Cutting through the Matrix with Mr Impossible.

I have bee having a lot of fun with this project. It is a nice change to be creating something in a completely new fashion. It is pure play. Play at work which has always been my dream.

It is challenging and amusing to do the recordings. You can hear me laughing once on almost all of them.

Mr Impossible is a high priest of the dark arts as are most of his cohorts. It only adds to the appeal. Mr Impossible is so impossible that he transcends the formula. His character does not have an arc because he is the the full embodiment of an ascended master. A miracle worker  in priestly purple. As shamanic figures go he’s got it all really.

Child’s play.

It 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.

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 last spring. I hope you enjoy the results. X

New Wave

I 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!

The Thrill of Thrift.

Until such time as I can fathom how pages work, here is where I am going to post some of my more amazing thrift purchases. Thrift shopping includes flea markets, charity shops, second-hand or vintage outlets. Its a talent I have and I want to share it with you lovely people.

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.

These could be the love of my life or at least a major affair and I can envision the day when I may 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 even 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. Right?

Bodycon the Religion and why I can’t wear cardigans.

Like all my siblings I was a late bloomer. Out of 4 of us all well into our thirties by now; one holds down a real job and same one has borne the one and only grandchild to my surprised but delighted folks. The other 3 are busy wondering what we would like to be when and if adulthood ever comes knocking. Until such time I will be busy blogging away about me and my rapidly expanding spandex collection and the like.

My own physical development was similarly protracted. As a growing girl I was prodigiously backward.

My milk teeth didn’t make their way into my parents’ change purse  until my first holy communion. I lingered lowest on the school wall chart well into secondary school and the tragicomedy of my borrowing a 28AA bra from a classmate which I then used to swing in sweeping circles when the teacher’s back was turned (I had that much use for it)are all solid  anecdotal evidence that I would never have made The Holy Faith Cheerleading Squad, not as a student that is and  not that they know what one is.

Further humiliations include being asked to slow dance by a guy on his knees and being urged not to wear leggings by a much admired and fully  maturated peer when dressing ourselves for the ceilidh at the Gaeltacht. (That’s camp in Ireland to any American’s reading.)Her delivery was blunt and pitiless and I shall never forget it.

The years rolled on. Braces came and went. Exams were passed and enemies were made. But one thing remained the same. My boyish prepubescent limbs clung to childhood with a tenacity and determination that never surfaced in any of my scholastic endeavours. By 15 I was feeling it. Adrian Mole and his zits had nothing on my self pitying and increasingly anxious beanpole frame.

Humour that old ally of the defensive and insecure was employed to an admirable degree. Humour and horizontal stripes.

When alone it didn’t seem so funny. I was envious of the chubby kids, a bit of flab on my thighs would have been welcomed or so I thought. And so I took drastic action.

I prayed.

I asked the Great Almighty Father in his kindness and mercy to endow me with a healthy and full-grown female form. Nothing fancy just a regular body with hips and an end to vests. Please Please Please!

I knew it was a cheap shot. But hell one undeserving sinner is as good as the next I figured and it was hardly an unreasonable request.

At the convent come fifth year we shed our gym slips and became young ladies in scratchy woolen kilts. I remember wrapping and wrapping it endlessly about myself. I tucked the sweater into the kilt and wore pyjamas underneath at times to look less kiddish. This did little to win me any regard from the authorities. Bulking out a navy v -neck and blanket skirt combo was a thankless task. It just meant there were more things to fall down when not hanging loosely about my person. I persevered. I finished the course through to its unspectacular finale.

I left the establishment a child of eighteen and returned to it in October for the Debs looking every inch the woman. Little needs to be said of the event except that I filled out my black lace three-quarter length tu tu gown beautifully. The bodice was delicately decorated with hand-stitched red roses. A Safe Pair of Hands. Yes over that magical summer something astonishing occurred. My prayers were answered and then some. Slight still and the legs had a way to go yet but I had blossomed. The holy father had come up trumps. The proportions were most to my liking. Strangely it seemed to happen almost overnight. Getting dressed was no longer a sorry affair of layering up. No sir.  Getting dressed became from that point the most  joyous, fun and self affirming activity and happily remains so to this day. Which is why I try to do so more than once in any twenty-four hours. Its my way of giving thanks.

Naturally it took some time to adjust to my new shape. Like any immature teenager I longed to show off my new present.  Together my family and I welcomed and cajoled,  teased and disciplined the rapid manifestation of my delayed womanhood  into the world.

I remember one Christmas going off to mass with my Dad and my younger brother. I had chosen for the occasion an exquisitely soft cream wool box jacket. It had a Peter Pan collar and big round same fabric buttons. It came to my hips. On my lower half I was sporting what would now be termed jeggings. Muted grey jersey tight-fitting leggings with pockets, stitching and little jean studs. Jackie Kennedy if she had  the legs would have done the same or so I thought. My Dad and my brother were in the pew behind me and I recall seeing him looking at Vincent and gesturing towards the pants and solemnly shaking his head.

Then there was the time I disappeared out of the house at two in the afternoon in the tiniest little denim shorts, t-shirt and massive Reebok boot runners only to call home at midnight to say I was with some new  friends in Greystones. Just what every Northside head of the house wants to be told under the circumstances. My Dad came to the phone. My mother was away in the west.  All his meagre parenting and coping skills were tested in that one phone call. He roared at me to come home and then he rang my mother.

A girl doesn’t skip delicately from teenage androgyny to having a lovely figure  in one graceful step. Not one with my clumsy uncoordinated ways. But therein lies the fun. Toeing the line was never my thing back in school and less so now. Precocity is a huge part of my personal style and lately more than ever I have been channeling it as London is the place to do it. My latent physical maturation has left its mark in many ways. A lifelong respect for the Du Pont industry, a healthy body image (can I say that?)a love affair with clothes  and  a fuller consideration for any Divine presence. Well don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. Where indoctrination fails reward succeeds.

Funnily enough our twenty year anniversary school reunion is up this month.

Best of luck with it ladies.

Hunters and the hunted.

I have been a busy girl lately. Having capably taken care of my more immediate domestic concerns I found a little time for the important things like custard yellow ball gowns, gratuitous costume changes, treasure hunting at dawn and papping top drawer vintage lovers. Its been quite the week. Exciting developments are afoot in Suzieperon land and I am loving it. I shall keep you posted…

Till next time enjoy the latest parade:

Snow FoxLouise Potter with her precious finds. I like fur you know and this beautiful Snow Fox trimmed coat had me feeling ever so sorry for my own dishevelled Harvey.

Annie Todd’s grace and elegance was unmistakable. She was a pleasure to photograph. I was most taken by her natural poise and artful use of colour.

Fine and feminine. Jewellery designer  Jessica Delotz does vintage her way at The Vintage Fair Regents Park,  Camden. March 14 2011. How perfectly lovely she looks!

And now for the show stopper. Drum rolls and marching bands purleese!

This is the dress that worked magic on my back injury last Sunday. Fashion hurts and heals. Its no lie!  Behold My Yellow Crush

Dress kindly on loan from Galina Sherri.

Tube, Bethnal Green and UO Party

To paraphrase my late fellow Londoner Charles Dickens, it has been simultaneously  a time of joy and successes but also some bloody rough going.

Hence its been a while since I have had a chance to post anything. So sorry my lovelies but with my current housing problems (don’t venture to ask) and my continuing technological persecution it hasn’t been easy.

Not to worry. Its my birthday today so I am going to have myself a darned fine time of it  and milk it for at least a week as I like to do. My beautiful new Radler cocktail dress is being prepped for cocktails at The Boogaloo this evening. Well maybe pints and shorts but I will be having Champagne make no mistake!

So to celebrate here are some Real London Dolls that I snapped on my adventures here.