Recommended viewing: turn up your volume, and click below.

Hard to imagine that it was only ten months ago, to the day, that I visited Roz and her family where she was recovering from surgery for scoliosis at a family member's home in London. It was a cold day, and we had just had the most delicious lunch - and her dad had made the most excellent coffee (the secret, besides strong, freshly ground, good quality beans, and hot milk, is a bit of thick rich cream) and as she lay on a day bed, to rest her back, we chatted with her mum and ate heavenly pastries. Then went out into the garden, in the cold, to do this shoot. I'd say it was under a week since she'd had the surgery.

As those of you who know her, and as she's recounted her blog, Clothes, Cameras and Coffee, the procedure, and the process of recovery, hasn't been easy, for her, or her family. While she's been honest with her readers, she's also been - as is her nature - quite humble, and modest, about her courage.

What I've always admired about Roz is how she consistently focuses on the positive. When I've gone through my own challenges this year, she's always inspired me to keep 'rising above.' I feel I can always learn, and benefit, by someone's shining example, and age has nothing to do with that. I often learn my best lessons from young children. (I just realised: it was one of these shots, from this day, that ended up in ElleGate! It was a paid staff employee in Spain, named Carmen, who pretended she took this picture - and then mocked Roz for looking like a 'cold' woman! And even then - when we were offered compensation by their lawyers, and ultimately, didn't get it, even THEN, Roz and her family still rose above: we all agreed, it was better karmically to just let it go. But Carmen Bejerano, and her boss, Sibila Freijo Fernandez are the reasons I have to take the time to put my logo on each photo - even though that didn't stop them from publishing my photos as their own, the first time round.)

It is the grace - the dignity and the elegance - with which Roz responds to any negativity in her life which is EXACTLY why I'm so happy for her that she's won the Vogue Talent Contest for writing, 2011. I can't wait to see it: it's out now. But I'm also touched that, when she told me, in confidence, a week or two back, that she'd won, she was as excited, if not more, at the discovery, the same day, of her excellent grade results. In school.

Because Roz, after all, is still only 16.

Karma, alas, isn't always instant. Some people can go a whole lifetime with one bad break after another, and they don't get the rewards til the next lifetime, when they get to come back as, say, a cat. Get to sleep all day long, take endless baths, and, if they're cute enough, eat tuna fish.

Other people - for example, the 'obnoxious bloggers', as Imogen so bravely posted about in EIGHT recently, chasing some idea of fame or success, no matter the cost to others, seem to get what they fight so viciously for. For a while, at least. And the irony of the first two bloggers who rushed to comment on that post isn't lost on me, or those who know the truth.

They say Karma's a Bitch, and I believe that to be true. I've been around a while, in this life, and it does seem the case that no matter what 'success' those kind of people achieve, there's always a cost, karmically. I'd, personally, still rather be able to sleep at night.

Yes, Karma can be a Bitch, but She can also - sometime, like in the case of Roz's winning the VOGUE UK contest - be Fair, and Just, and True.

Have you had any instances of Karma you'd like to share with the group? How instant was yours?

Okay, enough chit chat for one day. And so, like boats against the current, we all continue, I hope, to shine on. Like the moon, and the stars, and the sun.


daisychain said...

No Karma tales here,
but I love Roz, she is a true inspiration (as are you) and she deserves every bit of good fortune that comes her way.

styleeast said...

A fitting ode to the lovely Roz...courage and talent sum her up! There couldn't be a more deserving Vogue winner x

Fashion Limbo said...

:) Good for her... and yes, I want to believe in karma. As always, you inspire me Jill xxxx

Lauren said...

What a lovely post! Roz is a stunning young lady - such beautiful coloring! Yes, karma can be a bitch or, as in Roz's case, a blessing. So odd to be reading this post right now about surgery for scoliosis. The 17 year old daughter of one of my oldest and dearest friends just had the same surgery. It's a very complicated and risky procedure. Knowing what she went through, I'm absolutely floored that you did this wonderful shoot less than a week after Roz's surgery.

The Styleseer

jill said...

Oh, Lauren.. will write to you on your blog as well, but perhaps Roz could talk to your friend's daughter. It might help her - to know someone even younger than her (she was 15 at the time) could make it through so successfully.

Jessie, Jennifer, Laura: thank you, on Roz's behalf! xx

Carmen Coello said...

Thank you so much. I really appreciate you adding me yto your blogs List. That is so nice. Here in Spain there are so many events for bloggers. We meet and go to parades, openings od stores. Do you meet asweel all fashion bloggers and hang out toghether!?Nice look! You have a lot of personality and that is what I love from a blog.


Room on the third floor

The Foolish Aesthete said...

I absolutely adore Rosalind for all the reasons you mentioned. My admiration goes beyond her beauty and skills. My mother also had scoliosis surgery in her youth and she was bedridden for an entire year to recuperate (my 3 sisters and I all have scoliosis too). She was one of the most courageous and accomplished people I ever knew in life. Sadly, she passed away last year.

And thank you for that link to Eight. Very well said.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post Jill - Rosalind's journey and the way she has kept her composure and optimism through it all is truly admirable - and she still came out of it even more stylish than before. Just looking at her attire in these shots - just days after her surgery - she is pure model material and looks fantastic. I was so thrilled for her when I found out she'd won the Vogue talent competition - I absolutely cannot WAIT to see it in print and read it. She, like yourself, truly is one of the good ones. You are both such inspirations to me and one of the reasons I am so glad I began blogging. Stunning shots Jill - you've really captured Rosalind perfectly, and the soundtrack to this was so fitting. I always find that when you soundtrack your posts I always end up re-playing the track and then going off and adding it to my spotify playlist! Please do keep soundtracking the posts - it is lovely to hear how you want the mood of the post to be. I might have to nick that idea of you for a few of my future posts!

Take care, Alexandra xx

Pilar said...

Cheers to you and Roz! I never in a million years thought i would read an online blog but you two (and a few select others) really bring out the best in the "world of blogging". Some bloggers have such a tendency to be egocentric, and its refreshing to read ones that explore different topics and ideas.
I had no idea she won the vogue competition! However, if anyone truly deserves it, its Roz. All of the shots are stunning and inspiring.

Anonymous said...

Calling others as 'obnoxious bloggers' turns you into an obnoxious blogger, am I right? The two bloggers you referred to in Imogen's post are my blog friends, they are genuine, inspirational and non-egocentric people. I don't understand what's the fuss was?

jill said...

Shini!/Anonymous - flattering, yet creepy, to see you guys are still stalking my blog. Don't you have anything better to do in your life? You kids have waaaay too much time on your hands.

And I still always feel that nasty Anonymous comments - on anyone's blogs - is just cowardly. But then again - bullies are always, without exception, cowards. It's just in your natures.

I've kept quiet about your, Kit Lee, and Jennifer Ingliss's antics long enough. You can't gag me on my own blog.

But life's too short - and my life is too rich and full - to give you any more time and attention, so on to:

AvaPilar: bless you! I feel the same way - I've become really 'off' blogs in the past year - but there are some wonderful ones. Everyone on my little whittled down blog roll - with some rotating new ones - for example. But there are countless more. I find that the people that read my blog also follow some really lovely blogs. There are some great people out there. My challenge is not getting lured into spending time - I mean, physical face time - with the users and the bitches. I've wasted a lot of the last year or so with them: they're the ones who used to be plastered all over my blog.

Alexandra: thank you. I always wonder if anyone plays the songs - it's great to get that feedback. I mean, I can't exactly FORCE someone to play the song. But I find I'm then playing it in my head for the next day or so. I'm still singing Instant Karma, for example.

I really do feel karma works in the most wonderfully creative ways. It can, for example, keep someone exiled in Poland.

Cami - thank YOU. Your blog is lovely, and so, clearly, are you. Check her out people: Room on the third floor. Actually, I'm going to put you in touch with someone really lovely, Jesssie from Fashion Limbo.

And last but definitely not least: the Foolish Aesthete (I don't actually know your name, do I?) I went to reply on your post - and it was uncanny, your reference to the newspaper joke. But especially, to offer my condolences about your mom, who sounds so brave and lovely. My heart goes out to you. I'm sure she's watching over you, and feeling proud and chuffed. And - like my father, who died 8 years ago, this time of year - she's probably too modest to want a fuss made about her. Roz is the same way - and yet, at the same time, deservedly proud of her achievements.

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Anonymous said...

hey (different anonymous than above).I'm not one of those ''creepy'' people who you say stalk your blog but I too thought it was unjustified to call the people who commented on the blog (with nice comments at that..?) obnoxious. Maybe I don't know the whole story? But yeah, that did throw me off.
And I remember reading Ellegate at the time it happened...I believe Carmen had just said that Roz looked ''cold'' as in the weather in London might be cold so she'd have to dress appropriately?
Anyway, it's not in my nature to comment like this (to sound hateful) , and on a beautiful post about Roz at that, but I just had to. As I said, it threw me off.

jill said...

Hey (2nd) Anonymous - thank you. I could understand that out of context - without knowing the facts - it wouldn't make sense. I just want to clarify on this 'obnoxious' word: that was IMOGEN's word - on her own post. I was simply referring to it. The two top comments on her post seemed perfectly lovely - but then again, they seemed perfectly lovely to me, too, in the year that I spent with them - hanging out with them - and the several thousands of emails in correspondence. Their behaviour since January? Not so lovely.

As for Ellegate - it's history, we've moved on. Carmen committed an illegal act: she published photos, including one of Roz who was underage at the time, without either the subjects, or the photographers' consent - on a commercial site. She originally claimed to have 'found' (subtext, met and photographed) the people in the blog.

Elle - and their lawyers - knew it was enough of a criminal offence to take it seriously - hence offering us financial compensation. Ultimately, Hachette Filiipachi sold the company in the time the suit was being carried out - and then the lawyers claimed that Spain was a 'poor country' and couldn't afford the reasonable amount we had asked. (Sibila, Carmen's employer at Elle.es, offered me financial compensation when she realised that she had accidentally sent an email to ME that was intended for Carmen - in which she called me a Spanish slur).

The whole thing was just a mess and an embarrassment on their part. But really - it's not a big deal. We've all moved on, and I certainly don't wish the staff at Elle.es any ill will: all is forgiven. I just chose that as one of many examples of how Roz - and I hope, I, too - continue to 'rise above'.

Life's too short. And I appreciate you taking the time to write this. I can see how you'd feel that way - and you certainly don't seem at all creepy, you sound quite reasonable actually! Hope we'll hear from you again.

Pearl Westwood said...

I am a huge believer that karma will always bite you on the ass! I cant wait to get my Vogue and see Roz, she really does deserve it. x

Anonymous said...

I work in PR from a known pr agency and we had met before. Your laughable intent act of revenge by inciting those bloggers as 'obnoxious' seems implausible. I genuinely believe these bloggers are harmless but judging my experience from you was regrettably unpleasant. We work with Kit long before she started her blog, she was one of the most hard working fashion assistant and as it is today as a stylist, to call her an obnoxious isn't right but your stupidity in trying to her success away is beyond shallow. I sense there's a jealousy going on here.

I do believe in karma, but your ideology of karma for example 'keep someone exiled in Poland' is out of context and childish, I can imagine the smirk of your face. How would you feel if you were exiled in US and be laughed at? I thought not. Here is a fine example of karma and the irony is; you are blacklisted in our database.

Good luck in the real world.

Fashion Limbo said...

those anonymous trolls need to get a life, seriously.... just that, get a life, or go try bother someone else. Love your work, what you do, who you are, your opinions, Jill xx

jill said...

Thank you, Jessie. This means a lot to me. More than a hundred Anonymous Cowardly Bullies!

(Altho I must say I did like Anonymous #2: she seemed genuinely nice - and gave me some good insight into why decent people think these thugs are so nice: they're really skilled in the social media art of manipulation - they really do come across as lovely girls. Hey, they had me fooled for almost a year, and I thought I was a pretty good judge of character!)

Really appreciate this. I feel the same way. Have a lovely day! xo

Pearl Westwood said...

I am sorry to hear you are having to deal with this, especially here on your blog which is your own space. The thing is if you and the three girls have fallen out then that is between you them, why other people feel the need to get involved I dont understand.
It is also a shame that these comments are tarnishing a beautiful post on Roz another dear friend. x

jill said...

Thank you - and yes, that's exactly what I was going to say: I feel it really has kind of spread excrement on what I had intended as a tribute to how lovely Roz (and her family) are. And what an achievement this Vogue award was - and deservedly so.

I might just - give it a few days, let people read this, if they'd like - and then, BECAUSE it's my own blog - I might just delete the whole thing.

The way I feel - the way I felt then, and still feel now - is that not all friendships last forever. When they do, it's a wonderful, sacred thing. But while I was sad that these young women, who I had spent so much of my year with, that the friendships with them ended - I just figured, that's life. When other people - and I'm not naming names - started getting involved (one in particular, a photographer/blogger who had fallen out with Jen, and was just endlessly ranting about her during LFW, then made up with her, and I'm guessing that's when it all got out of control).

It's all just so ridiculous: like a bad dream. I feel like I need a good, hot shower, get rid of all this toxic nonsense. And bring this post back to what it was intended for: our dear, mutual friend Roz! xx

Anonymous said...


I was reading Eight London's post, reading the comments I didn't see any evidence that your name was being mentioned.
You haven't explained the beginning of the story of why and how this has happened to you. I'd suggest you girls to arrange time and place for coffee, sort amongst yourselves out and hopefully shake hands and end the feud friendship peacefully.

Fei the goat

P.s sorry i don't have a blog but a friendly lurker and reader.

Shipra Kaul said...

Roz is a stunning young lady - such beautiful coloring!Must say that is very impressive.Nose Studs

Anonymous said...

The beginning part of the story is slightly confusing and still unclear, but any how fixing the problem between yourselves is the only way forward to end it peacefully.
In other hand, I think you need to rectify their names as person A, B, C, D. Naming names in public will lead you to a lot of trouble, based on my personal experience unless you are prepared to take risks name and shame on here.

Fei the goat

jill said...

Hey Fei,

Funny you said that because yesterday I decided to take my long comments - trying to defend myself - off this post. It's ridiculous: trying to explain the ordeal of being bullied by younger women is in itself an impossible task. And besides, as my lovely friend Antonia always says: never apologise, never explain.

I do, however, agree that the only way to fix any problem is to end it peacefully. And I've tried, and failed. There are people - look at, say, Kadaffi, or Osama bin Laden - who really, really, really don't want peace in their lives. They really don't. They like the feud. They like the drama, the attention it brings onto themselves. They don't like a peaceful resolution. I have left these women alone in all this time. And whenever I feel it has all quieted down, they contact me, or provoke me (like leaving comments anonymously like 'this blog just gets shitter and shitter) and I'm left with the decision to respond or delete.

I never respond to their private emails. I never contact them. I have enough friends! I've tried - continually - and failed, to resolve this. There is a point where enough is enough, and I reached that last March. I've given them enough attention, and this - today - is the last time I will address this issue, publicly or privately.

I agree that naming names in public is not a smart idea. But I also feel that attacking people anonymously - as these girls have - is cowardly. There are so many blogs: once you've unfriended someone, and unfollowed someone - when the real life friendships have ended beyond repair - why continue to read, let alone comment, on someone's blog? One's blog should be a place where one is free to speak THEIR truth: and comments - the general rule of thumb - should ideally be supportive. When there is CONSTRUCTIVE criticism - like you have done, say, or Anonymous #2 - that is always welcome. But the general concept of 'if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all' is a pretty civilised way to keep the blogging community a safe and supportive place.

If anyone reading this is confused or unclear about what I've endured for the past six months - if you're a friend, not foe - feel free to email me at jill@haybooks.com, and I'll be happy to send you the excerpted comments.

It's had already decided yesterday to take them off this post, but was out and didn't get a chance til this morning. I really, really, really want to bring this back to ROZ. So Fei, you and I are on the same page.

Has anyone had a chance to get October Vogue btw? What do you think of her article, isn't it wonderful? So imaginative, and original, and from the heart.

Fashionistable said...

I have just read properly both post about Rosalind. I didnt know about the ElleGate story and am shocked to the core. Both your posts are so beautifully and heart felt and I know (because of a miss sent text :-)) how she felt about them and you.
I also find her truly amazing. Hope maybe this LFW that you and I actually get to meet. Xxxx

mtg said...

Jill, I thought I commented here, but I guess I didn't.
First, I love what your friend says: never apologize, never explain. I need to do more of that (or less, anyway, you know what I mean).

Second, can't wait to check out Rosalind's piece. Is it online? I'll check.

And also, I do believe in karma too... It's kind of weird. The guy I used to date at 17 turned out to be a liar and a cheater. We'd known each other since first grade and dated on and off. When we were little, he carried my school bag home for me, wrote me beautiful poetry (really!) and gave me beautiful gifts like spare beads and rhinestones :) that were priceless to me.

I was so hurt (as any 17 yr old girl would be) that I could not even tell him what I felt. I wanted to meet him or call him up and call him names, slap him, kick him, whatever. I never did, I was so paralyzed with anger. He used me (and I don't mean sex), he embarrassed me terribly (he told our mutual friends what I childishly told him during one of your dates). By the way, if there is any 17 yr old reading this, and you're going through the same experience with your boyfriend/girlfriend, please tell that person what they deserve to hear. I did not, and to this day (I'm almost 40 now) I have the same nightmare almost every night: trying to "fight" with the guy, and call him names. Poor fellow is not even alive anymore. A few years later, I've learned he got run over by a car and killed. Karma? True story.


Lush Crystal said...

Roz is a dazzling young lady and she looks gorgeous in such beautiful coloring! Yes, karma seems a bitch or, as in Roz's case, a blessing. Well, it is so strange to read this post now about surgery for scoliosis.swarovski bracelet