Wednesday, March 28, 2012


{1 - 5, Venice; 6, rainy day in Trieste; 7, 8, Castello di Miramare; 9, 10, How to walk in Venice; 11, say hi to my fake Venetian boyfriend.}

Monday, March 26, 2012


An entire roll of Portra 160 I took in Venice and Trieste has a thin red line through every picture - oh well! (Top tip: Portra 160 + Venice = perfect.) I'm going to take it back to the lab since I don't see the line on the negatives and it's not a light leak - hopefully it's something that happened during processing and can be re-done. So annoying because I really want to show you those photos...

The upside is that I realised none of the photos worked if I cropped them and cropped the line out - so my composition skills must not be too bad!

{Hydrangeas in Trieste after a Monday rain shower. (I retouched out the line on this one, but life is too short to do that 36 times.}

Sunday, March 25, 2012


 Paolo Roversi shoots Prada for Vogue Italia. I love the mix of colour sliced with black and white.

Deborah Turbeville for Vogue Italia Couture supplement (which I've never seen in England?) Valentino Couture - wow. Turbeville also shot the spring/summer 12 Valentino campaign, which I love for its natural dappled light and shadows. Models who look like humans in natural poses who happen to be wearing devastatingly beautiful dresses. (In an archaeological ruin?) When you come across it in a magazine, it stands out through its subtlety against all the other digitally enhanced bright and glossy campaigns.

{Instagram snaps posted here for the benefit of the iphone-less.}

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Whenever I come back from Venice, after first thinking about how I miss my friends, I think about the food I can't eat anymore!

I have a lot of Instagram photos I didn't post on there during my trip - but sometimes it's just not possible to take a photo with the camera (though I have 2 rolls of film to be developed), especially in an exhibition or somewhere you're not supposed to take photos - so I'll be posting those orphan Instagrams here in the next few days.

But first - I'm hungry!

From top: pink grapefruit gelato; spritz in Trieste; porchetta at Da Pepi; a pitstop in Gradisca d'Isonzo for aringa con polenta (they have tripe on Tuesdays); linguine with bottarga; Mr G's oranges on Monday, Mr G's oranges on Tuesday; cicchetto with artichoke and fish eggs; the last spritz.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

?. . .

{p.s. In the next few days I'll be posting on Instagram and intermittently on Twits...}

Sunday, March 11, 2012


The last winter photos from a roll I shot in Regent's park when it snowed, and on winter walks in Greenwich park.

Bonjour spring.

Friday, March 09, 2012


It makes me very happy to rejuvenate clothes. I always go by the principle of quality over quantity and I'm surprised at how many people still don't get this. Buy three well made, but relatively expensive, pieces of clothing per year, wear them for ten years vs. buying a whole new wardrobe every season from the high street: Guess which is more economical?

I am seriously hardcore about this: I'd prefer my clothes to last at least fifteen years, so I wouldn't have to replace things I love that I've searched for high and low to find the perfect, cut, colour, fabric etc again. I've thought of having a dressmaker I know remake a few pieces that became too sad looking to wear, but that I was too sad to part with. Nothing lasts in perfect condition forever, however well made.

The things I really love are the things I end up wearing a lot, so I've learnt to look after them. I can sew, which helps with repairs and I'm on great terms with my dry cleaner and shoe repair man. Now I have the fabric de-fuzzer/de-bobbler, I will never have to shop again! My god, that thing works! I don't know where this thrifty make-do and mend side comes from, but I do remember my dad welding pieces of bicycle tyre onto the bottom of his tennis shoes to repair them when I was a child... I promise I will never go that far. (In his defence he was born during the second world war and grew up with rationing, which didn't end in the UK until 1954.) But I get coats re-lined when they look tired, I get my shoes re-soled and heeled often (professionally!), I hang everything properly, put my cashmere in boxes with anti-moth stuff, get things dry cleaned, sew loose buttons back on. My wardrobe is generally a well oiled machine.

And people think I'm insane to do this. No, really, they do. It just makes sense to me - why would I throw stuff on the floor or not take care of it? When I worked in swanky designer stores people would often try things on and leave them in a tangled heap on the changing room floor. And I bet they did that at home because their maid would go round and pick everything up and get it dry cleaned. Since many of those people went shopping on Sloane Street all day every day anyway, they probably forgot all about an item having worn it once (I have stories which illustrate this but I cannot tell!) and just went to buy more. Also not economical - though if you spend your life going shopping with your husband's black Amex card and having facials every day you probably don't care!

It's not just about money - I'm not sitting there with my de-fuzzer hoping the batteries won't run out because I can't afford to buy any more. It genuinely makes me happy that a Miu Miu coat that I couldn't wear for years except for gardening or dog walking - or something else I never do - I can now wear again in civilised society.

Friday, March 02, 2012


At last, I scored a second hand edition of Allure to complete my collection of Diana Vreeland books. The others are: Diana Vreeland by Eleanor Dwight, Why Don't You - The Bazaar Years by John Esten, The Eye Has To Travel by Lisa Immordino Vreeland and of course, D.V. by D.V. Is it possible to do a PhD in a person?!

Allure was always the one I was fussy about: I didn't want the new (2010), smaller edition - but I didn't want to pay a fortune for a first edition. Finally after years of intermittent searches I found a second edition of the original large cloth bound book in near perfect condition. And it is large - I'm going to have to buy a bigger coffee table to accommodate it.

The book of 165 black and white images selected by D.V. with her commentary recorded by Christopher Hemphill is quite unnerving to flick through, when you're used to seeing thousands of images a day. Here, some look like photocopies, or are reproduced from paparazzi pictures. How long would 165 images take to scroll through on tumblr - 20 seconds?

The arrival of this book coincided with the arrival of what I've felt as a sea change for me, to do with the  internet and blogging - and primarily about imagery. I feel and really hope that it's going to end up being a positive change.

I could never get into tumblr. I always want to know WHO took the picture, WHERE or WHO is it, what's the story behind it? Pinterest is sometimes better for this, but often you click back and back to find the source, only for it to lead you to a random uncredited tumblr post. It infuriates me so much! It's not even totally to do with the issue of crediting, just that scrolling through an endless stream of imagery, even beautiful inspiring imagery ceases to be that...inspiring.

Of course if the original of any one of those images were put in an empty room on a white wall, it would still have an impact, but - as I joked to a friend this week: haven't we finished filing all the photos of Jane Birkin by now?

The way I choose to see it that it was necessary for people, once suddenly exposed to this huge trove of incredible iconic images on the internet, to catalogue and sort them - to make sense of them. But now it feels as if they're being sorted and re-sorted almost mindlessly. It's like gorging on photos until you overdose. That's how it feels to me anyway, and that's why you won't have seen many external images here - or many images at all lately. I'm obviously re-cleansing my image chakra - ommm.

Imagine Vreeland having to clip out tiny pictures from newspapers that caught her eye and get them blown up bigger for her inspiration board. And many of those enduring images getting re-blogged a million times are from Vreeland's era, or rather reign, at Harper's Bazaar and Vogue.

(Yep, it was a lot easier for me to pull the below picture from Google Images and at a better resolution than its reproduction in Allure. I still had to look at the book for the credit though, as it was nowhere to be found online.)
Diana Vreeland at Vogue 1966 ©James Karales/Look
As Vreeland says in Allure:
"'s the suggestion of something else. Of course, nowadays, nothing suggests anything - except advertising. We've all seen far too many pictures. I think the visual road has become over-travelled and over-crowded." She said this in 1980 - pre-internet!

I feel that it's time for the internet to go in the direction of producing things that are new, of value and of genuine beauty and originality. Not that no one is doing that at all, but the general, mainstream direction of the bloggy/inspiration part of the internet has to go that way. I feel it's going to happen soon.