editor's choice

Kate Lanphear, in my humble opinion, is one of the most talented style icons alive. She is also the style director of Elle USA. She seems, in style, in nature, the antithesis of one of my other favourite style editor/icons, Anna Della Russo. Anna Della Rosso, for example, has a blog. A great blog. Kate Lanphear, on the other hand, does not have her own blog. The thought is laughable. She just has a ton of Kate Lanphear tribute blogs. If Kate Lanphear had her own blog, I bet it would be totally white.

Kate is unique. I have the utmost respect for someone who never, ever, wears colour. Who has the balls to cut her hair short, and keep it short: it is the most iconic haircut, short of Anna Wintour's, another of my favourite editors. It takes confidence - and beauty - to be able to keep a cut that short.

And her style. So simple. A similar white jacket to the one Anna Della Russo wore ('Anna Della Russomania'), but look at the lace texture. And while with ADR it was all about the fedora, the hair, Kate's accessories are her iconic white hair, like Andy Warhol or Edie Sedgwick, and her trademark silver jewelry.

And I've just realised who she reminds me of: my beautiful friend Stephanie, of Style Odyssey. She is warm and talented and chatty in real life, as I'm sure Kate is. But in her wonderful self style posts, she's doing the same minimal, slightly androgynous thing in neutral tones. And when she's just being herself, like in this post: that's channeling Kate.

Kate is an enigma. I have no stories about Kate Lanphear because, while I've met and shot her a few times, we have never had a conversation. I can see her talk and laugh to her friends and colleagues, but when I see her, she is as silent and still as an alpine lake. It's always the same thing: I smile and say hi and quickly - camera ready - ask to take her photo. She always says yes. Or, I think she says yes. She doesn't say no, and she doesn't run off, but I don't know if she actually uses the word, yes. She simply chooses her pose - it's always different - and holds it very still. In this case - also at the Topshop Unique show, which is an ongoing series (and I have so many other shows to get to!), I took the shot, and then, because it's silly to just take one shot with digital cameras, I shot again. She held the pose, like a statue. And held it. We did this four times, and as you can see by the last shot, below, apart from changes in the background, there is no visible change in her pose. Just her eyes, which are getting slightly more annoyed. Her eyes are saying: Jill. Enough. EDIT. Please, go away now.

I have always admired the women who are beautiful, and do not speak. And when they do, they choose their words well. The Greta Garbo thing. There is no greater mystery than to be beautiful, and silent. There is huge power in having the confidence to just shut the f**k up. In my next life, I want to be like that. But it's too late for me in this one. That ship, alas, has sailed.


O D Y S S E Y said...

Jill....i am grateful and flattered! so, thank you! i don't know what to say...!

i remember a year or so ago, when you photographed kate lanphear so beautifully (and quickly...i don't know how you do it.)
you've done a brilliant job. and i enjoyed reading your commentary about "shooting" kate and others.

sometimes i want to be quiet, too- like on my blogs, where i prefer imagery over words, probably because i'm an artist. of course, i like comments, though. :)


O D Y S S E Y said...

i meant to add...her jewelry here is incredible. the rings...!!
i've given up wearing all my silver hardware for now. jewelry feels too hot and weighty in this weather.
also thank you for another lovely email- it deserves a proper reply, so will write you when i'm back on later, after my class (i'm teaching a painting workshop).


adrielleroyale said...

Oh I could never be that silent - I think I would explode! LOL She is lovely :)

The Foolish Aesthete said...

"Beautiful, and silent". Something I totally aspire to but, as you say, need to wait for my next life to achieve. Even if it means coming back as a flower! xxx

jill said...

Ha! I'd love to come back as a flower! Short life, but sweet.

Adrielle: me too.

Odyssey: no rush, you know what I'm like. Hope you're having a great class. Actually, if you're reading this, you're not there. I'm talking to myself! And yes, I llike comments, too ; )


Lauren said...

I think she's fascinating. She has really perfected the glamourous mystery woman thing. Love her jewelry here. Your photos are brilliant.

The Styleseer

Pearl said...

I just found your blog and am loving it - your photos are beautiful but I also appreciate your humor, it's just great! Hope you are coming to Paris for FW and I hope to run into you out there, snapping photos.


SirayaWalker said...

I like the girl with the black lipstick!
I just love it!

From Siraya

Sophie Andersen said...

xx Sophie

O D Y S S E Y said...

Pret, you are too kind. Thanks, friend. xo