Monday, November 30, 2009

Mary Kent & Margaret....On the Lawn

Holiday weekends do require a bit of patience and perseverance, don't they? It's almost enough to make one grateful to get back to work. I watched with some amusement as Mary Kent attempted to organize a crowd of 30 for a family photo.
At least she could count on sweet-natured Margaret for cooperation. Afterward, I photographed the photographer....
Mary Kent's sweater was knit with a pattern of bronze metallic yarn, which she echoed in her bronze leather bag. Well done. And I couldn't resist one more snapshot...
...this one, of Margaret in her romantic purple jacket with the charming flower-shaped buttons.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Lane....Yellow & Black

Black is considered a safe choice, no? But for me, there is something daring about this combination: her dress, shoes, stance--even the way she looked at my camera--gave her an air of bold confidence.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Lucretia & Caroline....Forest Lake

Lucky me to meet two beguiling women who seemed genuinely interested in my work. Later, I realized I'd not only captured a bit of their colourful personae in this photo, but also a snapshot of the purple spectrum.

Lucretia's bag is very near the shade of Tyrian purple, the original purple hue derived from from the mucus of marine snails (a tad disgusting but true--one wonders who discovers such things). Caroline's dress is more of a Han purple, the purple used by the ancient Chinese to decorate their terracotta army. And in between, there's Lucretia's leather jacket--royal purple, the shade worn by Europe's medieval kings.

Purple is a loaded colour....associated with pride, aristocracy, poison, the Thai solar calendar, and on more than one occasion, my prose. My favorite purple connection, however, is with the game of Snooker Plus, in which the purple ball carries a ten-point value.

Friday, November 27, 2009


I'm still getting the hang of your American Thanksgivings, though any occasion to dress up and dine well is fine by me. This year, I was quite proud of myself when I said in Cherokee "bring me a turkey" (which sounds something like Dough-nuh-dah-Go-uh-nee, if you care to try it). Unfortunately, no turkey materialized at the table; I had to go through the buffet line like everyone else.

There, to my delight, between the squash casserole and the rice pilaf, I bumped into Peg. The sight of her sparkling eyes and darling smile filled me with gratitude. I had not seen Peg for some months and she was lovely as ever--warm, vivacious, and of course, well-dressed. After dessert, she permitted me a photo but she insisted.....

...that she must first find a little lipstick. That rascal Mr. Peg urged me to capture her in action, so I did. I include the picture here as proof that Peg is stylish from every angle.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Reid....Dueling Plaids

Unlike poor Alexander Hamilton at the hands of Aaron Burr, no one was mortally wounded. Still I noticed a bit of a face off between my pal Reidy's scarf and jacket--and I like it. It's just the sort of jolt this gloomy building on the USC campus needs. Perhaps you can also make out the tiny bulls on Reid's tie (the symbol of Spain, I take it, not some form of sartorial commentary).

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

AnnaBelle & Travis....Lady & Lincoln

I quite admire Ms. AnnaBelle's eye for fabric and this skirt (of her own design) is no exception. It goes nicely, don't you think, with this pair's youthful zest?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Clark....Lincoln Street

I often see this gentleman around town wearing the most charming little hats. After visiting his studio, I've now seen more examples of his refined sense of proportion--the perfectly sized lampshades for his intriguing line of lamps. It's been a while since I've tippled sufficiently to don a lampshade. Hats, on the other hand, I'm quite sober about endorsing.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Margey....City Art

I attended a dance performance at City Art's gallery where I discovered it was all about the legs. Though like me, she was just a spectator, this woman's seamed stockings could not be ignored.
Margey's saucy style didn't begin and end there, as you can see. As for those spectator pumps, I believe even the Duke of Windsor would approve. Though bootmaker John Lobb is said to have designed the first spectator shoe for cricket, it is of course old Windy who made them fashionable, back in the 1930s.

No idea where Margey secured the rest of her ensemble, as I was fixated upon the stockings. Those she told me she found at Hip Wa Zee.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Marley & Shannon....Gervais Street

How does that go: "Lovely is the head that wears the crown"? Lest you think I encountered royalty sporting the crown jewels on a mere stroll down Gervais, allow me to clarify: the Misses were participating in Thursday night's Vista Lights. Along with their tiaras and excellent posture, I particularly liked Marley's winter white coat and pleated skirt ensemble.

I also took note of their sweet dispositions and good manners...perhaps because I've been watching that (very funny) television show about South Carolina's beauty queens called King of the Crown.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Soccer Fans....Stone Stadium

On a chilly night, the major fashion trend was whatever-it-takes-to-be-warm. This fan stood out in a sea of garnet, gray, and black sweatshirts. Her kelly green was not nearly as loud, though, as the collective moan in the stands when the Gamecocks lost the match in the final second.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Jewitte....Vista Lights

This woman's mod-ish look put me in mind of grand old times on Carnaby Street. Her dress, Jewitte told me with a shrug, probably came from T.J. Maxx: "Definitely nothing boutique-ish," she said. Her glasses are Cole Haan from 20!20 Vision in Five Points.

Monday, November 16, 2009


I watched this young man alternate between scribbling in a journal and cutting his steak in an odd little rhythm, in time (I'm supposing) to the music playing on his headphones. Seated at the rustic wooden bar surrounded by snowdrifts, he seemed appropriate in his hat, scarf, and fingerless gloves. I shivered, rubbed my hands for warmth, and ordered a hot toddy; for a moment, I believed myself to be in a drafty little tavern somewhere near the North Pole.

North Pole? I beg your pardon, sir. This was Harbison, still 60 degrees outside well after sunset. And that snow wasn't real; it was part of the holiday motif.

Daniel, however, was as genuine as they come. We chatted briefly, I reluctant to interrupt his solitude, he politely assuring me that he didn't mind at all. He offered that he was listening to music, reading his Bible, "and trying to figure some things out." No mention, though, of how the fingerless gloves figured in.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Christina....Red Shoes

Funny how it happens: you casually read about something and then it seems to turn up everywhere. I'd just read about the restoration of the fabulous 1948 film "The Red Shoes" when...voila...I see stunning red shoes on an even more stunning young woman.

Two aspects I admire here--first, Christina garbs herself all in gray, then punctuates with these crimson pumps (called "The Belinda Ornament Pump" to which I say "indeed"). Second, I delight in Christina's high/low combination--pricey shoes by Loeffler Randall, stockings from Walmart. Of course, don't we all look more stunning when we stand on a leopard carpet, this one courtesy of VanJean. (My thanks to Molly for yet another photo.)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Derrick....The Vista

After this last bit of gruesome weather, I wondered if I'd ever leave home again. I was certain all of Columbia felt the same way. Then my friend Molly phoned yesterday to say not only had she ventured out but that she'd just encountered a snappy dresser. "Do take a picture," I begged.

Drenching rains and screaming winds left Derrick no worse for the wear. Perhaps it's because he's a fashion design student at the university. Coat from Banana Republic, hat from Target.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


When I looked at this photo, dear reader, I paused and scratched my balding pate: what, pray tell, is that woman doing with her hands? Then, aha, I remembered our conversation.

Molly recently attended a photography event in New York City. (No, this is not fallout from a workshop on posing...bear with me.) While in Manhattan, she purchased a skull pin from Topshop, which she's framing with her hands in this photo. Said pin is attached to a shirt she also got in New York, at H&M, for a fabulously low price...something along the lines of $7. The green scarf, she reminded me, matches her car.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Charlotte....Crossing Woodrow

Waiting for the light at Woodrow and Devine, I did a double take. My stars and garters, what a pair of knee socks. I had to catch up to the wearer, so I made a sharp turn, zoomed a block, and leapt (well, as much as I can leap these days) from my auto.
Charlotte was positively adorable head to toe with her striped shirt, alpine-esque legwear, zipper-pocketed skirt and zippered shoes. Then, be still my heart, she produced, yes, a Hello Kitty bicycle helmet. I am mad for Hello Kitty. I have no idea why.
Charlotte said socks (from Target) and helmet (from Walmart) were both children's department finds. "I'm actually a fan of the kids' section," she said. "Everything else was thrifted."

Charlotte told me that she, too, has a blog and understands the horror/thrill/emotional toll/etiquette quagmire of accosting innocent strangers to take their photographs. She makes some amusing observations and posts her cartoons (which delight me as much as her socks), so take a look.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Style in Motion....Governor's Cup

I was having early morning coffee and apple pastries at my friend Millicent's when we noticed a bit of a parade outside. "Oh it's race day!" Milli said. "Do you suppose the half-marathoners are taking a shortcut?"

Delicious! A scandal, I hoped. But turns out that we were on the sidelines of the official course for the 4K walk...and what a charming group these walkers turned out to be...unhurried and with enough breath to chat. (Some competitors and I speculated: might they be serving Mimosas at the refreshment table just up the street? I ambled over to check: alas, no.)
Quite a few managed to look fashionably put together in the heat (or should I say chill) of battle. I quite liked this lady's red hat and jacket. A huzzah for them all! Nothing is so becoming as cheeks flushed by a bit of healthy exercise.
Next, coffee in hand, we strolled over to Devine Street, where the half-marathoners were streaming past. I was amused by this two-woman pep squad, volunteers both, who promised the poor runners that it was all downhill from here. Indeed.
Still, their bouyant attitudes were inspiring; these sunny smiles can make even boxy orange safety vests look appealing. Perhaps the biggest drama of the race unfolded here....
....when this sophisticated-looking woman scurried across to open one of the Devine Street boutiques....
....barely evading the next wave of sweaty runners. As the cheerleaders in orange next to me might have yelled: "Woohoo. Smellin' great! You go girl."

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Carol....Long Cardigan

Carol seemed to be weighing her options: should she smile?.... or clonk me on the head and run for her her life? Is it possible that someone who resembles me is featured on a wanted poster in the nearby Trenholm Plaza post office? Could she have been unnerved when I followed her into and out of Starbucks without purchasing so much as a cafemochacremawhattalatte?

"It's the sweater," I said, sounding perhaps a little desperate. She looked round at her handsome companion, worry on her brow. He did not quickdraw a sidearm. Instead, he offered to hold her coffee.

And it was the that flatters the wearer yet keeps all the cozy blanket qualities that the best sweaters possess. Carol told me she has a couple of long sweaters, in fact, and that she often prefers wearing them instead of jackets.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Donna....Columbia Airport

Donna and I arrived on the same flight from Washington, DC. Even before we boarded the plane, I was taken with her combination of plaid skirt, patterned tights, and winter white boots. In baggage claim, I gingered up a bit of moxie and asked: Are you returning home to Columbia? No, she told me, she was just arriving from California, visiting here for the first time.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Bob....A Suitable Tie?

Upon hearing that I had photographed her husband, Bob's darling wife issued a plea: could I re-shoot her beloved when he was wearing a suitable tie? Her concern is touching but I see no problem with his tie. Besides, when a man shares a genuine laugh with you, as indeed this good-natured man has, who will notice his tie even were it handmade by monks in the Italian Alps from the silk-spun hair of angels?

But (as I've heard the young people say) that's just me.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

All Hallows Eve....At the Market

On a late afternoon jaunt to the grocery store, I encountered these three shoppers. Had we been nearer a port, I might have thought they'd come ashore to stock their pirate ship.
While Pan and Hook paused for a photo, Princess Tiger Lily seemed intent on resolving a recipe question with her mum. (Note Hook's fashion sensibility--sporting not one but, by my count, three belts, plus doubloon-adorned pumps.) I do hope this charming trio had a tremendous evening!