New Wave

5770735325_8a2e63b878_b5770735021_41342d471f_bI first did it back in 1987. It was a big deal then and strangely an even bigger deal in 2011.

Back then everyone was at it. Mum’s, daughters, rockers and to my eternal horror footballers. This time round the demographic has shrunk leaving grannies mainly and the odd maverick/oddball like myself. Yes indeed I am talking about perms people.

The longing for curly hair hit me some weeks ago. I pictured myself as a first series Carrie, all bouncy wild unruly curls that shake when she turns her head.  It returned and returned until I found myself seated in a fancy salon with sweaty palms and a head bound and trussed  in rollers, reeking of that strong-smelling lotion.

I mentioned to several friends that I was thinking of having it done beforehand. It certainly generated a buzz of some sort; a mix of vicarious anxiety  and excitement. Needless to say it generated  hours of reminiscing.

My appointment was scheduled for noon on a Thursday in a salon a safe distance from my neighbourhood. I felt invigoration as I took the tube into town. This gave way to giddiness, empowerment, mild panic and then ultimately shock when the legend was revealed beneath the towel. With grim desperation I made a crack about Kevin Keegan to a passing trainee. My reflection laughed half heartedly.

Many deep breaths later and after much loving attention by my stylist Anna my curls were dry and I was all set to venture forth with my new coiffure into the sodden London streets.

I couldn’t resist a quick dart into the ladies to consider the quiet reality of what I now looked like. No sign of Carrie yet. I pulled my hood down and as graciously as I could I thanked the staff and shuffled down the street into a unassuming sandwich shop.

I felt what I imagine many post op cosmetic surgery patients might feel like after a moderate adjustment. My reflection startled me for at least twenty-four hours but having matured a bit since my teenage years I did not resort to hanging towels over the mirrors.

I forced myself into a very glamorous ensemble, added  lashings of eye shadow and propelled  myself out the door mid afternoon the following day. A cheeky fascinator provided extra ballast in my hour of need.

I braved the Archway road with my head held high. By the time I reached the shops I had received at least one masculine indication of approval. The Archway road seems to bring it out in them, but on this occasion it was welcomed.

Over the past week I have grown to like it lots. It goes ever so well with my inner eighties child and adds freshness and fun to my outfits. It allows for play and experimentation which is always fun.

The time has come Ladies. Unshackle yourselves from the straightening irons and embrace the curl!

Originally posted in 2011. Slight Revamp.

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Lady Of The Manor

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These are photos from a shoot I did way back in early October 2011 when London received a blast of last minute summer. I chose Waterloo Park in Highgate for the location as it is suitably grand for such an elegant dress. Lighting was a challenge due to the unexpected sunshine but nevertheless it was a productive day. These are my favourites.

 

A Kind Of Magic

Originally posted in 2012. Edited slightly for reposting.

IMG_0634IMG_0654IMG_0630It was a meeting of minds. Both female. Me the svengali in my late thirties and my muse Sara a very grown up girl of eight. Sara loves dressing up and has an innate sense of style, a delightfully mischievous sense of fun and the limitless imagination of an artist. Being eight years old for her the lines  between creativity and play don’t exist which is exactly how it should be.

For example.
I caught her before going off to school one morning and she asked me what I was going to wear for the day.

Mmm I am not sure I want to wear something really different I just don’t know what.

She thought for a moment then scrunched up her face and with some uncertainty suggested a wedding dress. She thought again. A beaming smile crossed her face. Then confidently nodding her head and flexing her eyebrows she said:

How about wearing this table?

She demonstrated carefully with her hands tilting them above her head slightly to one side before doing catwalk sashay shoulders to show how one would wear a small coffee table.

She said it partly in fun but there was also a serious intent to her unusual sartorial offering.  It was not the precise literal solution to my predicament but in existential terms she had read my mind. The effect of being in such precise harmony with another human is magic and other worldly. It has happened a few times in my life sometimes even without speaking and it is the memories of those very moments I reckon that will shine brightest when my lights are dimmed. It is a form of magic no less.

Sara is a true iconoclast. More Salvador Dali or Elsa Shiiaparelli than Gok Wang.

The conversation stuck in my mind. It was exhilarating and so much fun to be a child again.

She demonstrated her flair for all things fashion numerous times in drawings, in inventive hair twists, and exceptionally artful accessorising. I have never before and doubtful may not again meet someone with such a fun and true sense of personal style as I understand it. Playful, creative expressive, and always fun.

We simply had to do a shoot together. I took these pictures in her back garden in Tottenham back in spring 2012.  I hope you enjoy the results.

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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.