Reflecting on the past year: I love the number 2010, but it was a tricky year for everyone I know. And yet: my God, it's almost hard to believe that there are now friends in my life that I did not know one year ago today.

I want to thank each of you - those people I haven't yet met, strangers out there in the ethernet, who look at my words and pictures while I sleep or walk about. My life feels so enriched from visiting your blogs. It's strange: even the art of street style shooting - going up to strangers and asking to steal their images, something that in some cultures is forbidden - the trust that goes into allowing a stranger to 'take' one's photo - just simply by overcoming my innate shyness and challenging myself to do it, has brought some really cherished friends into my world. I'm grateful to each person who has taken that leap of faith: trusting that I will treat their image with respect.

Sometimes it hits me, a lightbulb moment: every act we do, no matter how large or small, has a ripple effect, somewhere in the world. What a scary, yet exciting, thought.

This isn't the last post I'll do in 2010, or perhaps it is, but there's always this feeling at the end of the year like you've gotta cram everything in: like the world will end tomorrow. Only it doesn't: we just wake up and it's another day.

Photo taken by my ex boyfriend David's brother Mike, of his then boyfriend, Joe, and me. Some summer, some year gone past, somewhere in Connecticut.

There are so many songs I love, but for you kids out there, here's one your Old Man might know:

Reach out your hand, if your cup be empty. If your cup is full, may it be again.
Let it be known: there is a fountain that was not made by the hands of men.


possibly my last streetstyle shot of 2010

Call me weird - you won't be the first - but while I took hardly any classic 'street style' shots in December 2010 - my first time since I started this blog nearly two years ago - I chose this girl. I was in the middle of shooting the snowman at the Hereford Arms - I was standing across the street from the pub - and I saw her, to my left, on Hereford Square.

I've forgotten her name and I told her the blog name but we were both really cold and frankly, she was a really good sport considering - as she indicated with her Nikes - she clearly wasn't rocking her best look. She looked like she had just thrown any old thing on to run out to do errands, as I had. And I didn't even realise til I looked at the photo that those Nikes are the exact colour and
style of the one pair of running shoes I ever bought - in like the Eighties.

But I was thinking about a post I just saw on a sweet new blog, Alle Mode ('McDonald's) about how a colour combination can be ruined forever by a large brand, and while orange and turquoise will forever remind me of the Miami Dolphins, I happen to love Miami - AND Dolphins - so it's, to me, a good thing. And I've just realised: even two years ago, I framed the shot my friend took of me at the OMM hotel in Barcelona (ElleGate, sidebar) with turquoise, so I was already leaning towards that orange/aqua combo.

Okay, enough chit chat: I'm burning dinner. But unless I find someone to street shoot tomorrow, this is my last street style shot for 2010.

. . . .

p.s. UPDATE: Her name is Nicola and guess what: she's got in touch and we're going to meet up again and she's going to do a re-shoot, because I'm sure she can do better style wise. She said she actually had a CAPE under that coat - hence the bulk - and she's promised to wear it when we meet during her lunch break. Such fun: I love when this happens.

the ghosts of christmas past

Isn't it funny how, once Christmas is over, it's like, over?

This is the post I meant to have up, pre-posted, for you to see bright and sunshiney early on Christmas morning. We live in London, and there is a pub near us called the Hereford Arms, and when I went to get more white envelopes for my homemade snowflake individually cut Christmas cards at our favourite family run stationary shop, the wife told me that the Hereford Arms had this great big snowman outside.

So I shot it and had this post all ready, but the morning we were leaving for Herefordshire, where the Dots-in-Law reside, I didn't get a chance to post, what with bringing the cat and all the stuff. And then the Mum-in-Law forgot her Wifi secret password, and the Cafe Nero in town's Wifi was too complicated... so here we are.

Better late than never.

Altho, perhaps not. Perhaps I should have saved it for next year.

I was considering not even posting these shots but then I realised: poor Mr. Snowman is probably all melted now and all we have is the memories. Which, if you think about it, is all we ever have, I guess.

So Happy Belated Christmas, whether you partake or not, just wishing that wherever you are, whatever you're doing, on these last hours of 2010 you're feeling bright eyed and bushy tailed.


revenge of the killer ducks

Granted, I know I 'should' be posting about what to wear to New Year's Eve parties - and I haven't shown you any London streetstyle in a coon's age (what's the point: there is currently no one on the streets here in South Ken, and in the West End everyone is a tourist) and I know that every time I post something that's not style related, I lose a few followers, but I can't help it: I can't think of anything that any designer could create that is more magnificent than the feathers on a live duck's back.

(Actually... to tie in this post with something style related, as per Pearl's suggestion, and as coincidentally Roz mentioned in an email - bizarrely coincidental, as it was also simultaneously - I suppose I could have tied it in with a be-featuered McQueen piece, but I do try to stick to the mostly pics by Polka Dot rule, so instead have included one of my favourites from the Archives: Leila, above, at my first London Fashion Week, September 2009).

We were in Ludlow, before meeting Roz and her family, and had asked a nice man on the street if it was safe to park where we did (it was) and he told us about the best hot chocolate in town, at the Green Cafe 'down past the castle, on the river' (more about the hot chocolate later). We had picked up a great free range chicken for Christmas at the butcher's, queuing outside the shop, and had found some amazing home made butter and tea cakes in the outdoors market, and.. well, I'm guessing these ducks aren't cannibals and were more interested in the bread than the chicken, but when he realised they were following him, we begged a stale half a loaf off the kitchen and that's when the feeding frenzy began.

My gifted boots that have got me thru December without catching the flu, by MOU. Duck feathers, Nature's Own.

oh so dr. zhivago

Yes, of course, given the choice, I'd rather be swimming in warm turquoise waters, but I must admit, this White Christmas has been just gorgeous, and I'm really getting into the cold weather look, especially around faux fur and the whole snood thing (more about that coming up). I'll do more shots of Roz (Clothes, Cameras and Coffee) after she's seen them, and I don't know where she got everything she's wearing apart from that her cape was thrifted/vintage/cheap (she's got the Midas touch in that respect) so no doubt her Lara's Themed hat is, too, but I do know this: the charm bracelet is from Pearl, one of the most generous souls in this or any world.

(oh and p.s.: I had no clue when on a whim I posted this this morning, that Dr. Zhivago was on Channel 5 here in the UK today @ 2:25 - and I was out and missed it! Oh and also I've now got two less followers than when I woke up this morning - but who's counting. And I'm going to do ANOTHER post with Roz from the same day now that I have sourced her outfit - she simultaneously also unknown to me at the time, has posted different shots, same clothes. So bye bye to more followers, but hey, that's life).


wild geese who fly with the moon on their wings

Back in London, and overwhelmed with images and unable to know where to start, so why not start with one photo of Roz, who we saw - with her family - in Ludlow. Not even the 'best' shot, but more will follow.

And I don't think these are geese, but rather, duck. At the Green Cafe, also in Ludlow, on the river. More on that coming up, too. But first: off to meet Sabine and perhaps her daughter, at Sketch, for tea. Hope you all have had and are continuing to have, the most magic of holidays.



whiskers on kittens

I was saving posting about Chinti and Parker til after Christmas - because I know a lot of you are either away or trying to get away - and I will. But I just had to show you what Rachel Wood, half of the duo that are the lovely Chinti and Parker, sent me as a thank you for coming to their press day a few weeks ago. Rachel and Anna Singh are cousins and partners - the company name is their grandmothers' first names - and Kit met Anna on the same day that I met Rachel. She is so sweet, we just became friends instantly. But more about that in a future post.

Kit really said it better than I could in her post, Conscious Cloth. This brand is just so amazing on so many levels but the thing that I can't get over is, Rachel remembered which was my favourite tee - and chose that to send me! (Kit got a different one, presumably her favourite). It's a simple round neck long sleeved navy & cream tee and I am wearing it everywhere, day and night, inside and out.

Sometimes I find the best things by accident. I couldn't find anywhere the original version from the Sound of Music, but I found this BRILLIANT version, with a plug on the end for the guy's sister who sells 'Pamplamoose soap' - and how random is this, in a post about Chinti and Parker's amazing Conscious Cloth Clothes - the soap is homemade with pink grapefruit and essential oils. They've got a facebook page: Pomplamoose. I just liked it. Cause I do. Anyway - stop what you're doing immediately and play this:

Talk about Christmas coming early! We've decided not to exchange Christmas presents this year - it's just going to be a small simple Christmas in the Herefordshire countryside - and I feel this is all I could want in the present department.

Check out Chinti and Parker's beautiful blog: it's all a few of my favourite things. Some of those favourite things are also available on Net a Porter.

Hope everyone is where they want to be today - and getting where they want to get to, with ease. Merry Pre Christmas Holiday Seasonal Greetings, all! xx


kit's kaleidoscope world of colour

I feel like I've posted these shots before. Maybe I have. I've sent them to Kit.. and I think Shini posted something similar.. on that's right! Dreams of Oxford. Well that's what it feels like: an amazing, Kaleidoscope coloured dream.

These days I either want to wear winter white, shades and variations of palest nudes and whites from head toe, or else, tons of colour, those deeply tropical rainstorm crazy Carribean colours of purple and blues and forest green and bright yellow and aqua. Like what Kit's wearing here while she pole dances with a lamp post.

feeling good: kate moss & james brown

Every girl, I feel, should experience, at some point in her life, being somebody's muse.

And equally, every girl - if she's lucky - should have a best friend who is a cute gay man.

Kate Moss, lucky girl, has both. In the form of James Brown. The hairdresser, not the singer.

I love that they go way back, before either were famous. Their friendship reminds me of my best friendships with my gay friends. I was talking to one of them, my friend Joe, in NY yesterday, (who is not just one of my best friends, but also happens to be gay - if he wasn't, I'd have married him by now - and, as a photographer, I'm sometimes his muse), and we were talking about how, if the Mayan Calendar thing turns out to be true - which of course we doubt - that we're at a point in our lives where we're feeling good. It seems a lot of my friends - and my husband, too - we're all kind of feeling in that happily ever after time. The future looks bright, but we're not counting on the future to make us feel good now.

So for your listening pleasure, I'm providing, in a pop out window, a song by the other James Brown.

The thing about Kate Moss - as Anna Wintour was quoted recently, in Vanity Fair (and I paraphrase) is yes, no doubt about it, she's got this great, innate personal style, but she's not the only one. Many English girls have got it. That's why, when I was asked recently to talk about street style in a piece for the Wall Street Journal, I said that shooting in London is basically like shooting fish.

The other thing about Kate Moss is - as her friend Lucie's father in law, Keith Richards said about her, for a bad girl she's always been pretty good. And part of that is being polite, and professional.

So when a very nice girl - who has already sent me a free sample of that gorgeous White Company Blanc heavenly scented lotion, Blanc - sent me samples weeks and weeks ago, of James Brown's shampoo and conditioner, shame on me for not even opening the package, let alone doing a post on it. I know that everyone assumes that everything we're seeing these days on fashion blogs is part of an affiliate scheme - I know, I am, because I'm approached to do them all the time - I don't actually take part. If I do - like I did last summer, for Westfield - I'll tell you. But I do feel - and my husband, when I told him that this morning I was washing my hair with James Brown shampoo and conditioner, because I got sent a free sample and I hadn't done the post and it was rude not to - said you're not kidding. It's exceptionally rude. Especially since Beckilou, who's been in touch, has been the absolutely sweetest, nicest, most patient person I've ever encountered working in PR.

And then.. what can I say, the experience was heady. As someone who prides myself as being low maintenance - I cut my own hair with a scissor and it takes about five minutes, or less - the one luxury in my life is washing my hair, or taking bubble baths with sea salt and almond oil. And to think that I scrimp on shampoo - buying the cheapest stuff around - when for a few pounds more - pennies per shampoo - I can be wrapping myself in this kind of luxury. And - I'm not just saying this to be polite - I really do feel the difference. The shampoo isn't that strongly scented, because that's the part that washes out, but the scent in the conditioner is so delicious. Clean and floral - my husband, forgetting the conversation I'd had 20 minutes earlier, asked me, when I came out, what that great smell was. But also, there's none of that silicone and the other junk in most hair products. And, let's face it: I don't want that shit in my lips or my boobs, why would I want it in my hair.

And I love the packaging: it's so luxurious to have those two products now, clean and simple and white, on the edge of the bath. I feel like a star. I feel good.

So the least I can do, as a thank you, is make a little photoshop collage of Kate with some product placement. My way of saying thank you for what may well be my favourite Christmas present. 


let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

The last time it snowed in London, for some reason, it avoided our part of town (South Kensington). So this weekend, when it really came down, it was a REALLY big deal. Our cat just couldn't believe his eyes. I was singing this song, below. Ever since the Maybelline party last Thursday, when they were playing it, I haven't got it out of my head:

It's just been such a treat, such a great excuse to stay in, make Boeuf Bourguignon (that's just a really luscious slow cooking beef stew) for four hours, finally get the home made Christmas cards out.. in fact Mr. D and I took turns going out to post them, and as I had the gifted pink American Apparel coat that I could not give away, in a bag by the stairs, we realised: it's actually quite practical. I think I'm going to keep it for snow emergencies.

Our cards this year come from a childhood activity my mom taught us: folding and cutting plain white paper (I bought a sketchbook, it's slightly heavier than printer paper but not too thick to cut). Then I strung a bunch up with thread and have it hanging in lieu of a Christmas tree, like a white mobile.

These jade plants - which I've heard are good luck - are all grown from little cuttings that I've smuggled home in my suitcase - wrapped in moist paper towels in a zip lock bag - from one plant that my dad had in the summer house.

But mostly: it was a great chance to stay warm and dry while doing a bit of 'street shooting': like this woman in full length real fur, and a wildly patterned umbrella. Am I not the laziest street style shooter on the planet.


going out guide: finish the thought

Lounging around, Mr. D is reading a book - we just watched Intolerable Cruelty for like the fourth time, it is hilarious - and I'm too knackered to write anything of interest, but I've got all these shots from that day @ MY WARDROBE that I want to show you. I feel I've lost my December 2010 to ElleGate and have neglected everything, even posting what I meant to post, but it's nearing a resolution - I hope! - and when it's all over, I promise to give you all an easy to follow guide to copyright infringement protection.

But for now: two pics by Polka Dot, of Natayla and Tala, as before. I'm not linking anything because I'm a lazy old cow. It's all from My Wardrobe, and you can find the sourcing in older posts. Besides, I really hope you're all out doing something sparkly and festive, not reading my stupid old blog. I'll post more shots again sometime soon. Have a lovely Friday night everyone! x O x O x

carine, carine

I was doing something else entirely when I happened notice that Cleide Carina, from Sketchbook, tweeted something about being upset with Grazia. I messaged her asking if she was okay. She sent back 'Carine Roitfeld has left Paris Vogue.' Turns out she was just joking about Grazia not breaking the news fast enough.

The thing is, my family name is Carin and I always wanted to be Italian so I used to tell people it was Carina. And there's something about the fact that Carine spells her name so close to mine that always made me feel like, you know, we'd be friends. And then I sat in her front row seat at fashion week when she came in late.. and became friendly with her daughter Julia.. and I've papped her twice now.. I'm just kind of in shock, I guess. Vogue says she's leaving to do personal projects and whatever they are, Carine Carine, I hope they will be even more exciting and creatively fulfilling as your ten years at Vogue clearly have been.

It is an incredible thing, in an industry as tough as the fashion industry, by all accounts, seems to be, to find one person so universally loved and admired. I hope this is not the last we'll be seeing of her professionally, and I hope these shots that I took just a few weeks ago at her son Vladimir's art launch aren't the last chance I have to personally see her.

Carine: I wish you the very best, and know that whatever you do next, you will continue to do it with joy, exuberance, class, and above all, style.


elizabeth lau wraps it up in her pop up shop

Last Friday, Kit brought us to meet her friend Elizabeth Lau, shown here wrapping a present in her pop up shop off Carnaby Street. Ever since I've met Kit, every time she said Elizabeth Lau she'd break into that great Cheshire Cat grin that she does, and the moment I met Elizabeth, I understood why. Everything about her, her clothes, her sensibility, her website, is just so cute and SO my taste.

She was there with her husband - who was changing into black tie for his work do that night and quipped 'I look like a waiter' -and we nibbled cookies while marvelling over all her amazing stuff. Can you see the little pin she's got? It's got a royal crown and it's one of those things with the little chain.. I'm so lucky this year that we're having a really small Christmas at the in-laws and - I have the best mum-in-law, last night she said 'listen do you want to just not do gifts this year? - but even so, I'm going to pop back into the shop to pick out a little something from Mr. Dot - to me!

Perhaps that fabulous cube ring Elizabeth is wearing - it's by her good friend Gemma Lister, it's only £50.00 and she's selling it in her boutique!

Elizabeth Lau's pop up shop is at 2 Ganton Street (off Carnaby Street), London W1F 7QL, and is open til Christmas Eve.



Natayla's night look. Jacket by IRO. All available @ My Wardrobe. More to come.