about Max. Then woke this morning and just like in the fairy tale, when Rumplestilskin comes to claim the newborn child (or whatever), sure enough, there was an email from Catrin, asking if I could send her the shot.

And then, tonight, I went to net-a-porter to see what's new, and what should I see on the first page, but this:

By Alice + Olivia: the Ryan checked mohair-blend coat, for £475. I've already asked Catrin to do a shoot wearing Max's layered ensemble: the checked jacket over the hoodie. I mean, I asked her BEFORE I saw these shots on net-a-porter. I thought it would be the quintessential 'boyfriend jacket'. Literally.

Oh and by the way, this is the original shot from last January. Max, the Lumber Jack, waiting for his friend. Who was late. Which made it possible to cross the path of his future love, Catrin. Who threw snowballs at him. And now they are living happily ever after.

Don't you just love a happy ending?


the style crusader said...

i love this post. not least because i love the fashion element... the lumberjack jacket (Fred has a similar one from Gap last year that has white faux-furry stuff inside.... hmm.... possibly that resembles shearling... hmmm.... i may need to steal that...). but besides that element the story is so phenomenally perfect. i certainly do like a happy ending.

p.s. you meet the coolest people through your blog. xx

styleeast said...

Jill, nobody tells a story like you. It's a story about trends and love all at once. And now I want this jacket! x

Marisa said...

vous vous m' etonne! Votre blog est magnifique! La façon que vous racontez les histoires est surpreendent!
J'aime bien votre blog! c'est la deuxiéme fois que je vous écris.Et j'adore chaque fois que je lis.

jill said...

Je vous remercie, Marisa, qui est vraiment gentil de votre part. J'espère vous entendre à nouveau. Avoir une belle journée! ;)

J&J: thank you, too! Crusader Jen, what colour? That faux furry stuff sounds remarkably like shearling! I think I might have seen him wearing it possibly on Team Ingliss, maybe one of the first shots I'd seen of Fred!

Jen East, will reply to your sweet email & have a fantastic time in the Homeland!


Anonymous said...

Oh that is so cute! I love a good love story. It's great that his girlfriend got back to you to relay it. And I remember this guy's picture from January.

Oh happy endings :)


Catrin said...

Thanks Jill this is so cute!

Anonymous said...

Haha oh you guys!

Adorngirl said...

I have always loved a god end, and completely agree with style east no one tells it like you. xx

Carrott said...

What a great story! I remember that post. Even though red is not my favourite colour, I love these jackets xxx

jill said...

Red isn't mine, either. (to Carrott). Apart from those kind of iconic red heels. And I wouldn't have styled it the way they did on net-a-porter. If I do a shoot with Catrin and Max I'd love to mix it with other colours.

Thanks all! ; )

Julia said...

I do love a happy ending. :) And that is defenitely the quintessential boyfriend jacket ;).

daniela kate morosini said...

oh my, that is SUCH a lovely story, and a lovely way to meet! trust you jill :)

Julie said...

I don't know why I've never commented on your blog. I don't even know how i finded you but i know it's been long since i started following you. Well, now that i'm wondering why i've never commented any in of your updates it might be because i'm way too much insecure of my english (even though i've been learning english since i was six, so that makes it... wow, ten years).
I really like your blog, you've got something that makes me check if you updated once a day at least. And it's nice, i somehow like it that it isn't all the time street style. I like variation.
Ehm, regarding the story, i found it really sweet and definetely fairy-like. I'd love to meet some guy in the subway (i must confess that i'm always expecting it, maybe someday my wish will come true!), it's such a cute story to tell when people ask how we met each other.
Well, well, well. This is all for today! Have a nice day Jill, i hope you read this and be really proud of yourself: you've got a fan that follows you daily from Buenos Aires, Argetina.
Julieta :)