trick or treat, continued

You'd really never know it's Halloween here in South Kensington, London. I mean, so far, the only human being I've seen in costume was one of the (older) cashiers in Sainsbury's, bless her cotton socks. I don't know what she was going as, but she had some interesting facial make up in lavender. A Southern American couple happened to be behind me on line and we were praising her for dressing up, and then the wife said 'Happy Halloween to ME!' and toasted with what I realised was an open can of beer. The party had already started!

So far my only Trick was I missed yoga class. Got there late (from doing my previous post), Mr. Dot was already there, and the class was filled up, so I went swimming, which was delightful. Which makes it a Treat actually.

This collage is a few years old: pre Blog, pre digital. A friend was at work and asked if her daughter could come over and I'd take her trick or treating. The girl brought her own supplies and costumes: I have no idea what she was going as, but I think I was meant to be a cat. I wore all black, and the effect seems to be more 'cat burglar' a la Cary Grant in It Takes a Thief.

To give you an idea how LAME Halloween is here, in all the time we've lived here no child (or adult) has run our bell, not once, to say trick or treat. British female journalists have written about how they just get in their 4x4s and take the kids over to a street not far from us, where the American yummy mummies have built up a reputation for going whole hog (that's where I took my friend's daughter). I don't even know this year if it's on - that enclave seemed mainly to be bankers, and they might have hoofed it back to the US of A.

My childhood friend Sheila sent this from Malibu, where she lives with the husband that my boyfriend and I set her up with when we were all 15, and their twin daughters. I asked her to scan it higher res but she was sending it from her phone. I can tell my dad didn't take the photo, if he did it would be centered. From left, my friend Joanne, me, Sheila, and my gorgeous sister Amy, the only Blonde on the block. The boys are my brother Jon and her brother Howie, but I can't tell who is who. I have no idea what I was going as, but it seems I'm carrying a Peace sign, so perhaps I was a Protester.

Sheila and I were reminiscing about how much we loved Halloween, she's a fellow artist and we got so creative (or so I thought at the time). Well, we had fun. I'll never forget the time my sister, who is two years younger, begged to go out with a bunch of my friends. At night. We hadn't got as far as Derrick Johnston's house, when a bunch of boys egged us. We all scattered, and when the dust settled, only Amy had ended up with an egg shampoo, in floods of tears. Had to take her home, poor thing. Party over.

Gotta dig up more Halloween photos, but we're off to see a film soon. Are any of you dressing up? Please send me photos, I"ll post them.

trick, or treat

Real photos: Marylebone, top, and me @ LFW by Jennifer of Style East. (Dress, my mom's, polka dot gloves, gift from the Original Dot, my sweet friend Lisa in NY, old brogues, Barney's NY, socks, God knows).

It's grey and rainy here in London, Mr. Dot & I are off to Arup's great yoga class, more posts to come. Happy Halloween and Happy Birthday to Maryann, in Tranquililty, N.J., one of my best friends in the whole wide world.


influence: the vanishing twin

This isn't the post I planned to do today: I've been storing up a whole collection of leopard print images, far too many for one post. This is, instead, about an amazing Singapore born, London based designer named Eugene Lin. I was so grateful to Jen for finding him at LFW and bringing me along to his studio a few weeks back.

Her post about him, about the concept behind his S/S 2011 collection, The Vanishing Twin, explained it so well, I felt, that I just didn't feel the need to do my own post.

And also, I was so impressed by Eugene, so inspired by the magic of the light in that studio, his intelligence and keen mind and sense of humour and irony.. as time went on, I felt I couldn't do it justice. And I had too many photos to fit in one post.. and I had done one already ('ghost in the machine')..

But the idea itself, and that day, kept haunting me, like my own invisible twin growing in my imagination. These pieces, you see, were inspired - influenced - by a rare medical condition where one's twin can develop, be absorbed, into our own bodies. Jen said her husband, Mr. Crusader, who is a scientist, was scoffing that it's not a real condition. And I was laughing when she told me because when I told Hedvig, she had looked at me in her stoic Norwegian way and said, totally deadpan: 'I know what it is. My friend had it. In her butt.' You had to be there, to know how calmly serious Hedvig can be, to know why I found that so hilarious. Or maybe I've got a really sick sense of humour.

I'm fascinated how an idea, sketches, can become a reality. Or rather, how rarely we bring our ideas to fruition, which is why I so admire those who do.

So why did I choose to finally post this today? Because I happened to see my friend Shini's post about being 'in exile' in Warsaw: Atelier Klimas (I love this girl's deadpan humour). And reading her post, the way a shot of a cup of tea could transport me to a designer's studio in Poland, influenced me to get off my own metaphorical butt and get this post done and dusted.

Can you see how even this jacket has a kind of 'twin': the vest is part of the jacket. Each piece has that element. I'd love to do a little shoot, like I did with Topshop/Goodone, because everyone I know could easily wear a piece from this collection: while it's all clearly Eugene Lin's vision, his voice, it also is versatile enough that there's something for everyone's unique style.

Is that something you'd like to see? If I can get enough interest, I'll ask to borrow some clothes.

Photos by me, apart from the shots with the model, which are by Anna Feyimi courtesy of Eugene Lin. Photos of me in the jacket are from Jennifer, the infamous, ubiquitous Style Crusader. And by the way, I'm aware it's Halloween but no one's invited me to any Halloween parties, I'm not dressing up this year, and this post wasn't intended to tie in with Halloween. Altho... in a way.. I can see the influence.



On a grey day, going thru my shots from Holly Fulton's S/S 2011 show at London Fashion Week last month so inspiring. This show makes me excited about fashion all over again. My only complaint - and this is so niggling - is she used those iconic Louboutin pumps in either black or beige all thru the show, and that little bit of red sole just feels wrong to me.

Off to see The Kids are Alright - it's starting any minute, so throwing any old thing on, not bringing camera, going with dirty hair. Later babes. xo

man dog building

Last night, we were watching Robert Redford's directorial debut, Ordinary People, from about 1980, on DVD. Amazing how, stylistically, that film holds up. In every way, actually. GREAT film. I was watching Mary Tyler Moore's clothes in every scene and apart from where she goes mental on the golf course (possibly because she was wearing a navy top with some kind of plaid wacky patchwork skirt that DID NOT WORK), her clothes in every scene are spot on, bang on trend: neutral camels and browns and high waisted trousers like what Hedvig wore recently ('just be Cos').

The son, played by Timothy Hutton, is wearing the same rust suede 'bomber' jacket in most of the scenes, and it's the exact same one that my dad had, which is now mine, and much cherished. I think of that jacket as an extension of my dad. It's so iconic, could be from the fifties, or sixties... MTM, his mum in the film, even wore a designer 70s/80s version. So when I saw this man the other day - the same day I shot Emma, when there were no 'street style' shots but I was doing a lot of photographic colour studies - he actually popped into a shot I was taking off the cuff of a building cause I liked the turquoise and chocolate.

I never saw his face: just trailed him a few blocks until a light turned red and he gave me the slip. But in his place as he crossed - this is a true story - was this dog.



Just stumbled upon this shot I took of Lily Allen right after the Topshop Unique show back in September fashion week. Totally forgot to post it, sorry about that.

Now I can't get Smile out of my head. I love that her boyfriend, Sam, isn't in the 'industry': hope they do indeed tie the knot.

Caught this shot literally a minute before, as we were leaving the show.

Hope you're all having a nice day. I'm having an okay one - feeling a bit flat - but I know it will pass. It always does, and besides, as Scarlett O'Hara would say, tomorrow is another day.

ashes to ashes: emma, revisited

The other day, while I was in the general Marylebone area, doing errands and dropping off some flowers for Roz, I of course brought my camera, as I always do. I was thinking that maybe I'm getting too choosy about street shooting - I used to shoot everyone - but even so, the things I chose to shoot that day were windows, dogs, construction workers.. finally as I got off the bus and was walking the rest of the way home, I saw, in the twilight, a girl at a distance who had some good style.

And it was the delightful Emma! Who I had met, and shot, last February ('the eyes have it, revisited'). She goes to college in the area near where we live. It was funny actually because I was JUST thinking about her the day before. She said if she knew she'd have run into me she'd have made an effort to look less scruffy, but that's what I love about it. The hole in her tights. The effortlessness.

This is happening to me all the time now. I'll meet a friend for lunch or coffee, and I'll shoot them, but even if I originally met that friend thru approaching them on the street to shoot for my blog, still it feels like shooting fish. I mean, I'm not going up to many new strangers on the street, and the ones I do want to shoot, I already have. I'm shooting re-runs. I know we've had this conversation already and I can tell that the people who came here strictly for street style have moved on, and the ones who still visit - bless your cotton socks - get it about that I'm not doing just street style, but still, I'm amazed that my favourite people are often people I've already shot.

Which leads me to the question: have I exhausted all potential style icons in the Chelsea/South Kensington area?

It's funny, tho, in hindsight: these other images which I shot before running into Emma, especially the boots in the window at Ash, on Marylebone High Street, all feel kind of.. compatible, somehow, with her style.

I can't hear the word 'Ash' without thinking of Bowie's song Ashes to Ashes, which is worth clicking on, it's a great song and video. Someone wrote: 'Can't hear this song without thinking of that bit in the Young Ones where they're at a funeral and the undertaker reads from the book saying "ashes to ashes" at which point Neil interjects saying "funk to funkie".  Don't know why that springs to mind everytime but it does.'

ANYWAY. I'm going out shortly, and I'll bring my camera. Are there any trends in particular you'd like me to scout down? Let's put it another way: what are you really into wearing these days? For me, it's mostly comfortably knitted stuff, leggings and shades of camel and black and white and sometimes, for fun, a bit of hot pink accent. The looks I'm loving the most haven't changed that much, really, since last winter: leather and lace, masculine and feminine, some fur, some tweed, something old, something new and borrowed and blue.. just getting that balance down right. Or, what feels right for you. Not trying too hard and not thinking about it too much.

One thing I'm not seeing anywhere is the aviator jacket. But I could have told you that. Wish I could have bet on that one. One thing we fashionistas do not like is being told what to wear! The leopard, however... that's another story. Coming soon to a theatre near you. xoxo

little buddha

We were at the British Museum recently, Mr. Dot and I, looking at some of the 100 Objects that Changed the World. This 'seated Buddha' is Object 41. It's one of the first images of the Buddha ever created, about 100-300 AD, in Pakistan.

I saw the little boy in the top shot approximately two to three minutes earlier, a few steps from where I found the buddha.

That's all: not much of a story, is it. Which, I suppose, is in itself, kind of Zen. If you think about it.


the princess diaries: layer cake

When I was growing up on Long Island, the worst thing you could say about your best friend behind her back was that she was 'such a princess'. The funny thing about my friend Lizzy is that she really is a princess. And I didn't know it for the longest time, simply because she never mentioned it. We've been friends for a while - I actually met her sister, Maria, first - and they are such sweet sweet girls. Maria's a brilliant painter - she's interning in NY at the moment at the UN. I can just relate to how both sisters, as different as they are in some ways, feel about things. About the things that matter.

And it was only after a while that we both happened to mention that we're bloggers. And even her blog name, DUH, The Princess Diaries.. STILL didn't get it. Her surname sounded familiar and vaguely European.. anyway she does her posts through an online magazine called Finch's Quarterly, along with people like Kevin Spacey, Emma Thompson and John Malkovich. And she's also producing a book based on her Diary.

We met on Monday morning at the most charming Russian cafe on Walton Street called The Merchant's Yard. I had a really frothy cappucino - almost more like a hot chocolate - and this yummy layered cake made of thin crepes with sour cream and cinnamon.

Lizzy is the perfect friend: kind and smart and a great sense of humour and joy for life, a real girl's girl, and we talk about the things that matter to us, which is rarely fashion, come to think of it. It's only at the last minute, when I sometimes take some photos, that I might ask 'who made that?' (In the case of her boots, for example, Vivienne Westwood). It can just as easily be H&M. On sale.

After we went our separate ways I walked from Knightsbridge through Green Park, all the way to the Strand to meet Jen and friends @ the Savoy. It occurred to me as I passed Buckingham Palace that Lizzy and Maria are actual princesses, but my life is so strange and everything is so random that that thought passed as quickly as it entered my vacuous head.

I trailed a woman for a while because I thought her skirt was interesting - and somehow it felt vaguely Russian. While we were at the cafe, I asked the man who made our coffees where he was from and it turns out, near Vilnius, an area that is now Lithuania. My grandmother, my mother's mother Anna, was from there, and, it turns out, so was Lizzy's great grandmother.

Such a small, yet perfectly formed, world.


a different light

How long have you known me now: a year? Year and a half, tops? It's time I come clean: I'm not really interested in fashion. I mean, not in the 'must have that bag' sense. I really love style, and I love the creativity of some designers more than others, but I hate hate hate the business of fashion, and- I'm so glad Jen had the courage to talk about it in her Savoy post - the whole PR machinery.. yuck.

As we speak, I am poaching pears and figs in a cloves, cinnamon and a little allspice, with brown sugar. The figs were a bowl for a pound @ Borough Market on Saturday, before we went to the Tate Modern. The pears, we actually picked from a tree near a pub, in the car park actually, in the countryside. They were falling on the ground and rotting: beautiful pears. Meant to be admired, in a bowl, then eaten. Tonight I ate one perfect pear. Perfect ripeness. With pecorino cheese. And it made me think of Arte Povera.

What I love is finding beauty in the ordinary. That's what drew me to photograph 'street style', and continues to. I love when I admire something someone is wearing and they have a story about how cheaply they got it, or someone gave it to them, used and worn. Or they found it in a charity shop, unloved and discarded, but saw the beauty in it, and transformed it into something desirable. Just simply by seeing it in a different light.

This was all shot at the Tate Modern on Saturday, and some, like this piece, was from a great exhibit called Arte Povera: a movement started in Italy in the Sixties, which basically combines my three favourite things: Italy, the Sixties, and.. 'beautiful poverty'. The opposite of bling. Poached figs and pears, picked ripe from a tree.

That's why the previous post - Roz's idea - means so much to me. Thank you for spreading Roz's vision around. It's just such good karma, and I really believe it is helping her heal with miraculous speed.

Oh and I love when we go to a museum: after an hour or two, everything starts to look like art.

the mummy scissors: a social experiment

A few months back, Roz had a vision: to wrap a scissor like a mummy, as art. The really spooky thing, for me personally, is I happened to have done the same thing a few YEARS back. As art. For no particular reason.

Roz's vision was to ask other bloggers to do their creative version. No strings attached. (Sorry, no pun intended). Just to see how far a DIY idea could spread through the fashion blogging community. She's now in the hospital, and didn't get a chance to get this started, so I thought perhaps if we did it, shot it, posted it, put the link on her top post.. might cheer her up.

Mine took me a few minutes to make. I used a small nail scissor, for a smaller pennant. In my case, I posted it to her, but that's not what she's asking: just to post it on your own blogs. (The Eugene Lim brochure, btw, is for a post coming up). You could then wear it as a necklace, if you want. Or simply unwrap it and use it again as scissors.

In Roz's own words:

"The idea of make-do-and-mend has had a real revival over the last couple of years.. I wanted to combine this rediscovered DIY ethic with an (I think, so far) unique idea - sharing and ‘marketing’ a make-it-yourself, identifiable ‘product’ via the internet...simply for the joy of sharing the idea for and then making - as opposed to selling (or buying) - a styled accessory.

Last year I devised and made a simple pendant design - a pair of blunt sewing scissors (or child’s metal craft scissors) wrapped in strips of silk 'bandages' and hung on a chain. Subsequently, I've had a lot of people commenting whenever I wear this ‘mummified’ necklace. I now realise that I made this pendant shortly after I began my blog, and this gave me the idea to put the two together into a novel blogging project.

I want to experiment with the force of the 'blogosphere' to see how far one idea can reach - namely, the mummy's scissors. But the difference is that this is not a publicising-to-sell campaign, it's a 'make it yourself' concept. My aim is to encourage bloggers (and subsequently their readers) and indeed, anyone interested to make their own pendants.. to style it in a personal way for them.

This is therefore not so much selling a product as 'anti-selling it' - getting everyone to create their own version of an idea - a totally not for profit scheme. Another driving idea behind this item is to create something that is not main-stream, as it is taking the idea of a product but 'giving it away’ for the individual to manufacture.

I’m simply intrigued at this point to see how far this might (or might not) stretch as a concept. I would really love it if you were interested in getting involved, but I understand that you're probably very busy."

I hope you're not (too busy). If you'd rather put your link in my comments, I'll be sure she sees them, and it's also a nice way for us to get to know you and your blog. Bit of self-promotion!

Thank you.

p.s. Shame on me for not linking Maya's post when I first did this post earlier today. She had put hers together before I did, based on a group email I sent out. Please take a look, what she did, and wrote, really touched me.


birthday girl

So much to say, so much to post.. I had planned to post something else entirely this morning, but clicked on a folder from 8 October and realised I never showed you these shots of Hedvig, when we met my friend Sarah and her daughter for lunch near Bond Street. Hedvig joined us - it was one of those rare glorious days and we stayed on, sitting outside til it got cold and dark.

As it was Hedvig's birthday this weekend it seems only fitting. And it's funny cause last night when I was thinking what would I wear today, what I was in the mood for was black, white, and this kind of khaki green colour (we need a cool name for this colour: any suggestions?) I've got an old cropped ribbed jumper from my friend Lisa, eons ago, that I've pulled out of the 'archives' (i.e. the plastic thingy under the bed) in exactly this colour. I think I'll call it Sage (working title) as that's an herb I'm cooking with a lot right now: it's so.. autumnal.

Can I just ask you all, on a totally unrelated note: are you obsessed with J Brand trousers? I ask because normally I love Shane Watson's column in the (London) Times Style section, and this week she was talking about 'It' trousers and call me provincial, but I just don't get it about them. Maybe it's because I've never tried them on, but I just don't get it. Then again, I'm not following the X Factor, either, so there you have it. And when I mentioned something to Jen about Downton Abbey, she'd never even heard of it. To each his own, I guess.

Speaking of obsessions: check out Hedvig's object of obsession< her birthday present from her lovely love!


chain reaction

Posting this in haste: it's a lovely sunny crisp fall day here and Mr. Dot has me on a short leash, time wise: must shower and dress and leave in 15 minutes for a countryside 'walk' (more like speed march, knowing him - he's quite type A, more like AAA battery) and pub lunch.

Been meaning to post these shots of my lovely friend Estelle - who I met, as I've met a lot of the friends in these posts, by 'street shooting' her. Her Goodone navy/black skirt is from that Goodone for Topshop series I've done, and I love the way she showed up in totally top to toe Topshop (apart from the chains and other bits of her own styling). She really got into the spirit of the impromptu shoot. (More on it scattered around past posts, starting with 'one good one'.

Speaking of street shooting, I'm definitely not stopping it altogether. I always take my camera out with me. I think what happened - what happens each fashion week - is after the intense creativity of what I see at fashion week, people on the street seem less interesting. And I'm so bored with that format of top to toe, pose them in the center facing the camera classic 'street style' shots. I prefer the safari aspect of shooting off the cuff, catching people unaware.. or the slightly posed 'street style' shoots like with Estelle here.

All her styling, all true to her style, which is always a bit biker chic, rock chick, a mix of chain and leather and tee shirts yet always, somehow, a bit... soft. Maybe it's simply her gentleness, almost vulnerability.

Anyway, enough chit chat. Better run. Her skirt is by Goodone, I'll link it later, or just go to Topshop/Goodone, you'll find it there. I love it. Roz has been having a tough time of it, by the way, but she's getting better. Will do a post later of a way you can cheer her up if you'd like. I really do feel - in the most unexpected ways - that we're all connected. All around this tiny world. Hope you're all having a lovely weekend. xox


breakfast club: trick of the light

From that same day that we went for lunch at the breakfast club, when my camera decided to act up. Sometimes, I swear, it's like our objects: phones, laptops, cameras, have a bloody mind of their own.

That said, I love those kind of happy accidents: that's the day I got that wild shot of Kit, being all glamorous ('just like Paris'). There's something kind of Dutch masters about these pancakes, I feel. And I can't even take any credit, it was the Canon talking.

The Breakfast Club is right off Hoxton Square but just be forewarned: on the weekends there's a queue out the door. Still, it's worth it: it's so Soho NY diner, circa 1986. In fact the whole afternoon felt like the 80s: Jen transformed Daniela simply by darkening her eyebrows, which, Dotsters, is what makes any look retro 80s, more, even, than bubble skirts or shoulder pads.

From top to bottom: Jen, Kit, Daniella. Just heard from Roz's dad: she's had some tricky times but she's a real trooper, our Roz. If you'd like, check in with her blog, her mum posted and will keep us updated.

Again, thank you: you all know who you are, and you know why. Have a lovely weekend everyone, starting NOW!! xox