Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Honeymoon pictures of parents are gold mines. Dressed in their new travel wardrobes, celebrating their first rites of adulthood (people married young before we came along) there's a candid glamour not found in posed wedding photos.
Natalia's parents, who turn 80 this year, were just kids playing adults when they married in Chile, in 1959. Juan put on his best spats and let his new wife, Maria Teresa, an Ava Gardner twin, pour one out for him.
Natalia writes: "They've been together since they were 13 and 15, respectively... one could say that's a lifetime. My mom has always been a huge inspiration to my siblings and myself, both professionally and personally. She's never had formal studies, but back in 1973 (military coup in Chile) my dad was kicked out of his job for political reasons, which made them start from zero and build their own path. She helped him out with a little accountancy office they decided to start up at home. I also remember hearing she cooked lentils and beans for at least 10 years 'til things got a bit better - I bet it was a hard time, but no doubt it made them grow stronger as a couple. About this particular picture, I can say that it never stops amazing me: they look as if they were posing for a Coca-Cola ad, don't they? Gives me a huge nostalgia for those happy, full of life days."
Big news: MMTSI was featured in Chile's leading daily newspaper. That means we'll be getting a tour of Chilean fashion from bygone days. First in line: Angela shared these two unbelievably cooler-than-thou photos of her mom, Maribel. The year is 1987. The location is Chillan, Chile. The look is 30 years ahead of its time. Memo to the girl at the free outdoor Catpower concert in Prospect Park: you're wearing Maribel's blouse.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Moms do beauty well. This is not a generalization, it's a fact. They practically invented make-up. Our generation just took some of the work out of it. Miss June Miller, mother of Benefit cosmetics co-founders June and Jean Ford, who was featured in my Lucky MMTSI column in (appropriately) June, inspired her beauty guru daughters. We had a cool idea to partner up and offer two copies of My Mom Style Icon along with their new chacha tint lip and cheek stain which makes beauty touch-ups a lot faster than mamma's make-up routine.
Folks in the US can enter to win the giveaway (ending 7/27/11) by commenting on this here post and answering the following question: what's your favorite makeup tip from mom? The winner will be randomly selected but I still want your mom's advice.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Kelly Cooney Cilella, of Los Angeles writes:
"The picture is of my mom (in blue) and her mother-in-law/my paternal Grandmother (in red & white). The photo was taken in Florida on a family trip around 1977. My mom Mickey has always had fabulous style. At the time of this photo, she was raising four kids all under the age of 8 or 9, yet she still managed to put together a look worthy of Style Icon status. The woman knows how to accessorize. A year or so after this photo was taken, I was born, and shortly-thereafter my mom was diagnosed with breast-cancer. Every year on my birthday, she tells me that I’m the reason she’s still alive. She made a promise to herself that she would see me turn sixteen. I am happy to say that she has been in remission for over 30 years. She has seen all 5 of her kids graduate from college, marry amazing people, and start having children of their own. She is the proud grandmother of 13. And today, as she turns 68, she is still the most stylish woman I know."
Happy Birthday Mickey! You're an inspiration!
Monday, May 30, 2011
It wasn't until I turned 30 that I realized just how much my mom and I had in common: we both loved her style. At 17 Sophie Vandenbrouck is light years ahead of me. She writes:
"This is a picture of my mom, Adriana, when she was in her 20s. This photo was taken somewhere in Mexico by my dad. There is no date on the picture but it must have been taken around the 1980s. I found this while organizing my old school stuff, and I gasped as soon as I saw it. When I showed it to my dad he stared at it for a second and then said only, "I remember that swimsuit." I showed it to my sister and she insisted on making it her profile picture, but I got to keep the original picture. This picture shows off a carefree side of her that I never knew but I know existed from her stories of her youth. I feel like we would have been good friends if I did know her back then."
Maria Nieves Zedeño sent in this photo of her mom Maria "Meni" Mercedes Tibau in 1973 in Salinas, Ecuador
Maria writes: "This was her second honeymoon. My mother was a poet. Writing defined her and that she did everyday, even though
her main job was at home with us. "Meni" was an insightful and encouraging mother and wife. A bohemian to boot, she also adored everything Hollywood, specially Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, and Audrey Hepburn. In this photo, she is channeling Hepburn in the French Riviera: Navy buttondown, stripped reggata pants, a headband, and gold sandals. Simple, summery, and totally chic."
Sunday, May 8, 2011
Meredith and Heather Blake contributed these two brilliant artifacts from the Blake matriarchy.
Meredith writes: "First one is of my parents, Joe and Jane, on their wedding day in 1975. It was at the National Cathedral in DC. My dad's pants were way too short. This is actually the best shot. My mom's dress came from Garfinckel's, a now-defunct department store in DC. I love the high neckline and antique lace--despite the years that have passed, the look feels fresh given all the strapless satin numbers so many contemporary brides wear. Though maybe Kate Middleton (and my mom) will change things...
"The second one is my grandmother, Bernie, on her wedding day in 1927. Check out the amazing finger waves! She was anything but a Zelda Fitzgerald type, but I love the flapper look on her. I have a strand of pearls from the necklace she's wearing in the picture."
April Goettle of Lyons, Nebraska, is the daughter of a cowboy and a rodeo rider. This is one of two photos of her parents together.
"This photo was taken in Montana when I was maybe 2 or 3? probably in 1976 or so. A family member found me through Facebook and e-mailed the photo to me. My mom, Kathy, and dad, John, were only married a short time, and I only have one photo other than this of them together, so this was a special gem.
"My mom epitomizes a Montana woman- she's an avid horsewoman and was a top rodeo rider in high-school and college. She was also a great seamstress- she learned from my great-grandmother, who made everything, even her own stockings! My guess is she made both of our dresses in this photo, as well as my dad's western snap shirt. After seeing this photo for the first time, I understand why I love saddle shoes! I love that without trying my mom is the focus of this photo..."
Susan Stratton sent in a series of photos of her mother Alpine Walker Dykes from the 1940s.
"Here, she is a young student from Florida State University, which was all all-girls school at the time. She had come down to the University of Florida (all boys school) with friends for a picnic day to meet some boys. Not having brought the right clothes, she borrowed a guy's jeans and T-shirt and really rocked the look with her tiny 98 pound frame. She was an early adopter of the current "boyfriend jean" craze. She was intensely social all her life, and here she is in the midst of the party drinking a beer, smoking a cigarette and looking effortlessly stylish. I'm guessing that his was 1946."
"In the above picture, around 1945, my mom poses in a costume she made herself for a dance class. She was in the teaching program at Florida State University. In the bottom picture, she is posing with my dad, whom she met while student teaching. She always had great legs and knew how to vogue for the camera."
"She passed away a few years ago at age 90 and I and my brother Al miss her vibrant personality every day."
Sarah Lipscomb writes:
"My mom was friends with a couple of photographers in Houston. Their names were
Ogden and Jim- They were a fun loving gay couple who launched a photography
business together back in the 60's. They used my family to model for them all
the time—especially my mom because she was so beautiful. Hobby Airport tried
to start a monorail and the photographers used my mom to help promote the
concept to Houston. She is standing in front of it in the photo. The monorail
never came to fruition but the photograph lives on to help us remember
that time. My older sister was 2 years old at the time, so she was a
young mom but she looks like a glamorous jet setting career woman on her way to
somewhere fabulous. Instead she was probably headed to the grocery store to pick
up dinner and vacuum cleaner bags on the way home."
Julie Hearne writes:
The picture is of my mother, Sharon Thompson with my dad, Wendell Hearne. It was taken in Dallas in 1965. I love the picture because Mom not only looks stylish, but confident and beautiful. This was the time they both knew they would be together, as they are now. Only in her forties did people begin to assume that my mom wasn't my sister...
Friday, May 6, 2011
Hannah Sung sent in two incredible photos of her mother, a bona fide style icon.
"I found the two photos I love best that showcase my mom's rad 70s style. The one with the hat was taken in Korea and the photo of the winter white outfit was taken at Niagara Falls soon after she moved to Canada to marry my dad."
According to Hannah's mom, the white outfit was donated to the Salvation Army which means someone somewhere has this outfit hanging in her closet with a $3 tag hanging off it. Not fair. Any information on the whereabouts of Hannah's dad's glasses might offer some consolation.
This photo also has me wondering if there's an archive of Niagara Falls honeymoon photos somewhere. Maybe in an area restaurant or in the landmark's museum, a wall of brand new couples, decade after decade, standing together in front of an icy, white explosion. Wouldn't that be something.
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Here's an idea courtesy of the must-read blog A Mom Less Ordinary: turn your copy of My Mom Style Icon into your own scrapbook by pasting your mom's photos on the inside covers of the book. Add a few stick-on photo corners for a old-school scrapbook look. Snap a photo of your personalized book with your mom's pictures and I'll post it on the blog.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Day 3 of the blog tour and we arrive at Another Day to Dress Up. You might remember blogger Megan as Modcloth's blogger of the moment. She's one of those people who makes vintage look easy. I'm medium to full-blown obsessed with everything in her etsy store, especially this. So now it's all becoming clear where she gets it. She's a fourth generation style icon. See her great grandmother, an original flapper, above.
And her grandma.
And her mom (center)
It's just in Megan's blood.
Check out more photos from her family archive here.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
It's day two of My Mom Style Icon's weeklong blog tour (first stop was Kendi Everyday), and we just struck gold. Jen Lula of the blog jen loves kev posted a few amazing photos of her mom along with a giveaway post. Let's talk about her mom's Steampunk lace dress and Baltimore record nerd glasses on her mom. Don't even breath a word about the fact that she's on a plate. Its.too.cool.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
For prom season, submission that exhibits what being mom style icon is all about:
"Here is a picture of my Mom (Elizabeth Lanahan-Dodd) in 1960 in a prom dress that she made. It was a gorgeous pink satin material,there was pink netting at the top off the shoulders and small silk flowers placed around the dress ever so delicately. Her picture reminds me of the Hollywood starlets waiting around before the start of the Oscars.
Later when my Mom and Dad were raising the family they always put us kids first. Along comes my 6th grade production of The Nutcracker and I was the Sugar Plum Fairy. All the kids in the play had to have parents provide the costumes. My mom made the ultimate sacrifice, she cut up her beautiful prom dress into a smaller ballerina costume for me. I will never ever come close to repaying her for what she did for me. Not to mention my siblings constantly ripping me for 'Oh if it wasn't for The Sugar Plum Fairy needing a costume, we would still have Mom's vintage prom dress!'"
Happy mother's day Mrs. Lanahan-Dodd!
You can't look at this photo and tell me Ali Kruse's parents weren't the most popular couple in school. Catherine and Richard met in English class their junior year of high school in 1974. Ali's mom Catherine says: "Rich had long hair and came to my house to pick me up in a very loud green Mustang Fastback (1967, I think), with the word "Mischief" printed on the side. You can imagine what my parents thought of him."
Holy crap. This is my favorite piece of information ever submitted to the blog.
She continues: "Of course we both thought each other looked very cool. We fit in with all our friends. And yes, I did make my dress."
Catherine fashioned the belt and halter portion out of window curtains and kept her dress long.
"You can't see it from the picture but I had the highest platform wooded sandals I could find."
They didn't stop her from hitting the dance floor: "I was voted "Best Dancer" in our class."
Things haven't much changed since prom, 1975, according daughter Ali: "My mom looks exactly like she did 35 years ago. My brother can't tell us apart from a distance."
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Today, I'm taking notes from Shaunya Hartley's mom. Oatmeal colored blazer, popped collar, glossy lips. Yes please.
Not surprisingly, Shaunya's gorgeous mom gave birth to a vintage savant who runs a the blog Vintage Shaun and the kind of vintage etsy clothing store that will make your hand-me-down loving head explode. Just look at this blazer by the 70s label Carlyle she's currently selling.
I'm still holding out for the oatmeal blazer though.
Usually a leopard print coat upstages every other outerwear in eyesight. Unless there's a red, heavily fur trimmed floor length overcoat and matching hat beside it. Eden Folwell's mom was a fashion warrior, with the ability to turn a virtual santa costume into something elegant and downright flattering. Kids, don't try this at home.
Eden writes: "It's 1974 and this is the way my mother dressed on a daily basis. Wigs, fake lashes, all a normal part of watching her get dressed."
I wish there was archive video footage so we could all watch.
One of the most impressive things about vintage mom style is how much of it homemade.
Susie Mutschler, 34, submitted these photos of her mom Trish as a high school student in the late 60s. "The pictures were taken in my one of my mom's many childhood homes (she was an army brat and moved around quite regularly) in Elmhurst, Illinois. My mom was the oldest daughter (and third in line) of eight children. She was incredibly crafty and sewed both of these outfits herself. She eventually took her sewing to a whole other level and made award winning quilts. As children we appreciated, and consistently wore, her home sewn outfits until she branched off into underwear and swimsuits!"
The first photo was just before she left for prom. The second could be any day during her teenage years. Look at that exasperated what-do-you-want now expression. Amazing. "My mom was an incredible woman. She was endlessly creative and artistic. Later in life she worked as an educator and many of my memories are of my two sisters and I teasing her about the teacher clothes she wore (some with matching pins) and the mom jeans she sported. She was always up for a shopping trip to update her style - mostly because she loved spending time with her girls. These pictures remind me that my mom was beautiful, creative and a style icon I can only hope to emulate."
When I opened Josh Mills's email submission of his mom, I knew the rest of my day was shot. Several hours into my internet research of Edie Adams, I'm still mesmerized. Adams was one of the great american entertainers—a Tony award winning Broadway star, an Emmy winning comedian and a shrewd pitchwoman.
Josh writes: "This photo is from one of her Muriel Cigar ads that ran for close to a decade. She was always pretty sexy and the guys noticed the twinkle in her eye when she said, 'Why don’t you pick one up and smoke it sometime'. Muriel sales went up tenfold when she became the pitch-woman for the brand."
Here she is in a 1965 commercial for the cigar with Stan Getz, you know, the jazz legend.
In addition to commercials, and leading roles in Broadway musicals, the Julliard graduate had a thriving film career, appearing in Billy Wilder's The Apartment, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, and my personal favorite, "Love with the Proper Stranger" a film that tackled abortion and one-night-stands from a female perspective all the back in 1963. Still, much of her career was spent on TV. Here she is on the series finale of I Love Lucy, helmed by her fellow female comedy star.
She had impeccable timing and a knack for parody but funny wasn't usually what the entertainment industry sought out from women. Early on in her career she won a chance to perform along side Milton Berle, but there was a caveat: "I was permitted to sing so long as I wore a bathing suit," Edie once recalled. But one man took her talents seriously. Husband Ernie Kovacs, the celebrated comedian, joined forces with Edie as a comedy team performing on variety shows together. Here they are together on the Dinah Shore Chevy show.
When Ernie died in 1962, Edie was just 32 years old. Upon his death, "Edie collected, acquired, preserved and jealously guarded video tapes and kinescopes of the shows he created and in which they both appeared more than fifty years ago," writes Josh who now controls both Ernie and Edie's archives. "Edie devoted many years of her life to planning the return of these shows to the air and home video."
Without her partner in life and business, Edie turned to new projects to stave off debt and heartache. This is where her business acumen came in. She bought an almond farm. That's right, almonds, and in 1967, developed a chain of beauty shops called “Edie Adams Cut and Curl”, that still exists today. She also set up Ediad Productions, Inc., which owns the rights to early 60s music-variety television series featuring jazz greats Andre Previn, Louis Armstrong, Bob Hope, Duke Ellington, Stan Getz, Sammy Davis, Jr."
In 1982, 20 years before her death, she was asked by People Magazine for advice on love. Her response?
"You have to get independent first and then find someone who is not threatened by you...Every time I get lonesome these days, I start another business."
For more photos and stories from Edie's life, check out Josh's archive, at edieadams.com.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
It's 4/20. You know what that means? It's the first day of the official My Mom Style Icon/ModCloth Contest.
(cue fancy royal horn blowing)
Introducing the Inherited Hauteness contest, sponsored by Modcloth, the online destination for all your favorite mom-inspired fashions. Share your fashionable mom photos and in the process score a chance to win a signed copy of My Mom Style Icon the book and $100 ModCloth Gift Card.
Here are the steps to enter:
1. Between now and May 4, log into your Tumblr account. If you don’t have one, take 3 seconds and make one.
2. Post a vintage photo of your mom sporting her old school attire.
3. Add a caption briefly expressing why your mom is your style icon.
4. Tag your photo with #ModMoms.
Just the facts, m'am:
Contest dates: April 20 - May 4
Only one entry per person allowed.
Modcloth will randomly select two people to win a signed copy of the book, and one person to win a signed copy as well as a $100 ModCloth gift card.
For more rules and regs check out the Modcloth contest post and then 'accidentally' click on the link to their store and spend the next 2 hours shopping. Just be sure to maintain a concerned expression and occasionally flutter your fingers over the keyboard, so your boss thinks you're hard at work.
Friday, April 15, 2011
When this photo started downloading the first thing I saw was the hand-painted sign and I knew the lady standing underneath it would blow my mind. She didn't let me down.
Bernadette Rose Zacharias, 28, of Lawrence, Kansas writes:
"This is a photo of my mother, Kathleen Prosise, that I believe was taken in 1975. In this picture she is standing in front of the jewelry store she owned with my father, of which she hand-painted the sign herself! My mom was a California blonde translocated to kansas, she was a painter, jeweler, and of course a style fanatic. This look, the combo of a sweater-dress (braless, of course!) go-go boots and fluffy cotton candy hair remained a signature for her even after I was born. I always think about her when I get dressed."
Is that weird? Lisa Conner's mom makes it look so cool.
Conner of Denver, CO sent this incredible shot of her mom Gail Owen Freeman in the mid 1960s:
"My mother was raised in a small town (Lubbock Tx to be precise), and met my father, a New Yorker, when he was stationed in San Antonio, TX -she was finishing up college there. After a whirlwind romance, they got engaged and then married, and she hightailed it out of her dusty small town life for a glamourous life in NYC on Park Avenue with him. She fully embraced city life and was so excited to flex her fashion muscles in a place she found thrilling, exciting and glamorous. My mom was simply out for a stroll with my brother, her first born, at Central Park, and look how she is so done up!
She was fully into the role of being a Manhattanite--real leopard coat (matching pillbox hat left at home)--as much as it bugs me that it is real, it was passed down from her mother-in-law, and back then there was not the stigma attached to it as there is today (and should be!). She has some big tortoise glasses in her hand. She always had a penchant for oversized sunglasses, hats and fantastic accessories, and does to this day.
I wish she had more of her wardrobe from back then. No doubt I'd be pillaging many finds. Sadly, she was storing all of her gorgeous clothes-much of it couture-in a house next door to them that in the eighties, and someone pulled up with a van one night, broke in and stole all of her dressier clothing, couture, gowns, jackets, etc. What was worse than losing the monetary value of all those collectibles was losing the memories and the collection that connected her to memories of her exciting past. Each outfit had a specific set of memories as to when it was worn and what was going on in her life at that particular time. Each garment was a milestone in the museum of her past."
Sunday, April 3, 2011
This picture makes it impossible not to reference Austin Powers. I don't care if quoting Mike Myers' movie characters is dated and unfunny. Jennifer Janesko's mom Rita makes me think the 1960's world of beautiful women in mind-bending colors, patterns and hemlines, wasn't just the stuff of '90s movie parody. We're not worthy.
Jennifer Janesko of Kansas City, MO writes:
"The photo was taken sometime between 1968 and 1970 in my parents first home in Kansas City. It's my favorite because it combines my mom's love of fashion with her sense of humor. I wish she still had this dress, I would borrow it! I spent a lot of my youth at the mall and I will just go ahead and blame her for my love of shopping. Today, I am starting my own fashion line. We still shop together, except now, I don't have to page her when I get lost."
Thursday, March 31, 2011
A trailer for a book? That's right: I have seen the future of publishing and it looks a lot like my parents. Jessica Dimmock and Mark Jackson took time away from making real movies to film a promotional video for the book based on this here blog, My Mom, Style Icon (Chronicle Books). After several back-and-forths with agents, and one very heated negotiation involving the promise of lox and bagels, we also got my parents, Monroe and Marilyn, to join in the filmmaking fun. Above is the official trailer. Below is the extended director's cut. Please forgive my disgusting fingernails. They were not ready for their close-up, nor will they ever be.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
It's been awhile since I've given away another Nuh-Uh Award. The prestigious honor is bestowed on a photo of a mom that makes me go Nuh-Uh audibly when I first see it. The sound, though guttural, is the highest form of compliment, meant to convey that I'm blown away by the rare combination of beauty, accessories and chutzpah exemplified in a single photograph. Obviously, this shot of Harriet Glazer's mom Thelma Muskin in 1955 made me utter those two syllables. I'm sure it made you do the same.
Loves me some Brett Michaels but the bandanna looks a lot better on Katherine Johnson's mom.
Johnson writes: "This is a photo of my mom in 1965. She made the bandana chic! These days one just can't seem to rock a head scarf like they could back in the day. I love this photo because she looks so put-together, even wearing a parka in this outdoor setting (I think it was taken by my dad while they were camping)."
It's hard not to fall in love with Summer Flood's mother in this photo. Flood, the blogger behind A Mom Less Ordinary writes: "Linda Jukes Davison, was 26 in this picture - taken in November 1973 by my dad when they were dating. Not many people could rock an orange jumpsuit! I'd love to know what shoes she wore with that. I like to picture cork wedges...and, yes, all that hair is real. It would have been her 63rd birthday on September 28th, so I'm feeling a little lonely for her."
I fell into a serious Mama Cass hole last night. I watched about 350 videos of the singer on YouTube, if my search history is accurate (plus or minus a few cat paws on the keyboard.) When we think about female fashion icons of the late 60s and early 70s, witchy groupies likes Patti Boyd, Pamela Courson and Marianne Faithful come to mind. But Cass Elliot, who was in fact a mama, was one of the major sex symbols of her time. Always over-the-top in jewel-tones, oversized bows and caftans, Cass didn't shy away from looks that celebrated her figure rather than downplay it. She dressed as boldly as she sang and it drove her fans bonkers. They threw room keys and flowers at her onstage. She was the Tom Jones of lady crooners. Or rather he was the Mama Cass of male crooners.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Dear Cecily Allen, daughter of Renee an Wesley Allen,
You may be in possession of the coolest parents ever. First of all, the above picture was taken at someone else's wedding (in the mid-70s) and your mom wore white. Two words: my hero. The crocheted shawl? The strapless peasant dress? The mood ring? The man who un-ironically and unapologetically wears ruffles and a bow-tie? Yes Please. All four.
Piper (but I feel I speak for every woman)
P.S. This photo rocks too
P.P.S. Cecily writes: "This photo was taken in 1973 or 74 in Martha's Vineyard, Ma. I love this outfit from the bangles to her top that I would kill to have today." No lie.
More P's and S's: Visors. Bring them back.
Saturday, February 5, 2011
Peggy Younger sent this unbelievable photo of her mother, Kit (nee Catherine). The oversized collar bow is definitely a look that needs bringing back. Indie designers, you're being nudged. Another thing that needs bringing back is Kit's beauty regimen. Her shaped brows, matte lips and thick lashes have the structure and subtle tone of vintage Liz Taylor. There's nothing subtle about Kit's eyes. It takes a strong pair of peepers to beat a giant bow for attention, and Kit's got them.
Peggy writes: "The black and white portrait photo is one of my mom that is so completely Mad Men I can't take it. It was taken during the early 60's when she was a young 20- something working as a secretary in NYC. She told me she had it taken for a boyfriend at the time who was in the service."
Bowl cut, bow, stripes and slacks. It's 85 percent scrappy young Kristy McNichol, 14 percent sultry Phoebe Cates. Leave it to a Brazilian woman to make tomboy style sultry. That woman is Guilherme Baggio's mom. The photos above are from the mid 80s, as a very young mother living in Brazil. Guilherme writes: "This is my mother: every morning with a smile, in spite of a little bit of the existential sadness. These days, she's a chef de cuisine and works at her gas station in a little city of Brazil."