Thursday 29 July 2010

The Girl Behind The Blog....Tala

Sitting down over afternoon tea with Tala (gorgeous little lemon tarts, in case you are interested) in her London apartment, is like sitting down with any other beautiful, talented, fashion-loving 19 year old student. Um, except when she lets slip that her mama is the face of Nina Ricci for the Middle East (cue squeaks of delight from me! I met Lina Samman briefly outside the Christian Dior show in Paris in March when I first photographed Tala), she has interned at Grazia, Tom Ford (positively swooning now), freelanced for the Dubai-based online magazine Savoir Flair, she has been featured in Harper's Bazaar Arabia earlier this year, she lives between London and Dubai, and she blogs daily at MyFashDiary no matter where she is in the world (current location: Tuscany).Oh, and she is a full-time student at London College of Fashion studying fashion promotion. And she is impossible not to like (she gets extra scooby snacks for those lemon tarts :))

So where does she get her beauty and style from? Her parents are Syrian but Tala was born in the US, and moved to Dubai when she was just a littlie. After a few more squeaks of encouragement from me, I discovered that Tala's mama, apart from being the Nina Ricci brand ambassador, is one of the most stylish women in Dubai. Which would explain Tala's London wardrobe: peppered amongst the American Apparel, Zara, Topshop, Office, Reiss, H&M, Acne purchases are pieces by Alexander Wang (handbag), YSL (trib pumps and handbag), Balenciaga (handbag and sunglasses), Fendi (handbag), Chanel (handbag), Hermes (Birkin), Mulberry (Alexa),most of which she "shares" with Lina (sort of like a timeshare scheme for handbags and accessories!)

After oohing and ahhing over Tala's jewellery, make-up and sunglasses collection (as well as the little mood wall where she keeps all her invites, thank you notes etc), we went outside to take some photographs. And despite the attentions of passing motorists (I am still recovering from the lascivious stares of one particularly creepy older gent who crawled past us in his car), Tala was a dream to shoot. I think the second photograph from the top captures Tala the best: warm, caring, down-to-earth and with an utterly infectious smile :)
Tala's denim shirt is from Topshop, hat from Sonia Rykiel, black wedge boots from Office and cocktail ring from YSL. In the photographs below her skirt is from American Apparel and her shoes are the sublime YSL pumps. I can't remember where her lace top is from- I will find out for y'all.

p.s. You can click on the collages to make them bigger.

Amsterdam Fashion Week....Sheer+Denim

It wasn't just models who were wearing heels in Amsterdam: I saw so many girls riding bikes wearing sky-high heels! I wonder if it will catch on in London as our new cycle hire scheme launches tomorrow morning at 6am.

Amsterdam Street Style....At the Cafe

It was my first afternoon in Amsterdam and I was sheltering from the rain in a really cute little cafe (no, not a coffeeshop*;) near my hotel (the brilliant College Hotel) when I spied this girl having an espresso with her boyfriend. As she got up to leave I asked if I could take her photograph. Unfortunately it had started to rain more heavily so in order to keep her dry (nothing worse than asking a person you have just met to stand in the rain so you can take their photograph), I kind of accidentally stood in the dedicated bike lane (well, one leg was in it anyway!). Now, if any of you have been to Amsterdam you will know this is a very, very, VERY bad idea. Almost everyone in Amsterdam rides a bike, and they ride pretty fast (I know, cos I tried to catch up with a few girls on bikes to take their photograph and failed miserably). And those bike lanes, I came to realise, aren't just for your treadly: they are for scooters, mopeds and I even saw a little motorised "car" puttering along one! So after getting yelled at by an irate woman on a scooter (quite rightly- I did a bad), I took this photo. It is a bit blurry but that was a combo of the rain, my shock at realising I was in the middle of peak-hour biking traffic, and that I had nearly ended up squished on my first afternoon in Amsterdam!

*if you are looking for places to go for fab espresso in Amsterdam, best to google espresso rather than coffee shops otherwise you will end up with a list of places to go for something rather a touch stronger than the coffee bean :) I can recommend Stumptown Coffee Roasters who are from the US but have a super cool pop-up cafe on Albert Cuypstrat, home of the oldest street market in Amsterdam. Apparently a deal was struck with the owners of the space (a creative agency) whereby the Stumptown crew would make coffee for them, in return for use of the space for 3 months. Brilliant!

Sunday 25 July 2010

Berlin Fashion Week....Anna

Anna-lena. How incredible is her hair? Mine, at shoulder length, gets so incredibly knotty
and tangled-heaven forbid if I grew it to this length, I would spend 3 hours a day trying to tame it!

Paris Men's Fashion Week SS 2011....Suzie


Berlin Fashion Week...The White Dress

The dress was her mum's when she was her age. See, it pays to squirrel things away and not throw things out*!

*comment meant for the benefit of my husband who is forever telling me I need to get rid of things :) Admittedly we don't have much space at the moment but that's beside the, kind of.

Paris Men's Fashion Week SS 2011....Elisa

Love Elisa's new platinum blonde hair (last time I photographed her in March it was a caramel colour).

Berlin Fashion Week

Thursday 22 July 2010

Paris Men's Fashion Week SS 2011....Frills, Curls and Freckles

And red hair! All of my favourite things rolled into one :)

Berlin Fashion Week....Skinny Cargo Pants

I think she said the cargo's were from Zara but she is saving madly for a pair from Balmain!

Paris Men's Fashion Week SS 2011....Rolled Up Trousers

Rolled sleeves, rolled shorts....and, drumroll, the rolled trouser! Trifecta :)

Berlin Street Style....Franzi

Summer in the City (note the bright yellow bikini top peeking out from under her tank) as demonstrated by Franzi (who was kind enough to email me afterwards with some cool places to go in Berlin. One of them was the flea market at Mauerpark which I didn't manage to get to but is on my must-do list for next time I go to Berlin).

Paris Street Style.....Flat Cap

Probably only a model could make this all work together! We spotted him as we were walking to one of the shows- he was with his agent who happened to be Australian, but works in Hamburg.

Monday 19 July 2010

Paris Men's Fashion Week SS 2011....The Straw Boater

I think I have photographs of 3 different girls on the same day wearing straw boaters!

p.s. Has anyone else in London spent the day killing those horrid flying ant critters which have suddenly appeared? I think I have squished close to 200 which have somehow made their way into my lounge room.HIDEOUS! I have to type with my legs up on a chair to prevent them getting at me :)

Paris Men's Fashion Week SS 2011....Leather Shorts

Paris Men's Fashion Week SS 2011...Rolled Up Shorty Shorts

The rolled up short.....followed closely by the rolled up t-shirt (see post below!)

Berlin Fashion Week...Rolled Up Sleeves

Somehow I missed the start of the rolled-up t-shirt sleeve trend. Is anyone NOT rolling their sleeves right now?

Berlin Street Style....Frayed Edges

I was in the line for my morning take-away coffee at Cafe Einstein when I spotted this girl having coffee with her man. I was almost at the front of the (long) queue when she got up to leave. Eeek! coffee v photograph? coffee v photograph? coffee v photograph? Always the debate rages in my head (not always about coffee! Commonly it involves the bus or the tube).

Photography won this time :)

Australian Fashion Week 2010....Lucy

For me, photographing people is only part of the equation. Getting to know people afterwards is another part: strangers become friends. I love getting emails from people telling me about their successes (exams, graduations, new jobs, travel, babies!), plans for the future, and frustrations (always a chance for me to share my own ;).

And sometimes the news isn't always happy. I met Lucy while I was in Australia, and last week she emailed with some tragic family news. Lucy is about to set off for her new life in New York later this week and I just want to send out big, big hugs and wish her every happiness.

Tuesday 13 July 2010

Berlin Fashion Week.....Jessica

Jessica Weiss from Les Mads online blog. Jessica worked super hard during fashion week- the Les Mads girls were updating hourly!
Freckles + Turban= Perfection

Phew, what a busy week it has been! I have so many photographs to show you guys, both street style and some shoots I have been doing with girls in London and Paris. I just need to find some time to sit down and edit all the photos.

So, Berlin. Many thanks to everyone who gave me tips on where to go, eat, visit while I was in Berlin-I would have been wandering around aimlessly in the heat without your help. Um, did I mention the heat? Dear God, it was HOT! Somebody said it was 41° C on Saturday..... I now know what the underarm sweat pads in the press pack were for (although I still haven't quite worked out how they actually stay on horribly mortifying would it be if one popped out while you were on a first date?). Apart from the oppressive heat, Berlin was fantastic. Everyone was very helpful, the coffee was great (Cafe Einstein, Espresso Ambulanz and Barcomi's Deli in Mitte were my favourite caffeine recharge spots) and the design (both architectural and interior) was wonderful. However, for me, the best part of visiting Berlin was seeing the Berlin Wall, the Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, the Holocaust Memorial, and the Reichstag - at once bewildering, powerful, astounding and emotive.

Berlin Fashion Week...Reality Studio

My absolute favourite "show" in Berlin was Reality Studio .Girls, and the designer herself, on super cool Electra Townie bikes* cycling around Mitte. Brilliant!

*Want one! How cool are these bikes? Okay, so mostly I wouldn't ride it (something about the London traffic doesn't inspire confidence, particularly for a nervous rider like me), it would just sit in my foyer looking sweet!

Berlin Fashion Week...Ask Keith About