Oh what a treat to be able to do street style again! I had hesitated for so long - partly because of the ElleGate thing (I was too afraid I couldn't protect people's images - after they'd put their trust in me) but also because frankly everyone was just too layered up. But on the weekend, we were in the park - I had my camera - I took so many gorgeous swan shots (more coming up). But no one caught my eye, style wise.

Until just as we were leaving, we both spotted Kartrina. I ran over and, huffin' and puffin', asked if she wanted to be street shot. Sure, why not. 'Do you always dress this way?' She smiled and we laughed - not exactly this way but yeah, generally.. 'I'm pretty flamboyant', she said.

I love how everything she's wearing has a story, a history. Her mink jacket was her grandmother's - a 21st birthday present. Her ring is her mum's, her watch, her dad's. 'I love how the scratches on the face all have a history', she said. I know exactly what she means.

Off to a private event that sounds like it could be such fun. Bringing camera. Will keep you posted. xoxo


black swan

@Armani press day yesterday. God is in the details. More coming up.

white swan

Hyde Park, on Sunday.


surf 'n' turf

What is WRONG with me? I simply cannot stop thinking about the dinner party last week at Aqua Kyoto in the old Dickens and Jones building. I keep trying to tell Mr. Dot about it and he's like, Jill, you told me already. 'But I didn't tell you about the pork bellies.' 'You told me about the pork bellies.' But they way they paired them with those amazing langoustines, the saltiness of the seafood against the meltingly sweet pork, and that crackling on top that shattered like the thin glass like surface on a creme brulee..

You see, I'm really a frustrated food critic. And I'm always just bordering on turning this blog into a food blog.

So what do I do? I start clicking on fashion shots. Because to me it's all about contrast, combos, breaking the rules. Every good look I see these days is a unique balance of bling and.. unbling. Dress it up, knock it down. Take Ashish, for example, because like the pork bellies, I keep returning to his stupendous recent collection. The tomboy shapes, the flat shoes, but of course, everything sparkly and sequin.. Daniela (Couture and Crumpets) sent me a brilliant piece she wrote tonight, how right now is all about breaking the rules, how we love our bad boys ('from Darcy to Doherty') and how that's translating into fashion right now. Big time.

Okay I'll shut up now. It's late. My own bad boy is long asleep, and it's time I am, too. I can't wait to go back to Aqua Kyoto, and if I do, I've got a big bold plaid Chanel inspired jacket from my sister that's similar to this one, a weird combination of brown and green and tan and maybe some maroon, that I admired on her one year and the next she just handed it to me and said 'it's yours if you want, I can't handle it.' I'm just daring myself to mix with equally bold patterns. Let it clash. Sometimes you just have to take that leap of faith and just go for it.


holly go lemony yellowy

A bit more o'style inspiration.. even tho this collection is meant for next fall and winter, this is just right for now: wintery, maybe maybe some bare legs, bit of tweed.. I'm sorry I didn't mention the Evening Standard piece: thank you Orsoyla, you did a great job of interviewing. This whole dental pain thing has dominated my life. Just had part two of root canal today, more coming up. The funny thing is: root canal doesn't hurt at all, if done right. Sure beats the pain I've been living with all this time. It's like a car alarm has been going off in my head, and suddenly all is blissfully silent.

I love this girl's look. Holly Fulton a/w 2011 Photos, by me: Somerset House, Day 4, London Fashion Week.


holly go lightly

I don't know whether it's the sunshine here in London, or the flowers (this is the most sudden gorgeous spring, it is KILLING ME with gorgeousness) or maybe it's just time passing since recent current global events, but I'm suddenly getting into fashion again. I don't mean I'm IN fashion again (I never was) but I'm INTO it. Oh, never mind. Hopefully you know what I mean. I'm just really excited about my clothes again: wearing bare legs and little socks with flat shoes and little sixties dresses, and the idea of killer heels with bare legs.. just love love love it.

Last night we were watching Zen on DVD (thank God for LoveFilm) and on the bit on the making of the series, Rufus Sewell was talking about his style influences: Cary Grant, North by Northwest, sixties romps, and I started watching Breakfast at Tiffanys. Thinking about how Truman Capote wrote the Holly Golightly character for his sad tragic friend Marilyn Monroe, and how differently the character became when inhabited by Audrey Hepburn.

Which got me started thinking, before I went to sleep last night, about that difference between the Good Girl type (i.e. Hepburn) - the ladylike female - and the naughty, sexy type: the Elizabeth Taylors, the Marilyn Monroes. And then this morning in the Sunday Times Style Section - I wish I could link it for you but I can't- the brilliant Shane Watson wrote her piece on the BGD (Bad Girl's Dress) 'otherwise known as the pulling dress'. She used the see thru number Kate Middleton - our future Queen - wore when she caught Prince Charming's eye. And how the same dress on a different woman might look, uh.. a bit slutty. And how some women can wear anything and make it look like a BGD.

So here, for your viewing pleasure, some of my shots from Holly Fulton's recent A/W 2011 show at Somerset House. Just like I wish I could show you the article, I wish I could show you every shot I took, but that would be a bit obnoxious. So just a few here, a few more tomorrow.. maybe a bit of street style after that, then back to more Holly.. you don't mind, do you?

Hope everyone had a gorgeous weekend. We had a blissful day in the park. There's something about spring that makes me want to cry. All those little yellow daffodils. All the cherry blossoms.


flower power

Met this girl after the Topshop Unique catwalk show in East London during fashion week. She was in the front row with Pixie and Alexa and she told me her name and said she's a musician, but for the life of me I can't figure out who she is! All I know is I love her look: cropped trousers, those shoes, and especially, the pretty florals. Spring is here, and it's such a street style treat to finally see people outside that I want to shoot.

I can always count on my Anonymous Tip Off person to come thru: who is this girl please??*

Nothing else to say. Going out shortly. What's up with you?

. . . . . . . .

*She is Sunday Girl. And I am a clueless twit ; )


sushi fois gras

Have you ever had such an incredible dinner - the people, the atmosphere, the food, the conversation, everything just so magic - that you literally could not sleep after? That's what last night was like. And it was all women. We were invited to a very private exclusive dinner (usually when they say that, it means a free for all) but this really was. AQUA KYOTO is the most amazing place I've ever been. It makes Nobu look like fast food.

Everything was just so unbelievably wonderful, the food so sublime, that I can't properly explain. So I"m going to split this in separate posts, and go out into the sunshine instead. Along with my friend Kate McAuley ('I'm not a celebrity'), it was the first time I met the women behind Red Carpet Fashion Awards, Disney Roller Girl, Alex Loves, and my fellow American, Emily of Fashion Fois Gras, and they're all so so nice. Generous spirited, fun, intelligent women. And how fitting: these are shots of her actually eating SUSHI FOIS GRAS (the green one). I think I shall remember this dinner for, like, ever. Thank you to Jess for inviting me, and Fiona and Amy of the Communication Store for being such great hostesses. Memorable, magic night.

There is a lovely tradition that has cropped up, to devote our Friday posts to Japan. Last night and today I've felt immersed in the Japanese culture, even dreaming of Japan. Doing this, in my heart, for you, but check out Kate's post today, which compiles creative ways people are raising money for Japan.

Photos by me @ AQUA KYOTO, Holly Fulton S/S 2011, and on the island of Ponza, off the Italian coast. I LOVE AQUA if you haven't noticed!


what a great dame

Yesterday was a pivotal day for me: I've been in agony for ages, a dental issue, and yesterday sat on the top of a double decker bus in the most glorious sunshine, to go back to my original private dentist and had emergency root canal. It's as if a car alarm has been going off in my head these past days, weeks, even months, and now all is peacefully quiet.

After the dentist, I was walking through the park with my husband, one side of my face totally numb, and the sun was out and the flowers up and it was like heaven on earth. It was only last night when I heard that Elizabeth Taylor died, aged 79. And I wanted to pay homage to one of the great Dames of our cinema history. I can't think of any actress or celebrity today (can you?) who has the scale or power or range of stardom that she did in her day. Looking through photos available to the public (this one is by Richard Avedon: I tinted the black and white contact sheet: the red marks is his), and I realised the range of her style: hair styles changed, make up, clothes, but she was always stunning, otherworldly, with her pale skin and jet black hair and luminescent lavender grey-green eyes.

But the first thought that went through my head when I heard she died was: now she is with Richard Burton. The romantic in me loves the idea that while they could not live together, they were the love of each others' lives. In the future, when we hear thunderbolts and see lightening in the night's sky, I'd like to think it will be Dick and Liz, passionately fighting and even more passionately making up.


holly waters: like osmosis

There was a time when fashion shows (or, so I'm told) were held closer to the actual season. I can picture women having luncheons in department stores and seeing models walking around in 'cruise wear'. These days, to see winter clothes in February and spring clothes in September.. I've kind of saved the best for last, altho there are still SO MANY COLLECTIONS from this fashion week that I can't wait to show you.

But first off: one look from Holly Fulton's recent show (A/W 2011). I love how this particular model is styled: her look reminds me of Japan or China in like the 1920s or 30s. I'm also going thru her show last September, getting really psyched for spring. I love her use of colour. Especially aqua (love what Ashanti - Adorn Girl - said recently. That she doesn't understand aqua).

No offence Ashanti, cause you know I love you, but how can you not get aqua? The colour of tropical waters. Of swimming pools. I am longing to return to Florida and instead, am playing around with dots of digital light on a screen. As if my eyes will absorb the magnificent feeling, like osmosis.


fast blossoms

Mark Fast, Day 4, London Fashion Week. Somerset House, February 2011. Cherry blossoms, Hyde Park, as before.

the gok and eye

When I was a child, I had a friend who lived round the corner named Amanda. She had long, white blonde hair, the bluest eyes, and skin so pale she was practically albino. She could get a sunburn on a rainy day. I don't even know why I'd want that: I tan easily and am a fish in the water: it would be agony to be her. She also had a really tall bed that you needed a chair to reach, a broken leg, and, in the same year, CHICKEN POX so bad that when the cast was finally taken off her leg, she still had the little red dots UNDER THE CAST.

Amanda also had braces. And glasses.

And everything that Amanda had, I wanted.

Within a year after Amanda had all these things in the same year, I, too, got braces. And chicken pox. I never did get the tall bed, or, to date, the broken leg, but a few years later, I did need prescription glasses. I chose a really lame frame: white, pointy, with sparkles. Very.. girly. And now I wear contacts.

So when a guy named Tommy sent me a really nice email, before fashion week, asking if I'd like to interview Gok Wan about his new line of Specsavers spectacle frames, and I'd be gifted a pair of said frames, my first thought was 'well I don't really wear glasses - sunglasses, yes, but I"m not the spectacle type' and then 'I don't even watch his shows.' But Tommy was so sweet about it, I didn't want to hurt his feelings, so I said yes.

They held the event the day after fashion week ended, in the Soho Hotel, and I was just shattered with exhaustion, but I said I'd go, so go I did. The Soho Hotel, by the way, is GORGEOUS. I didn't know a soul apart from Carrie (shown above). Which I was glad about: I was feeling a bit Gok-shy.

Turns out tho that I had nothing to worry about: he was really accessible, really nice. We asked him all kinds of questions and, unscripted, he answered them with grace and charm. He told us an early memory of trying on his dad's glasses, how his dad was his style icon, and how he felt different, more confident, by wearing them. His influence for this line was the 50s and 60s and as a result of the event, I was totally on board, not just about Gok as a man (I really like him!) but also on the idea of wearing glasses as accessory.

Have you noticed that people are starting to wear glasses again? Is that just a UK thing? Kind of geek chic? Even if they don't need them: like a hat, or a cocktail ring. Not that anyone ever NEEDS a cocktail ring.. oh, you know what I mean.

So a few Sundays ago, we set out in our car, with my thank you voucher, headed for Specsavers on Tottenham Court Road. Only the UMS car broke down in front of Harvey Nicks. Actually, right in front of the Mandarin Oriental hotel, where I've hung out with my niece when my brother is here on tour (how ironic is that: Gok's dad is Chinese). While we could have easily walked home from there, we couldn't leave the car, and AA couldn't tow it at first, so we were there a total of FIVE HOURS - in the unheated car - and as a result I caught a flu bug. But the car did get towed, and thank goodness, is on the mend, as am I.

Which brings us to yesterday. We went again, by car, this time to North End Road. This time, there was a football match on. We were thinking that maybe God just DID NOT WANT US TO GET THESE GLASSES. But we eventually found a parking space, and met a lovely optometrist named Alex, and the Dotman got his specs (I love the frames he chose: classic little round ones, shown above) and I even realised I can switch my daily disposables to Specsavers, with a savings of about 27% monthly.

But to make it even weirder: just as I was leaving, altho I hadn't brought my camera, I thought I'd take a few shots with my lovely Samsung phone camera (we've got the NOW project party on Thursday). A stylish girl was trying on Gok's frames and I asked if I could shoot her. Gave her my card and she looked at me and said 'You shot me and my mum outside the V&A.' Her name is Cordelia and I remember it well, even tho it was like a year or more ago, but I remember they looked AMAZING. But here's the weird part: when I do a search on my own blog, a million posts come up for the V&A, but not theirs. I can't find their photos anywhere.

Anyway: I woke up this morning and the first thing my husband said was 'I'm really excited about those glasses.' He's really thinking of changing his style around those specs. Which is just what Gok was talking about. How the frames around our eyes really can metaphorically frame how we see the world.

It's taken me forever to put this post together and it's a really shaggy dog story and I don't know the point. Perhaps the moral of the story is you never know about people, because now I watch Gok's show and I really really like him, or perhaps the point is: if someone invites you to do something you'd not normally do, give it a shot, show up, you never know, you might learn something.

In any case, I'm glad I went to Specsavers.

Thank you to Tommy, Candace and Richard, and the folks at Specsavers for inviting me, throwing a lovely party, and for possibly changing Mr. Dot's life. Thank you to Alex, my new optometrist. And of course, a special thanks to my good friend Gok. Check out his new range, it's lovely, like he is.


corrie, cherries, and the infinite shades of red

Next in my little homage to Japan/cherry blossom series: Corrie Nielsen, who was born in Florida, moved to London three years after me (2000), studied at Central Saint Martins, worked for Vivienne Westwood for SIX YEARS (til 2006), won Fashion Fringe at Covent Garden in 2010, and altho hers was only the 2nd show I saw (on Day One) of this recent fashion week, I knew she's stay in my heart and mind as one of the best (altho I still haven't shown you anything by Holly Fulton yet! Been saving up for that).

I was thinking recently, when I was putting together a post in my head about why I love blue, and don't usually love red, and my reason was, you can do a million shades of blue together - going into green, and purple, and baby blue, aqua, navy - but you can't do it with red. Tht there aren't as many shades of red. And soon as I thought that I went, HANG ON: pink is a shade of red. So is purple, and orange.. and when I start thinking that way, I realise I love red. When I think of mixing hot pink with orange - with a bit of camel or khaki or olive or brown - that's when red becomes interesting. I just don't like it with black and grey. But that's just because of my childhood friend Sheila's bedroom, which was all Goth and scared me.

Everything is subjective.

Yesterday the sun came out in all its gloriousness and I had a lovely brunch with Naomi at Borough Market, then the afternoon with the Dot Man in Hyde Park. Today we're back to grey but that's okay: yoga and films. Rambling - sorry - I'll shut up now.

Previous post from Corrie Nielsen's show here. All photos by me. How's your weekend so far? And while we're at it: are you seeing red? Or are you feeling blue?


sweet caroline

Next up in my cherry blossoms series: ladylike Caroline Charles, also Day One at Somerset House, February London Fashion Week 2011. The sun is out today. Off to Borough Market to meet the lovely Naomi (the FashPack) for breakfast. Full Moon is in Virgo, apparently, and I'm a Virgo, so anything could happen.


hope floats

Maybe it's because we watched Solaris before we fell asleep early, but just as I was in that semi-dream state, I suddenly had these images of cherry blossoms again, and catwalk photos, and I knew I had to get up and make collages. Here's first of a series that I shall be showing you in the coming days.

It's hit me once again, how connected we all are: we might not be able to travel to Japan, or to Libya, for example, but we're not powerless to help. We can donate amounts of money that don't detract from our lives in any way, and yet collectively, we CAN make a difference.

I mean.. look at Sandra Bullock, who gave one MILLION dollars to the Red Cross. She's my hero.

I shot this at the Aminaka Wilmont show at the recent London Fashion Week. I had forgotten when I picked this shot that Maki Aminaka Löfvander is from Japan and Sweden. The other half of the duo, Marcus Wilmont, is Danish. And when I go back to sleep.. I can't stop thinking that there are people tonight who are hearing gunshots outside, or are lying on the floor of a gym in Japan, hungry and cold, because their house and everything they have known is gone. And I want to send them something from my heart. I want to send them hope.

for japan, with love

For Japan: I've donated to the Red Cross, and will continue to, and will donate to Shelter Box. I will mark this day, Friday, as a day of silence and solidarity and prayers for the people of Japan. Thank you to Lucia for replying so quickly. Click here if you'd like to take part in this initiative.



In a sea of the most beautiful women in the world, she stood out. I don't know who she was, but one day during fashion week, I was backstage and found myself in a quiet corner, lulled by the gentle hum of hairdryers and people hard at work, making the beautiful more beautiful.

I was only there a few minutes, but it felt restful somehow. She was talking to the man drying her hair, while one of her hands rested gracefully in the lap of another man, doing her nails. There was an otherworldliness to her, and I didn't understand the language they were speaking, but if someone told me she was from another planet, I'd believe it.

Lately I've been feeling like the events unfolding in Japan - and the horror in Libya - mean that it would be somehow frivolous to post about fashion. But if you've taken the time to come here, I don't need to bang on about what we're all feeling. You're coming here for an escape, perhaps, or to see something.. beautiful.

The day before the tsunami, I was in a cafe and heard a song from my past: I had forgotten what an anthem it had been for me when I was young. I used to sing it out loud, day after day. I know I said yesterday that I don't have to always be happy, but here's a secret: for most of us, being happy or unhappy is a choice. I realise that for many people right now, they don't have that choice, but that cliche about counting our blessings.. well right now I'm feeling pretty blessed.

Which doesn't take away from the sadness I feel for the people in the world who are suffering. Anyway, since most likely you've never heard this beautiful song by Carole King, as corny as it sounds: please play it. And it's done in this season's colour: 'true blue'.