Summer of Sass

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From the archives I present to you some coolness from London. I shot a whole army of gorgeous Londoners back in 2011and they’ve languished until now. Take this willowy lass who showed up on my rounds in Shoreditch. Sadly I’ve little recall of her details but I remember she was very happy to be photographed for the purposes of this blog.

Her flat shoes tablecloth skirt and a pirate t shirt combo really should not look this good This one probably would get away with a hooked arm and eye patch.

On The Prowl

I like New York in June
How about you?
I like a Gershwin tune
How about you?

I was back in my all time favourite city for six sweltering days recently. It was as I’d always experienced it crazy, hot, and fizzing with magic. And inspiring. I walked and walked till my feet swelled up all third trimester like. I greedily sucked in all the energy and sights not knowing when I’d be back there. This series was taken headed uptown into Time Square at rush hour. It doesn’t get more hectic than that or more vibrant. ImageImageImageImageImageImage

Kentish Town, Brighton, Venice and beyond…

I have been busy with other projects lately one of which is having my hair cut. Sad as it my seem this does require a lot of me and usually involves endless research, equivocation and procrastination. The perm is gone and I am happily sporting a short sleek style with no trace of those troublesome curls. I will post pix in the near future. Promise!

I have also been doing some exploring and would like to share some style, attitude and inspiration from my travels.

This St Patrick’s day was celebrated in style at The Forum in Kentish Town.  Irish superstar and style icon Imelda May and fashionista Aisling Conboy enjoy the backstage vibes after The Damien Dempsey show.

Italians do it better. I can’t argue with you on that one Madonna. Elegant solo diner snapped on a Venetian back street. March 2012.

I finally made it down to Brighton a couple of weeks ago and managed to pick the wettest day for it. The prom was alive with day-trippers and locals and made for a lively spectacle none the less.

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

Acting like Children.

Yesterday I spent the most marvelous afternoon working my butt off in the best possible way. My cousin Aisling graciously agreed to help me shoot photos of my brand new exclusive collection of vintage ladies clothing. No bribes were necessary as Aisling is a like minded woman.

She too loves nothing better than a good old fashioned game of dress up. Her other favourite activity is taking pictures of people dressing up. I really hit the buddy jackpot with this one.

As I waited for her to call to my apartment I did  a rain dissuading dance and then pulled my tiny studio asunder in the quest for props, accessories and outfits for our creative enterprise. She was similarly  inspired and brought with her all manner of fashion enhancing items in her kit bag.

Despite the unwieldy amount of stuff to lug and the intimidating workload I had set out for us we managed get through nearly all the looks by 5pm. The dance must have worked as we were blessed with glorious sunshine for most of the day.

We worked out a nifty system that involved us alternating the roles of model and photographer and then both of us changing our outfits behind the garden fence.

All the while I kept thinking of how great it felt to be 5 years old again. Surprisingly I kept hearing my mother’s voice saying don’t forget you will have to put all of it back when you are finished which I guess shows some evidence that I have matured a little.

It was just like those long passed rainy days indoors. Times when our Mom would encourage us to pull the whole house to pieces in the name of fun, freedom and self expression. She would put on the record player to help us create a  mood. Rummaging is in my blood and has served me well. The delightfully satisfying activity of pulling strange and wonderful  garments out from an ungodly mound and then trying them on is quite simply to me what makes life worth living. Prancing about in them for the day behind a camera with an eager accomplice makes it all the better.

I hope you enjoy the early results of what I hope and feel will be a lasting collaboration.

For information on any of the items please contact me on the Highgate Vintage Facebook page.