One of the advantages and disadvantages of being a photographer is we always looking. And I mean really looking, studying, dissecting and perusing everything that passes our eyes.
Often my ‘looking’ turns into an internal dialogue and I find myself walking down the street ‘chatting’ to myself about the width of a collar, the shine reflecting from the cobblestones, the incredible light in someones hair or that half eaten macaroon left on a side walk cafe (you sure you don’t want that?)
All this looking can be exhausting at times but when I lay down and go to sleep the looking continues in my dreams, in fine detail and often in technicolour!
I have had 10 years to study how French women dress and what a wonderful lesson it has been. Years ago back in Sydney I thought sexy meant figure hugging and skin showing (I guess that was the only way to get the Aussie boys to look) but the French have shown me sexy is a whole other story.
On the streets of Paris in the heights of summer it is still difficult to find a woman with her cleavage showing in a mini skirt. It’s all very contained and understated and as the years have rolled on, I am LOVING it!
The Parisians are the masters of the jacket and crisp white shirt, the feminine t-shirt in just the right shade (half in half out) tucked into their skinny jeans.
And thanks to the fabulous Yves Saint Laurent who rolled out the Le Smoking (aka dinner jacket) in his heyday, French women will be eternally chic.
Fab photographer Susan Papazian recently asked to shoot me and for once I was asked one of the questions I ask the women I shoot. What would I like to wear?
Deep inside I am a happy old hippy (think flower child in colour embroidered clothing) but I have been through every fashion train-crash there is to have. My parents bit there lips and held onto their ‘ugggghssss’ at the horrendous concotions I would invent but even dad couldn’t help himself a little OMG when I presented myself in salmon pink jodhpurs that cost about a months rent to go on a family picnic.
So I have been thinking for a month who am I at this age in life and what do I want to wear. I just keep coming back to that YSL dinner jacket and that fabulous photo taken by Helmut Newton on the street where I live (well at least where my bathroom is). Oh and Kate Winslet, if i could be as gorgeous as Kate that would be a treat.
Yep the arms ain’t what they use to be, neither is the cleavage or the legs so I am following the lead of the French.
But I know from all the people I have shot over the years that the real beauty and magic is on the inside and when they allow us to see that beauty that’s when a good photo becomes a great one.
So here’s whats on my insides! When I wake up everyday I am happy, that’s who I am, I want to make you happy cause it’s in my DNA, I need very little and want very little, I am just happy to be here with you (and hubby and Avedon) and to live this great life.
Oh and can I have that fabulous eyeliner and a red lip? Just once..
Waddya think can I rock it?
What would you wear? Love to hear..
“I like joy; I want to be joyous; I want to have fun on the set; I want to wear beautiful clothes and look pretty. I want to smile, and I want to make people laugh. And that’s all I want. I like it. I like being happy. I want to make others happy.” Doris Day
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