Heart Attack

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I spotted this creature of rare beauty in a grimy East End bar. A rose among the thorns. Natural, unspoilt, busy and un-affected  A pretty flamingo so serious as she stands one-legged by the bar.

A thoughtful type with oodles of style.

 

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High Top

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I lived in London for three years. In those years I did a lot of walking and I took a lot of photographs. It was a way of assimilating the city. Street style photos were all the go. Subjects were delighted to pose. All I had to do was say the words “style blog” and back went the shoulders and up with the chin.

I was exactly the same myself. I got stopped a couple of times and I didn’t need coaxing or cajoling.

Cool customers are Londoners but they are not shy.

This lassie’s style is right up my alley. Big 80’s leather jacket, animal print leggings, flat shoes and the top knot top to top it off. Its street. Its sloppy and edgy and  looks cool  because it looks effortless. I like the monochromatic palette that she breaks with her blue over- sized headphones. She obviously knows the rules if she can break them so well.

 

 

 

Angel At My Table

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I am a frequenter of greasy spoon cafes. I get it from my father’s side. What their fare lacks in dietary nutrition the social and communal offerings they provide more than make up for. I especially enjoy them in off peak times as it is then that they attract peculiar outliers like myself. People who crave a sense of community and normality but  in bite size portions. Who like to be with people but a distance.

The universal appeal of the greasy spoon is an excellent backdrop for observing  life’s sublime contrasts.

I met Angel at one of my favourite joints  in Archway, London. Our meeting was brief. We talked about clothes and style but what we communicated was something greater.

 

 

 

Short Hair, Attachment Theory And Finding The Right Stylist.

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In my second year at college I had my first real boyfriend. It was a a hugely satisfying and fun-filled relationship that lasted an entire 12 months. I learned about trust and intimacy from this person. I also learned that our bond of intimacy and attraction was a fine and delicate thing and that a mere chopping of my locks could threaten the union to its foundation.

My Transport Management studies (don’t ask!) was a shoddy provider for my vast and rapidly changing interests so I turned to Vogue. Within the pages of its glossy lovlieness, circa Feb 1992 I spotted the most exquisite and edgy short hair do. The quest began for a creator worthy and capable of its execution. There in the mirrored halls of Lunatic Fringe he appeared. A mythical beast brandishing a salon cape. The intoxicating blend of his insouciant manner, his quiet confidence and laid back professionalism put me at great ease. Inside of ten minutes he had achieved the seemingly impossible. With no muss and sadly little chat, his skillful hands had adorned me with the exact look I had requested.

It really, really suited me.

I returned to the same salon about four months later and there was no trace of him. Thus was born my overreaching some might say Freudian longing for a stylist that I could both admire and trust.

The following lunchtime I showed up in the college canteen alive with the excitement and confidence that the new cut bestowed on me. Admiring glances and smiles of approval greeted me as I passaged through to our corner in the back. I did that thing: you know the rom-com move where  someone clasps their hands over their beloved’s eyes and then reveals themselves to heightened surprise. The initial look on his face said he didn’t recognise me, then came the the blunt truth that he delivered with Hemingwayesque  succinctness

“I don’t think I fancy you any more”

It was a surprise alright.

We managed to work through it with the employment of many a tight jumper and short skirt. Evidently these made up a little for the loss of my flowing feminine tresses. We broke up 6 months later when my commitment started to flag. Time and experience proved he was not the one.

On numerous occasions since I have cut my hair short  but the awareness has remained. The path of the short haired woman is a great but occasionally daunting one.

Second Hand Rose

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I had to photograph Aimee as she possessed such an exquisite femininity and old world beauty. Here she stands in her workplace The Vintage Emporium, Brick Lane. London.

I still frequent thrift stores but did so more in the past for many reasons. The trickle down economy may be a myth in the larger sense but its a fact for the second hand shopper. I made hay while the sun was shining which I would would say peaked in 2009. Thankfully I bought enough to last me several years and much of it I sold on.

I bought a lot of beautiful things as I had sense it would not last and I was right. Nowadays charity shops are filled for the most part with rows upon rows of de-tagged Penny’s and New Look fodder. I still come across the occasional gem and I keep my hunting instincts sharp by only making a purchase when my need is great.

The Thrill of Thrift.

Thrift shops include flea markets, charity shops, second-hand or vintage outlets. Thrift shopping is something I have a real talent for, it can not be denied! A woman said to me recently

you won’t be lucky to find something as nice as that in a hurry

referring to my snazzy sneakers. I guess not everyone is lucky in that way so I did not share the words of the voice in my head that said I find beautiful things for next to nothing all the time.

To get things rolling I shall start with a possible all-time favourite and aforementioned marvel; my ghetto fabulous, endorphin stimulating, pan-generational Cameo pants. Since unearthing these extraordinary leggings in a basket at the hugely popular Dublin Flea Market some two years ago I have received an endless channel of compliments, comments and enquiries all of a most positive nature. Last Thursday for example they were appreciated by two members of the fairer sex: one a pensioner the other a two-year-old.5706765756_39cf5eef6a_b

These could be the love of my life or at least a major affair and I can envision the day when I’ll recall them wistfully to myself. Either that or they go the distance and I am prancing about a la Westwood in them at seventy.

It is rare for me to get such mileage out of a piece of clothing and there are likely be many more words on the subject because as Michael Jackson quite rightly pointed out back in 1980, love needs expression.