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.

 

 

 

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.

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.