5.10.10

silence is golden: portrait of kate lanphear, in coat worn as cape



When I saw Kate Lamphear in London recently for fashion week, I wanted to respect her time. After all, I'd already asked to shoot her in February ('don't you know who i am?'). This time, other people were shooting her and I just piggy backed along. (People did it with my shots, too: it was weird. You'd ask to shoot someone, set up a shot, and suddenly, a flock of other people with cameras - bloggers, mostly, bless them - would gather around. I've seen several of 'my shots' up on blogs - shots I haven't even got round to posting yet).

I was actually contacted by the NY Daily News, for that post on Kate. They wanted to know my thoughts and experience meeting Kate Lanphear, and I replied that I was sorry, but for once, I really didn't have a story. They quoted my blog anyway, verbatim, but instead of crediting my name, as they did the others, I was simply 'a London blogger'. What can you do.

Notice how, in the nice weather, Kate was rocking a trend that's been going around: coat worn as cape. It looked like a clearly deliberate choice, too.




Curious to learn more about her then, I tried googling around. It unnerved me a bit that two sources of information about Kate Lanphear led to my own blog.. she's not in Wikipedia, I can't find anything that talks of a private life, even the word 'boyfriend' brings up 'boyfriend jackets' or someone else's boyfriend.. but I did find this one piece which really says it all, titled 'Kate Lanphear fed her interns pizza'. One was quoted as saying: "The editor also treated her underlings like real, sustenance-needing human beings: “She is honestly one of the nicest people that I’ve met in the industry..."




A friend, who shall remain anonymous as she works for a high profile fashion company, also shot her during LFW, and she said Kate was cool about having her photo done. Of course. But when she realised that she was actually filming the conversation, she put her hand up - politely, almost wistfully, and said 'Sorry, I don't do videos'.

There is something incredibly powerful about a beautiful woman who never seems to speak. Look at the Mona Lisa, for example. Remember how enigmatic the other Kate, i.e. Moss, seemed, back before we heard her wonderful Croydon accent? The idea of a woman who lets her image speak for her, absolutely fascinates me. I'd love to be like that. I should try it, for a week. Go on a verbal diet. Do all my posts with just images. No long comments on people's posts, either. I bet I wouldn't last an hour.

Whenever I see Kate Lanphear, she is almost always alone, being mobbed by people who want to take her photo. It's as if they want to solve that mystery. There is something vulnerable about her, I feel: that slightly haunted, hunted look. She reminds me of another beautiful icon who also fiercely guarded her privacy, who famously wanted to be alone: Greta Garbo.

14 comments:

the Citizen Rosebud said...

I love this post. She is indeed enigmatic. My friend Kerry absolutely adores her; she sent me a link to a couple of Kate Lamphear fan sites. She looks amazing, and unique. I never thought about it until you noted it: she is almost always alone, or at least come across that way, and vulnerable with an edge. There is something about her that I warm up to. She looks cool, not in a chilly way, but in a bad ass way. Ah beauty.

the style crusader said...

oh beautiful words on her jill. i love that haunted/hunted bit... these photographs are so beautiful. so funny how this jacket as a cape thing is doing SERIOUS rounds! haha. i think i might rock it tomorrow... xx

polka dot said...

Thank you both. It (coat as cape) has to be the easiest trend to rock: I mean, most of us own a coat, but not a cape. And the beauty of this trend is, when it's over - when 'everyone' is doing it - we can simply go back into sticking our arms into the sleeves. Hey, presto! Coat as cape coat becomes cape coat as coat.

How weird: (Jen) I was just writing to you, we literally overlapped.

Rosebud, I like that phrase: cool not in a chilly way.

Veshoevius said...

Yeah but how do stop it falling off your shoulders when you have practical things to do - like get from A to B in a hurry or catch the underground at rush hour?

polka dot said...

Well, clearly, Veshoevius, if you're a true style icon you never take public transport. DUH.

Since when does practicality enter into the fashion equation? I mean, look at shoes. ; )

Looking Fab in your forties said...

Wonderful post, I am always fascinated by your writing and the way you make me think about things and people, like why Kate is always alone.

Damsels said...

its good to know that she is in the fashion industry and therefore she probably believes that her image is important but still likes to keep her self private.

i would do the same

Mother of Style said...

I totally wish I could be one of the mysterious women! I am a total chatterbox, and the quiet types always fascinate me. Nice post :)

Martine : D said...

Really great post! @ Mother of style : And I totally wish I was a chatterbox! I suppose that would be a lot better, like making contacts more easily ; ) Shall we change for a moment? :P

Prêt à Porter P said...

I think we forget that these people aren't "celebrities." These are the worker bees that never were in front of the camera until maybe 3 years go when the whole street style blog really took off. I think it's nice that someone like Carine and Anna (Dello Russo) are so open, but still I really respect the others that are more private too.

polka dot said...

Pret: you are such a wise old soul. (Damsels, too: I like what you said). I never thought of it like that but of course; people like Kate never courted publicity, she's just a stylish worker bee.

Martine & Mother of Style: isn't that funny. If you two swap please let me know how that works out for you. I should take a vow of silence tomorrow, but for me that's like giving up sugar and white flour: I just don't see it happening.

Style Odyssey said...

Jill, I've thought of posting w/out text, too- except for the what-I'm-wearing part. How'd it work for you? I didn't see...Maybe you didn't do it after all....? The Sartorialist is a great example of posting without text, the majority of the time. A single image only. Powerful.
As much as I enjoy reading, I like an image that's powerful and mysterious enough to say it all, and yet say nothing at all- enigmatically.

Excellent shots of Kate Lanphear. I doubt she set out to be so identifiable. Must seem so strange to her, having so much attention focused on how she's dressed. Surreal, even.

xo

Dash said...

I met her last month at the Katie Gallagher Presentation at NY Fashion Week, and just like you said, she was SO sweet. When I told her she was my style icon and asked her for a picture, she kindly obliged, and then asked me if I wanted another one! It made everything feel right in the world. lol. I put the pics up on my blog. And I love yours btw.

Anonymous said...

i also ran into her and couldnt believe how nice and approachable she was...