BACKSTAGE PASS…girls who like boys who like girls


Laurence The Visitor-1

For this fashion story, called The Visitor, Navaz Batliwalla and I shot with beautiful new face Laurence from Premier models. He’s an English boy but he recently graduated from studying in Paris. He is also, as it happens, very good company, and likes a nice chat.

Emma Miranda Moore: Hi lovely, I got you croissants to be a bit Parisian
Laurence: Oh, that’s OK. I don’t actually like them
EMM: What do you mean you don’t like them?
L: Well, I think living in Paris I OD’d on them a bit you know. I can’t actually face them any more.
Navaz Batliwalla: What did you study in Paris?
L: I studied French History, so like, history, but from a French viewpoint.
EMM: So do you speak perfect French now?
L: I don’t speak as well as I should because so many of my friends were English. I mean, yes, I speak French, but really I should be amazing.
NB: Who did you flat share with?
L: I shared a flat with three English girls and we were totally as one by the end! Completely in sync, it was almost a bit unhealthy actually, but we’re still close.
EMM: I haven’t been to Paris for ages, did you get some good shopping opportunities there?
L: Well there’s quite a good vintage scene, and we were students so obviously we were looking for value.
EMM: So where did you like to go for vintage stuff then?
L : Well we went to Free’P’Star, it’s called that because frip is short for friperie which is second hand or old.
It’s great especially if you need something for fancy dress because the have a mezzanine where everything is a euro, so my friend got like a long black wedding dress, for a euro.
Actually the main model they use for all their adverts is this trans woman who was the hostess at a gay club which was on our street. The shop is run by quite conservative, sort of angry looking people but it was fine. There are three stores I think, there was another one on our block that had a little basement, they had the euro mezzanine thing too, but all the other vintage shops around there were quite expensive. You expect to be spending pennies but it’s not. I mean it’s still not bad, if you’re a tourist and you want, like, a nice leather bag, it’s twenty euro, it’s alright. It’s just not quite as cheap as you might want.
NB: Anywhere else?
L: So Geraso is really good. They have a website but it’s really out of date because they have so many new shops and some have closed. Some of their stuff was like yellow or brown and they have weird stains on the walls in the changing room, you take anti bac hand gel!
*everybody pulls the same face*
L:They have big baskets of knickers and bras and obviously it’s not a place you’re going to buy underwear! But the people who have cottoned on to it go in there and you get the hipsters looking for the sweatshirt with the old logo and all that.
Oh and they have fur as well.
NB: *perks up* Oh really? Nice fur?
L: Well my friend found this one, I haggled for it, it’s a fox fur stole. It’s massive and the softest thing you’ll ever feel, it was 15 euros and I gave it to my sister. It was so nice.
EMM: So you know you have to keep fox cold or it molts?
L: Oh she’s got a very cold bedroom, I’m sure it will be fine.
EMM: It’s the one you have to watch, temperature wise. Just be careful where you store it.
L: OK, I’ll warn her about that. So Geraso, they’re in the interesting parts of the city too. Like Barbés, it’s proper filthy, you come out of the Metro and people try and sell you fake cigarettes and fake Gucci.
EMM: Ooo I did wonder if we should get some Gauloises today..
NB: Oh I love a smoking shot
EMM: We’re so nineties
NB: Well apparently young people are very anti smoking now, they don’t like it because they are so health conscious. Do you find that?
L: Well I don’t smoke anyway, I never have. My friends in Paris smoked, all of them.
EMM: French friends or English friends?
L: I didn’t have any French friends haha! But no, my English friends. I’m just not into smoking, I can’t get into it. But I like the smoking culture, it’s really good. Like you know when everyone leaves the pub for a cigarette…
NB: It’s quite social
L: You can make friends from it
NB: but when I was at school and everyone was smoking, I just couldn’t do it. I just could never do it properly so I just decided not to
EMM: I do like a smoking shot though…
NB: Oh yeah!
*everyone cracks up*

We clear up the croissants, scratch the idea of fags and get on with the serious business of the day. Capturing Laurence in all his smoldering glory. And having a bit of a gossip in between.

Merci beacoup Laurence, a biéntôt x

The complete story of The Visitor can be seen over on Boys by Girls, today.

ALL THE COOL KIDS…go ask Alice


Alice in Wonderland-1

What is it about Alice in Wonderland that perpetually sparks creative imaginations?

I can remember reading the books as a child and being singularly unimpressed. They actually need quite a grown up sensibility to be fun, I’m sure I was alarmed by the chaos.
Fashion photographers, in particular, have reinvented the tales for their own purposes for years. Girls like Alice are Tim Walker’s stock in trade, Annie Leibovitz directed Natalia Vodianova as Alice (and half of the stars of the industry as her cohorts) in American Vogue in 2003 and so on and on and on. We never get enough of beautiful Alice and her questionable decisions whilst wearing beautiful dresses.

Last night though, on a YouTube rabbit hole of my own, I came across Christopher Wheeldon rehearsing Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland with members of the Royal Ballet. Intrigued, I ended up downloading the finished performance. It’s so beautiful, the drama and the humour and the costumes. Of course my favourite part is the Queen of Hearts with her over the top theatricality and maniacal thirst for blood. And tarts. She’d give Mrs Lovett a run for her money.

As a very sensible, very young woman said to me today “growing up can be scary”.
Alice makes it look fun.
And maybe that’s the centre of our fascination, we crave adventure and excitement but meeting those crazy characters and weird situations that life throws at us is, at times, pretty overwhelming.
So maybe we should all have a little more Alice about us. Just put on a good dress, and jump.

You can find the excellent Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland here

The photo above is from an extremely aged shoot by me, styled by Caren Westwell

ALL THE COOL KIDS…embrace the wrinkle


Mui Mui tights-3
In Paris last night, the Miu Miu show revealed colour, excellent messy hair and THAT cat print. All very lovely.
More than that though, they showed wrinkly tights, bunched up around the ankle.
Now the girls in the show may have looked like the coolest sixth formers on earth, but when I was at school we were really paranoid about having wrinkles. It was a massive faux pas among the cool kids.

So, school days, once again I say pah! As in so many ways, you were wrong. Mrs Prada says it’s all good and that does it for me.
Besides, I’ve secretly never really worked out how NOT to get that look, now I can rock it with pride.
Happiness is the small things.

See the whole Miu Miu shebang here

BOOKMARK…Mirror of Venus


Mirror of Venus-1
I’m slightly concerned that this series has taken a turn down a road marked ‘books I have nicked’, but stick with me, try not to judge.
Right, we’ve gone a bit leftfield today, but I’m kind of feeling this one just at the moment, what with the whole Françoise Sagan girl crush I’m currently entertaining and the sixties mood that (eternally) pervades the fashion air.
It’s a strange little number it has to said, dated and odd and yet intriguing in its ernest mix of text and images. It’s a celebration of women really, yet it’s the ideal aloof unknowable sixties woman, not you or me or laughing until you’ve become inappropriate.
It’s not Girls, let’s say that. And I love Girls (love you Lena!) but this has a retro appeal all of its own and the storytelling somehow speaks to me in terms of my work. Sometimes you just don’t want to give away all the answers.

Mirror of Venus-4
Mirror of Venus-2

You can find a copy of Mirror of Venus here for 12/6, or thereabouts.

PLACES & SPACES…unwrapping memories


Oh Summer, why couldn’t you stay?
And yet, this morning I received a parcel that brought all the warmth and light back.
In August I stayed with friends on a boat sailing round Turkey. It was every bit as nice as that sounds, jumping off the side of the boat into crystal clear Aegean water, our towels hanging up to dry on a makeshift washing line.

The towels became a bit of an obsession with us, Turkey has such beautiful textiles and the Hammam towels they had on the boat were such pretty combinations of soft colours, they dried in minutes. The younger members of our party crashed out in the shade snuggled under them like blankets. My lovely friend Leslie and I adopted a holiday hobby of searching for replicas in the local markets.

So when I opened my parcel this morning what did I find?
Two bright pieces of Turkey, nestled in there, releasing a little more Summer into the day.