Sunday, 22 January 2012

Stripes and strife






I’m sure there are plenty of action movies where the Sergeant shouts at his troops to “GO, go, go, go, go!”? That’s increasingly what the process behind shoots for this blog resemble - entirely thanks to the weather. The first time my mum and I attempted to take photos of this vintage dress, we emerged from and scurried back to the car three or four times as squalls passed overhead. The foul conditions resulted in the first ever scrapping of a set of photos (the only one deemed useable can be found at the bottom of the text). The ones pictured above were the result of trying again today, after suddenly remembering the perfect spot with a made-for-photos Morris Minor backdrop that we could dash off to. Of course the recently arrived vintage grey boots found on eBay only served to re-inspire the outfit, and luckily we were spared any puddles that might have ruined the heels. It was a distinctly more successful experience than the previous attempt.

Rain and drizzle have permeated the last few months. This year our New Year’s Day walk involved stubbornly tramping up the bracken-dusted side of a local beauty spot, with wellies and two anoraks apiece. It was amusing to observe how many other families were as hardy as we – the car park was packed, and the hill dotted with the bright circles of umbrellas. And yet, there was a sense of achievement in standing at the top of the slope, balancing on slippery rocks as the wind gusted. Even the heavy clouds didn’t detract from the rippling view of fields.  As we shared out rather meagre rations of chocolate, I was reminded of one of my favourite memories of recent years…

 A few summers ago, tired of complaints about the endless damp, my friend Ellen and I decided to pursue an alternative approach. We embraced the previously moaned-at rain by bundling ourselves up in cardigans and raincoats (a full-length holly green one in my case), slipping on boots and heading out for a rainy picnic. We had a backpack between us, stuffed with flasks of hastily made tea, crisps and half a packet of biscuits. We had no specific plan of action other than to wander, coats pulled tight, until we found a suitable spot to sit and enjoy our treats. After skirting the edge of a field and debating the suitability of a bridge, we instead settled under the shelter of a large oak tree. There we sat, letting the tea burn our lips while we talked. It must have been rather chilly, but I can’t remember much beyond the sound of the rain drumming like fingers on our umbrella roof – although I can distinctly recall the nasty feeling of pulling off damp jeans after we jumped in every single puddle we passed on the way back.

But, nice as the rain was then, I don’t have much patience the rest of the time (yes, I'm really fulfilling the British stereotype here!) Especially not when I’ve got all dressed up – from hair to heels – and driven to the top of the hill behind my house for some quick photos. It's invariably likely that, even if it has been mild all day, the drops will begin to descend the moment my mum pops off the lens cap. Either that, or the carefully thought out hair will suddenly acquire a halo of frizz thanks to the wind. Another element to add to this unpleasant scenario is the cold. I typically like to romanticize winter during the summer – thinking of the swans that huddle together on the sequinned ice of the nearby lake; of the temporary suspension of normal life when snow falls; of the glow one feels in the warm living room while reading. Do you know what none of those pleasant images takes account of? The seeping cold - not the crisp type associated with snow, but the lurking chill that means you're never quite wearing enough layers. And at the other end of the spectrum there's the heat of the fire, which although comforting to begin with, can lead to sluggishness that leaves motivation lacking. I think we often like to pine for other seasons - with very selective memories – picking the choicest moments to recall. For me, winter is encapsulated in a walk my dad and I took two years ago where the frost was as thick as fabric, transforming each tree into a scribble of white lines.   

However, at least winter allows for unashamed imagination and dressing up (vintage accessories galore!) – with my ‘look’ here being a kind of Venn diagram between Twiggy, sixties girl-about-town and Jean Shrimpton. I’m looking forward to seeing ‘We’ll Take Manhattan’ (a dramatization of the relationship between Shrimpton and the photographer David Bailey) on the BBC later this week. 

(Only useable photo from the first attempt a couple of weeks ago, in which I decided that I should never wear my hair in a ponytail ever again)

65 comments:

Sara said...

I loove the colours in this outfit!! Very cute :) Oh and your legs are amazing :)

Katrina said...

I am not one for grey items of clothing, so the only usable photo from the previous photo shoot is more to my liking. Nonetheless you look stunning in the first ones - I can actually feel the 60`s era while looking at them. And the setting is quite interesting. Beautiful poses. And a beautiful dress. Weather wise I am fighting my own battle at the moment too. Here in Ireland it has become more warmer yet as soon as it`s 5pm it somehow gets all terribly chilly again. Luckily not so much rain though. But then again it mostly depends on which part of Ireland do you live in.

>'.'<

AVY said...

That's hot.

/ Avy
http://mymotherfuckedmickjagger.blogspot.com

TheShophopper said...

I love the fifth picture - it looks like a still from a sixties movie. Perfection.

styleeast said...

I think the ponytail looks lovely! This outfit, plus the setting, has got to be one of my favorites, I'm a sixties girl at heart. The first photo just grabbed me but I love the whole series. Very much looking forward to seeing you in a few weeks! x

Bea said...

Love these photos, and love your blog!! <3

Rosa Fay said...

Absolutely stunning images! The whole scene goes together perfectly. And the cars! What a lucky find. Definitely got the 'Twiggy' look going on there.

Yes, photographing in the rain is a complete nightmare! Especially when BBC Weather tells you that its going to be a bight and sunny day!

Ah! Can't wait for 'We'll Take Manhattan', looks like its going to be great.

The Fancy Teacup said...

I'm glad you were able to work around the rainy weather and capture these photos. So beautiful, and so retro chic. x

www.TheFancyTeacup.com

Tara said...

Lovely post, Roz! I love the modish stylings and great composition of the photographs.I was also thinking 'How very Jean Shrimpton!', when looking at the photos!
Best wishes,

Tara
http://dandelionden.blogspot.com/

Hazardous Area said...

Wow! We love your blog, it is sth different than all of the blogs which are all the same! Lovely outfits, photography, mind and beautiful you.
Visit us, we try to force our own style too:)
www.thehazardousarea.blogspot.com

Jo said...

Ohh, what an AMAZING dress! <3 I love love love the 1960s vibe! And it really reminds me of the NZ movie Goodbye Pork Pie - have you seen it? It's about cars, and so so so silly and amazing.

x
Lost in the Haze: Fashion Blog

Shervin's World said...

YES!! amazing again!! these photos r so vintage sheik!

www.shervinsworld.com

adrielleroyale said...

While I agree that the low pony tail (as pictured) definitely does not suit you, I think you might be able to pull off a very high 60's mod type pony tail with your bangs pinned back like Reese Witherspoon's in this link's pic (http://www.thehairstyler.com/hairstyles/casual/half-up-long/straight/reese-witherspoon-3587)... The other thing to note is that the soft grays are SO much more complimentary to the whole look rather than the mustard. (just my opinion :) )

As to romanticizing the seasons, I can honestly say that winter has NEVER been a part of my romance LOL! Summer? Absolutely! Spring and Fall? You bet! But never winter. But I don't have any warming winter memories like you do even though I know my parents made a point to do fun things in winter. Winter....is cold and everything is dead... and white..and cold. Summer, is weeks at grandmas lake cabin, splashing and playing for hours and hours in the water. :) Spring and fall are bundled with mystery and fog and beautiful surprises around every bend :) That's my take on the seasons anyway. Have a great week!

The Thriftaholic (Leilani) said...

Excellent photo shoot, the images look like stills from a 1960s film! I admire your versatile style, you look amazing in this Mod-inspired ensemble; I especially like your high heeled boots.

I can commiserate about the weather, 8 inches of snow was dumped on Chicago this week so it can be tricky taking outfit photos in the slushy roads.

Closet Fashionista said...

Wow I love that dress on you!
And yes...sometimes I enjoy rain, except when I actually HAVE to go somewhere. But if I can spend my day drinking hot chocolate by the window watching the rain, I enjoy it :)
http://www.closet-fashionista.com/

daisychain said...

My goodness, you and this outfit are a match made in heaven! x

Toshiko Shek said...

darling, you look so lovely. your photographs and outfits are always so amazing, you are definitely one of my inspiration! <3
itsnother-itsme.blogspot.com

sacramento said...

Wonderful and inspiring photos, my dear Rosalind.
The weather here is sun, sun sun. I know it sounds idilic, but it gets boring, too.
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Antonia Glavic said...

Love it! So 60s. The first pic is my fave, the cars are cute as! x

LittleMissL said...

Those photos are stunning, you look incredible in that outfit, really incredible!

I've done the rainy picnic thing, dancing in the rain moments & kissing in the rain (fantastically romantic) but that aside I am horribly English too in my great impatience with poor weather. *sigh*

Happy Monday & I've given you the Versatile Blogger Award.

x

www.littlemisslsponderings.blogspot.com

Diana said...

ohhh what a lovely post! you look beautiful and so your attitude is so expressive!
great job! :)

Zorian said...

Love the photos. Hair up is wonderful. Love the styling.

isa telaraña said...

What a phantastic photos!!! I like very much this dress.
...my problem in winter is the rain...is difficult to walk with an umbrella in a busy street and my other choice,the raincoat, is a bit sportive.I also need many many layers.
Sorry, I like your hair in a ponytail.

Baby Budget Blog said...

Really awesome blog! Love the themes, love the style!!!!

www.plentyforpennies.blogspot.com

San said...

I just love the pictures. The first thing that came to my mind seeing them was "Mit Schirm, Charme und Melone" aka "The Avengers". Fabulous outfit, setting and poses. My favourite is number 3, the epitome of the 60ies in my opinion. Love it.

And your storytelling and choice of words is exquisite as always. "the frost was as thick as fabric", sigh...

Leipzigs winter isn't much better than your's. The weather seems to have an extremely hard time to decide what to stick with. Since it's currently raining at least once a day, I'm wearing my snakeskinprint-wellies every other day. Since I truly love them, I'm fine with it.

One question. You probably know the movie "Room with a View" with Maggie Smith and Helena Bonham Carter. Maggie and Helena are wearing very interesting handbags and I'm currently obsessed with them. Do you know by any chance the appropriate name or right term for these bags?
I can't seem to find them anywhere. Maybe it's a very special british bag. Thank you in advance.

Have a great new week.

Jacqueline M. said...

Strange, because the last photo seems the most on the mark when it comes to styling and overall look. I think it's elegant. Also, the combination of grey and mustard yellow is so satisfying!

Elle Croft said...

Great look; beautifully styled. And the background is perfect!

nik said...

Hello! I just found your blog and I think it's AMAZING! The pics are great and I can see that You really like what you do here! I love people with great ideas, like you!
Your blog is inspiring! I will follow you!
xoxo

http://nikandpic.blogspot.com/

Stephanie Hoff Clayton said...

no ponytails, huh...i'm sure it's lovely on you! everything is.
you wear mod style clothing like you are right from that era! and yet it looks so fresh and contemporary on you.
i tend to romanticize seasons, too. and i'm always dreaming of icy, snowy weather, probably because i am curious about the unknown. i have seen snow and ice a few times growing up in alabama.
there's a mysterious darkness and a still, quiet but raw beauty to winter which appeals to my senses.
my favorite season is autumn but that season alludes me, too.

LPFashionPhilosophy said...

This look is really amazing! The stripes are superb on you!

-Davie+Erica
Wardrobe Stylists, NYC

http://www.lpfashionphilosophy.blogspot.com

Lydia said...

You look great. I think the hair here makes you look really youthful. I LOVE the story about your friend and you going on a rainy picnic-- it just sounds so nostalgic or something. I think I need to do that, but maybe in spring or summer when it's warm!

The Foolish Aesthete said...

You look positively delightful in these grey-day photos, ponytail or not! (Perfectly period backdrop too.) I don't know why, but the '60s shift dress is one of my favorite silhouettes to wear. Perhaps because it is such a forgiving shape? Bravo to you and your friend for your damp picnic without dampened spirits. I'm sure you were a lovely pair of adventurers in the rain.

Oh, and my reading habits are rather similar to yours. I've got 3 simultaneous titles right now -- a difficult non-fiction piece on Celtic anthropology (very slow read), my Dickens book (hate putting that one down!) and a variety of poetry or short pieces in between. That's for the recreational reading, but I do have a ton of research I'm into as well, a bit like grad school all over again, or your college commitments. This has relegated my blogging to "non-existent" this past week! xxx

alexys oliver said...

i love this look.
i am totally going to spend a few hours here on your blog!
fantastic style!
xx
fashionbater

t said...

Cool look!

http://initialed.blogspot.com

Inside my head and wardrobe said...

love the strips! the look is very vintage looking, love it!

http://myheadandwardrobe.blogspot.com/

nadja said...

love this outfit!
you look so great

www.ashfld.blogspot.com

Kiki Janku said...

Hello there sweetie! Just found your blog congrats! I love your style and post! Great outfit and pics!
You you like to check my blog and let me know what you think of it. maybe we could follow each-other?
You can come and check my cooking blog 2!
Hope to hear from you!

Hope you're having a great day!
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My cooking blog, support me:
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xoxo Kiki

Fabrizia said...

I like these photos so much! This is such a cool post!

Take a look and if you want we can follow each others: Cosa mi metto???
Win an amazing dress of your choice up to £200, enter the Zeleb giveaway

Jessica said...

The cars really complement the pictures, great post!

http://chicgeekblogger.blogspot.com/

Please take a minute to look at my trunkshow;

http://iouproject.com/tsh/jessica-karen/

Elizabeth said...

The second choice of backdrop works perfectly. And that is one of my favourite colour combinations you are wearing.

looking beautiful as always.

x

Fashionistable said...

You know sometimes (just sometimes mind) having to wait for the weather will give you something more special and in this case the additions to your outfit have made it stronger. The boots and headscarf are perfect with this look. I am loving this 60's inspiration on you. And the backdrop is perfect. What a great location. Xxxx

Kristel Louisa said...

Totally amazing pictures! Love your boots! You look really gorgeous.

xx

en la moda

Penny Dreadful said...

ADORE this outfit and the photos - as soon as I saw the top one I went 'Ahh, The Shrimp'. I'm really looking forward to Take Manhattan on telly, Karen G looks perfect for the role x

vintage process said...

Great pictures!! I love it!!

Fashion Tales.... said...

Loving the retro inspired shoot, especially with the boots. Flasks with tea and biscuits I like that ... seems to be appropriate for such a rain stricken occasion.

Clara Turbay said...

lovely and inspiring post.

http://paquetevistasbien.blogspot.com

TheMadTwins said...

That dress is so stunning and you styles it so amazing! ö I also adore the picture with the cars! :) <3

Bloodbye said...

Only just stumbled across your blog- so impressed! You're a gorgeous girl and this outfit is perfect! :) x

Mary Ann said...

I love the gray and yellow - especially the gloves! Greetings from Atlanta. ;-)

Also, I made 2 purse clutches and I'm giving away one - you can pick which size you like. The giveaway ends really soon - details here!

SymbioticLife said...

This is really beautifully well done. I like the dress but I really love how revisiting the piece for a second go around, gave you the opportunity to restyle it. I'm loving the taller boots with it, the gloves and how you changed your hair up into an updo. Despite the rain causing a delay, it gave another opportunity for greatness which truly paid off.

the Citizen Rosebud said...

I hadn't pictured you as a mod before but these photos (that striped dress! those boots!) make it a no-brainer. You are a Youth Quaker for sure! Love this pics-

As for the rain- oh my heart goes out- we've had a mild winter and I'm already tired of it. How spoiled is that?

Love to you, amiga!

Melissa Fang said...

Hi Ms. Jana! My name is Melissa. I'm an amateur photography hobbyist from the University of Pennsylvania, and I am fascinated by your photography. I just started my own photo blog, http://fangfotographie.blogspot.com/ and I was wondering if you would follow and critque me from time to time. I'm very interested in improving my photography skills. Thanks!

minnja said...

I love the outfit ;)

minnja.blogspot.com

LOVE
Minnja

lia said...

adorable dress! and i love how you tied the scarf in your hair.

http://www.the-launderette.com -- My Vintage Shop!

CRZCproject said...

love your style!!
please take a look to my blog and let me know if you like it!

www.crzcproject.com

Pull Your Socks Up! said...

Now that's tenacity for you - hardly surprising for such a beautiful, hardy young woman like you Roz - two very worthy attempts at snapping your gorgeous striped dress!! I love the yellow tights with those shoes and your new boots are glorious. What an amazing thing for you and your friend to do - an all-weather picnic! xoxo

helen turnbull said...

How good do you make grey look? This couldve been torn from a 60s high fash editorial. Its beaut x

100%soie said...

oh my god, the grey colour looks perfect on you, and the stripes too !! thank you for your so nice comment. I miss my cat so much but I am less sad than tuesday. I will do it !!! and all the comments give me strength. Thank you again !

rizzalana said...

Ugh, everything's so gorgeous here! :) I love it, happy to be stumbling upon your blog. Following you now doll.

The Lady Nerd said...

I really like this outfit on you! I'm not a fan of grey or yellow, but you make it work! I'm drawn most to the fact that the accent colours all work together. I really need to learn how to do that. I tend to just slap things together. And oh to have long legs! I may be 5'8", but my legs are only a 29 inch inseam. Sadly, I think that dress wouldn't cover the rest of me. :P

Boy do I hear you about the weather. I haven't been able to do much outfit shooting due to the crazy rainy, dreary weather we've been having in Tennessee. Someday I will take advantage of the sun!

Alex said...

Ahaha! I love that. Ponytails really are only good in theory, at least for me. Maybe if I had a stylist who could plump my hair big and juicy, all Bridget Bardot, we'd be in business. Until then... xx www.theleatherweather.com

khaleesi style said...

Hi baby i m your new follower
Xo
Bye

*Glam Chameleon* said...

Beautiful look, great ensemble!!!
kisses

Jelena
glamfabchameleon.blogspot.com

Cashmere Con Panna said...

Love your pictures. You have a good eye for personal style.(:

daisymay aka Chantele said...

Brilliant outfit and photos! You have nailed the 60's styling!