back on the street: christina (oh you pretty things)

This is the post I meant to do this morning, before Stephanie from Style Odyssey emailed me about Roz. (Please see previous post, and if you want a London address to post her a get well card, just email me).

Last week, after the +J Uniqlo thing, I was on my way to see Susie, at My Wardrobe, when I saw this girl, listening to music, heading towards me. So David Bowie, so Hunky Dory. Even tho I've been really choosy lately about shooting anyone on the street - I feel there are so many 'street style' blogs and I'm more interested, as an artist, in moving in other directions - she seemed worth doing the whole 'Hi, I have a blah blah blog' thing. I love when girls look a little like boys, and boys look like girls. I remember Susan Sarandon, before she and Tim Robbins split, saying that the best couples, the women are a bit masculine, and visa versa.

Christina's a bit like that, don't you think? She's just got such amazing style. I feel.

Turns out, she's a model, for Select. She's a fascinating subject, I'd love to photograph her again someday, for a real fashion shoot. On a whim, I asked her where she got her gilet. 'Topshop'. Of course.

Oh! Want a treat? Click here, all you pretty things.


LittleRachael said...

Wow - she's amazing. I love that androgynous beauty too, very Agnus Deyn.

I don't know anyone who could pull off that gilet where I'm from - I get weird looks for wearing knee high wooly socks with shorts.... I'm still out on the whole fur thing. I'm hoping it's fake?

Little Rach

jill said...

Haha. Definitely fake, don't worry! Thanks Little Rachel. Where are you btw - I mean, where do you get the weird looks? Just be brave - be yourself - persevere! That so does not look like a word. Will check out your blog in a bit.

Susan said...

oh wow... fabulousness! :)

Anonymous said...

kristina not christina

The Photodiarist said...

Totally fabulous she is!

jungleworldcitizen said...

Amazing style, indeed :)
Have a lovely Tuesday!

Jungle World Citizen

Laetitia said...


styleshake-winterdresses said...

You look fabulous in that dress

jill said...

Anonymous: thank you once again! I've checked, you're right, will update post.


Thanks each of you who commented. Styleshake, it's not me, it's Kristina. With a K.

daisychain said...

Wow, she is utterly stunning...softly beautiful in a masculine way

Shenton said...

You know, it looks like it should be great, but something about it just doesn't work. The thing on front is too much. She is great though and no wonder she is a modal - I think she actually could have taken that thing off and she would have looked stunning.

What's wrong with street-style as well? You're right, there are many s/s sites, but not many good ones as they require a good eye and good photography. I think actually that moving to shoot models and fashion shows is what everyone's doing, and it can end up being boring because everyone ends up showing pretty much the same thing that no-one can practically relate to.

jill said...

Hi Shenton, hope you can read this as I don't have a way to reach you otherwise. Thank you so much for your honesty. I'm grateful for everyone's comments - and the positive support is really important to me, but the constructive criticism and honest feedback, like you've done, is really really helpful. Apart from asking friends, I really have no other way of gauging how my blog is received.

I agree with you that there aren't many good strictly 'street style' blogs out there. And I agree, there is nothing wrong with street style and to be honest, I don't think I'll ever really be able to stop doing it altogether (altho you never know: the creative muse is a fickle creature).

I'm just going thru a phase, after doing street style every day - every single day, I bring the camera out with me - for 18 months, where I'm feeling a bit exhausted. For every post I do, there are about 10 people I'm not posting, and each person I do as a posed shoot, there's the whole process of giving them contact details - and I don't know if other street style bloggers do this but I offer to send them the shots - there is a lot of behind the scenes communication, 'admin' time.

I realise that 'everyone' is shooting models and fashion shows but more are re-cycling existing photography, which takes about 3% of the time that it takes to do what I do. It's simply a question of time right now: I'm having to figure out my priorities.

I do find tho that shooting models and fashion shows has its own challenges: it's still about honing my craft, trying to always become 'better' - wherever that leads. At fashion shoots, for example, I try to capture motion, not easy.

In the case of this girl, I actually thought 'finally I'm seeing an interesting look' - because my standards of who I choose for street style are getting more choosy. And she just happened to be a model, figures!

I agree: I don't like the gilet. I don't like them in general, and this one I happened to then see in the flagship Oxford Street Topshop in the main entrance way - their featured item - and in a style magazine. I don't think it really flatters any figure type, and the fact that Kristina is so tall, thin, androgynous, means she would look good in a bin liner.

Ultimately, what catches my eye on the street - what I consider 'style' - is the spirit of the human being coming thru. How they express themselves. I just liked her spirit, it wasn't about the clothes. It never is, in my humble opinion.

Hope to hear from you again. My that's a long answer! But it's, for me, an excellent question.

Grace said...

I don't often comment on here, but I just wanted to say that I love this blog, I am always returning to it knowing I will find something that will inspire me, and I think you should post whatever the hell you like on it. Because if you weren't posting what you truly wanted to, whatever it is that has me coming back time after time would be gone.

Shenton said...

Hey there,
yeah, I appreciate it's a hard job and as well it's tough as it's hard to get paid for street style. I guess though it's so rewarding to see it when it works, like no-one anywhere in the world got that shot (in the greatest likelihood).

But then it's unfair to suggest you "should" do it - in fact, do what you like and what makes you feel happy. As long as it's what you want, then it's okay. I guess the thing that gets boring with the model shots or fashion shots (across all blogs) is that I feel people are only taking it because they think that's what people want or that's what will make them popular. For me, quite the contrary, I think individuality is the key.

I don't think you should be so hard out trying to give people copies of photos - maybe just get a namecard and give them your email address. If they want a copy, if they want to contact you, then they will. I would think for a street style subject the fact they have been asked for a photo is great. I know most magazines don't ask for contact details to send out copy.

Anyway, I'm glad that you took it okay - I think I can be abrasively honest sometimes, but then it's because I want the good stuff, and sometimes I think maybe people need to know that - that we want your good stuff, and that's why ppl come.

And don't worry if your follower list drops - so what? It's better to have a small band of dedicated followers than a large group of not-so-personal followers.

There's my three cents!

Pearl Westwood said...

I really like it actually, I like the unusal shape it cuts.

jill said...

Ah, Pearly! ; ) Yeah, I do too - it's just really hard for anyone to be able to wear it successfully, I feel.

Shenton - it's funny to be replying like in an email, but via comments - but hopefully you'll see this - I just want to thank you and please don't worry about being abrasively honest: truly. The reason I did the post I did today - it was just on a whim, I'd meant to do something else, and I was saving those shots for another time, it just came out in that context - was that other people have said stuff, it's been on my mind for months.. you did just what I was originally hoping this blog would become a forum for, which is just to have a good healthy heated conversation. That's what I like when we see friends.. it's what makes life interesting.

I agree with you TOTALLY about the motives for why people post what they do. And in fact Shini and I were saying this fashion week that we were going to try to go all fashion week without shooting any models. It's really kind of creepy the way people run after models and the poor models, like gazelles in the wild, are running away... I'm not interested in that AT ALL.

The reason I shoot models sometimes -in addition to 'civilians' - is because, like flowers or landscapes or bowls of fruit, they are often interesting, beautiful subjects, shapes and planes and eyes and something coming thru from the personalities. I can't tell you how many times I've seen people who happen to be models who I couldn't be bothered to shoot: they're just not very interesting. Sometimes I don't know if a subject - either someone on the street or someone at fashion week - will be a 'good' subject until I engage with them, try to shoot them.

That's why, sometimes what I do with street style shots is just go up to someone and compliment something they're wearing (IF I like it: I won't be a liar) and ask where they got it. Depending on their response - if they are cold or rude or dismissive, that's my answer. Sometimes the most intimidating looking person will simply light up and tell me the funniest anecdote about where they got it - or be really self depreciating about how they got it at H&M, it was on sale - and there's my answer.

REALLY appreciate how you helped open a really interesting dialogue today, Shenton. Hope we'll be hearing your abrasively honest thoughts again & again.