The Last Waltz

The Last Waltz by Cecille S.

Me taking a photo of ‪#‎BillCunningham‬ taking a photo of me leaving the memorial service for Eileen Ford on 5th Ave. I first met Bill when he came over to introduce himself after a ‪#‎BetsyJohnson‬ show I had participated in.IMG_5243Betsy was mad for ‪#‎RoxyMusic‬, ‘Love is the Drug,’ and had the song blasting nonstop throughout the show. I was an adventurous teenager and had recently moved from ‪#‎Jamaica‬ and was open to all things new and lovely. My eccentric and creative ‪#‎genius‬ ‪#‎photographer‬ friend ‪#‎ArielSkelly‬ had introduced Betsy to me who used me in most of her shoots and ads. Betsy took me on the ‪#‎MervGriffen‬ show with her and had me by her side while Merv interviewed and asked her and myself questions. I was toasted but happy and I opened the show on roller skates  even though I didn’t know how to skate. I drank copious amount of champagne to add ‘courage’ once I realized we would be on wheels. God Bless Betsy, for having total confidence in me not crashing into the audience. She was a cool motherf-ker! They don’t make them like her anymore!

Bill gave me walking tips and other ‘advice’- he truly had a gentle heart and was insightful, visionary, unpretentious and kind. He continued photographing me over decades, most often on 57 Street. I never thought anything of him taking photos of me. And never tracked the photos. I wasn’t interested in the finished projects. It was just a part of the adventure of my life in New York City. The (always) unexpected interaction with him which was innocent and sort of a life-affirming validation that we were connected in a pure way. There was a child-like innocence to Bill and I believed he saw the same in me. We just loved. And we loved effortless beauty, genuine style, and sweet characters. I don’t know if he was working for the New York Times then and I didn’t care. I used to wear the most beautiful fitted cocktail dresses during the daytime with bubble gum pink, blue, gold, turquoise stilettos. I had received a collection of beautifully made dresses from a friend’s grandmother who had duplicate outfits made in different colours, bright bubble gum pink, navy blue and cream dresses, all with cropped jackets, which I mixed and matched with  funky and beautiful accessories. Sometimes I wore modified suede brown cowboy boots I had found in ‪#‎Florence‬ with long black lace skirts and a fitted knitted bolero jacket. ‪#‎TinaChow‬ had also given me the most amazing riding boots made out of leather which felt like butter. I threw then away when the leather ripped, but in retrospect, I should have had those masterpiece boots repaired. They were magnificent and I had no idea who made them. Labels weren’t important, just beauty. I always had on something Bill found enticing. Mostly I think it was my genuine delight he enjoyed…him ‘popping’ up out of nowhere which brought a massive smile as brilliant as the sun to my face. That attraction continued until he took the last picture of me walking down 5th Ave (below)IMG_5992 He snapped me in many different positions then, maybe he knew this would be the last encounter. But this time, I too, took a photo of him in the process of doing the thing which gave him the most pleasure.IMG_5243 The Last Walz. The circle was completed. Bill you will/are truly missed. I am saddened to acknowledge that a pure genuine loving character will never walk among us anymore. He was One! The only one! A special, loving-human sweetheart.IMG_5251

Essential Navy Blue Summer Dress

I wore this outfit to the supermarket with beat to hell ‪#‎converse‬ ‪#‎allstar‬ sneakers and black socks with a blue trench coat. Kinda goovy but obviously I did not give a damn. I took a photo which kind of made me look dumpy and short, so I got rid of the sneakers, (I’ll do a still life later). I LOVE those sneakers which are held together by threads. I opted for the ‪#‎robertclergerie‬ ‪#‎wedges‬ sans the coat. The navy blue dress I found at one of my favorite stores, ‪#‎uniqlo‬ in Soho. It’s designed by ‪#‎inesdelafressange‬.

IMG_0797The style/fashion icon was a muse to ‪#‎KarlLagerfeld‬ seasons ago but her style and influence is long-lasting and ‘spot on,’ hence Lagerfeld’s attraction to her. I was walking to the register when I saw the dress hanging out of place, randomly, but it caught my eyes, and I had a gut feeling it was special.

IMG_0818I gave it a glance over and was instantly smitten. Simple, classic. A keeper. I purchased it without trying it on. You can add 100 variation of different underpinnings, cardigans, belts (even though it has one attached) and make it uniquely you.

IMG_0843Perfection. I added the red ‪#‎marcjacobs‬ cardigan a red and blue kerchief, some vintage specs and presto!!

PhotosbyCecille – Dress by:inesdelafressange‬ for Uniglo. Shoes – robertclergerie‬


Day Without a Dream

As sure as night is lilac and day orange. I was wondering what colour a day without a dream be. It was beginning to feel like one. I thought on the days I walked through the valley of the colours red. Orange-red, yellow red, blue red, white red. The red you see with eyes closed, head thrown toward the white of the sun. That red! I swear you too have seen. This red which burnt its image within my spirit. Placed its memory somewhere under my skin and left its blue on my soul.


PhotobyCecille – Dress: Yves Saint Laurent – Glasses: Vintage – Hat: Craft Store


Not Allowed to Vote At West 97 Street

I have not been on line for a while. Much studying and working and trying to juggle it all with not enough time in the day but I did find time to go vote and my experience was a pretty shady when I went to my usual voting location at W96 between West End Ave and Riverside Drive. I was told I could NOT vote -instead to go to102 Street and B’way. I was pressed for time and would not be able to make it to 102 Street and make my appointment. I was puzzled as all the machines were empty. Totally true. I was curious to know why had they ‘switched’ things up after all these years. I was told the reason was to prevent overcrowding, which was nonsense as that location was always efficient. Those guys have it down to a science. Barely 10 people in the space including workers. I refused to leave till I voted and they finally relented and gave me an absentee ballot to fill in. Doubtful it was ever counted. Truly very strange as I have voted at that same location for many years and never had such a dodgy encounter. Go figure… Methinks someone was not playing by the straight and narrow and most likely did not want #Bernie Sander to have a fair shot but then again I could be mistaken. What do you think?

How I Cured Lumps In My Breast

How I Cured Lumps in My Breast by Cecille

I never have to wear a bra because I have a density of tissues which causes my breast to remain upright but there is a ‘downside’ to this ‘seeming advantage,’ which is, it’s harder to to detect if there’s something awry. IMG_0313 In my case I discovered a lump and immediately dashed off to the doctor with my heart in my mouth only to be told that not only did I have 1 lump but several, which required getting tested 3 times a year. Always I had to have a sonogram because there was something suspicious in the cells every time but luckily, always benign. Then one day I decided, enough! And took matters into my hands, sat down at the computer and did a search on #Flaxseed Oil. Don’t ask me why? But obviously something had triggered this ‘hunch’ – after looking through ‘hundreds’ of articles, I came across one which resonated within. I determined to treat myself the way one would administer #antidepressants, which is to do so for 5 weeks at which time the effect would be apparent. Well, what do you know, after 5 weeks all my lumps appeared to have vanished. DSC_4874Upon visiting my doctor, the first thing she said while examining me was, “what have you been taking?” I told her and she confirmed that all the lumps had vanished. Now instead of 3 visits a year, I go once a year and all because I followed a hunch and under my own steam found something which worked whereas the doctors were unable to do so. It’s been 13 years since I first bought the #VitaminShoppe brand of Flexseed Oil capsule. I’ve tried others which I’m sure works well, but I know for a fact the Vitamin Shoppe is boss because they totally eradicated the lumps in my breast. I still have density of tissues and I don’t need to wear a bra unless an an accessory but touch wood, I’m healthy and feel marvelous. And if you ever want to donate to a cause which touches us all, give to the American Breast Cancer Society. These guys are #awesome#good# ……. #womenshealth

Blouse: Alberta Ferretti    PhotobyCecille

Indian Wells Still Racist and Misogynistic Minded

Serena Williams should never have played at that awful Indian Wells after how the adults treated her and her sister years ago. It was horrifying to watch. I would have totally crumbled but she held it together with such dignity and grace while they were taunting her and calling her nigger. We all know that she is not sewed together by hate and fear but by courage, talent and tenacity. She does not have to go back to that hellhole filled with racist, misogynistic small minded morons to show that she has forgiven them, and its water under the bridge. Why the hell should she? Her actions and history making career has proven over and over that she forgave them a long, long time ago.  I guess the ‘good thing’ is that we have seen that ‘they’ have not evolved after a decade as demonstrated by CEO Raymond Moore’s bigoted and mean spirited commentary. Serena you are my hero. Call me for advise whenever you are in a quandary. I’m always here for you

Secret To Minimalist Packing…Perfect Jacket

I am a minimalist when it comes to packing. I never check my luggage at airports. Cannot stand to do so. One carry-on bag is my mantra even when traveling for lengthy stays. I still feel as if I don’t have packing down to a science after all these years because there are always two or three items not used. Obviously this not a deal breaker because I always end up with one take-on bag no matter what.

One of the secret I’ve discovered to minimalist packing is identifying essential pieces which eliminate excess baggage and injects flavor. On this trip, the Y-3 Jacket was the fundamental shining star which pulled all the outfits together. Below are a couple of variation utilizing the Y-3 jacket.

There is something substantial about this geometric Agnes B top which is sharp, modern and classic. I found myself wearing the top for a couple of days, just switch under-layers, accessories and shoes each time. The layer underneath the Agnes B was a long-sleeve black tee. A colourful handkerchief was tied around neck to prevent chilly breeze from infiltrating inner body. Slender red cashmere scarf injects a splash of bold colour. Topping off the outfit is the ‘vital’ Gothic/modern Y-3 jacket which adds restrain and flair all the while packing a timely punch. The Jacqueline Lamont tartan cap plus white bracelets are icing.

IMG_1745IMG_1868IMG_1875Another day, another variation. Brooks Brothers boy button down white shirt. Royal blue balaclava wool hat plus blue and white handkerchief.



IMG_1045Another night, another variation. Black turtle neck, black V-Neck cashmere sweater, white button down shirt, vintage black and white heels.


IMG_0971 IMG_0972Top: Agnes B – Cap: Jacqueline Lamont – Handkerchief: Vivianne Westwood – Jacket: Y-3- Jeans: Forever 21- Boots: Sigerson Morrison – Sunglasses:Dolce & Gabbana – Bag:Marimekko – Leather Hockey Weekender:M0851

The Chinese Herbalist

The Chinese Herbalist

I rolled out of bed one morning with an insidious pain in my upper arm. I tossed it off as a sprain  I had gotten sleeping in an awkward position. Went to the cupboard reached for a bottle of Tiger balm and rubbed the heat inducing ointment to see if I could get the muscle to relinquish its grip to no avail. Somehow the low-grade pain became a normality until the following Thanksgiving came around and the celebratory day of gratitude jolted my consciousness that I had acquired the prevailing pain the previous Thanksgiving.

Something had to be done and quick! What to do? See my acupuncture, Dr. Frank at 4 Bowery in Chinatown at Lin Sisters. IMG_4565I made an appointment and went in. I had gotten overwhelmed with life and had neglected to maintain some tried and true methods which worked for mainlining my body and mind. My first request was for my batch of detox tea.  After discussing the ‘arm problem,’ needles were stuck into my flesh and laser lights positioned on the area of discomfort, the doctor walked out of the room and left me to my thoughts. Upon returning he removed the needles, massaged the area and sent me on my way. Needless to say, the pain never returned.

For decades I made it a  point of duty to see a Chinese herbalist in NYC and also when I lived in Los Angeles. A couple of times  a year I went in for a checkup and requested a cleansing tea and left with a batch on Detox tea which resembled the portion I imagined) the witches in Shakespeare’s Macbeth brewed under a dark ominous sky when Macbeth came calling for aid. but my herbs were no Eye of Newt, Toe of frog, Wool of bat nor Tongue of dog, instead my package contained twigs, barks of trees, berries, dried petals, herbs, mushrooms and God knows what else. But whatever the tea consisted of, it worked marvelously.

traditional-chinese-herbal-medicine-selection-round-wooden-bowl-over-hessian-background-30244676 imagesThe concoction had to be boiled for hours on an extremely low flame in a special earthen pot. The pungent smell lingered in my apt and the liquid resembled thick dark earth but drank it I did for the prescribed 3 days or 5 days.

Whichever friend saw me after my ‘treatment’ they always wanted to know what health spa I had been to. Their facial expression was priceless after I convinced them the results were cups of Chinese herbal tea. As you can deduct from the previous sentences, my outward appearance was unequivocally radiant.IMG_9901IMG_4572

I’m certain this method has been instrumental in maintaining a healthy glow inside and out of my body. It has contributed to knocking  years off my physical body. Recently I went in to Lin Sister for a batch of tea and was given tea packages instead of my berries, barks, bush, twigs etc. IMG_4574 Yes. Sad but true. Now that this method is ‘mainstream’  the current customers  aren’t into boiling the tea products for hours nor putting up with smelly apartments and the strong and lingering tea taste. It’s been watered down – more palpable for current customers.

Part of the magic of partaking of these rites is actually getting involved in the process. Like an Alchemist, obviously you can’t grow or collect the tea but you can find the time to prepare the tea for consumption. After all you are worth it? Right? Therein lies the magic. Time for self.