Saturday, February 27, 2010

Sisterhood of the traveling dress

Reader Belinda sent in this picture of her gorgeous mom in a handmade floral dress (between two little ghosts from the Shining) in Vanuatu--near New Guinea. "She was and still is a very stylish lady and actually did do modelling in her younger days and make all of our clothes."

Meanwhile in over in the Ukraine, Oleksandra Korobova's mom donned pretty much the exact same dress.
"I found this shot in an old family album. It dates back to late 70's (1979, most likely) when my mom Olga Romanova (with her mom) was 17–18 years old and about to graduate from high school."

Please Fed-Ex the dress to Brooklyn next. I don't care what that no-good Alexis Bledel tells you, it's my turn.

Friday, February 26, 2010

You're so vain-glorious

It was a big news day for me. One of my celebrity mom style icons, Carly Simon, revealed who her song "You're So Vain" was probably, most likely, 95 percent sure, about: DAVID GEFFEN.

It was an even bigger day for Warren Beatty who the world will no longer picture when the song plays in the back of a taxi cab.

It's a little anti-climactic if you ask me. I was hoping for a Malcom McDowell or a even a James Taylor who Carly spent years with, and who I've also heard has a really big dong. Just P to the S to the F.Y.I.

God I love news.


My friend Pandora was recently awarded with this above title for good reason. She's a blogger-- her blog is Accessory Source. Oh and she's capital B Beautiful. But back to her blog -- it's amazing. She's a market editor and stylist by trade and her blog selects a wealth of vintage-inspired jewelry from her travails. The kind that are easier to find in mom's closet than in actual stores. Anyway she received the honor of the "beautiful blogger award" which asks bloggers to offer up 7 facts about themselves and then pass the honor onto another blogger. Look who caught the ball!
So whether you care or not, I'M A BEAUTIFUL BLOGGER WINNER, so you HAVE to listen to 7 facts about me.
1. I have a cat problem. A big one. I have two and I have to restrain myself from collecting more on a daily basis. I'm just taking it day to day. Like they say in 12 step, I can't say that I'll never adopt a cat again, I can only focus on NOT adopting a cat today.
2. I just learned how to spell accessory. Wait I forgot again.
3. I am writing a book based on this blog which will be published by Chronicle in 2011. Submit your mom and I'll put her in the book*
4. I live in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, next to a power plant. That is one reason why I glow. It's not that I'm pregnant, I don't think.
5. If I do get pregnant I'm hoping for a Come on people, we can clone sheep, surely humans birthing kitten litters isn't that far off.
6. I'm obsessed with Fleetwood Mac. There I said it. For the 500th time.
7. I wear really high-waisted jeans. Almost to a fault. Should I have a bout of camel-toe, I encourage you to tell me. It's like food in the teeth-- I'd rather know.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

New Olympic category: dress gymnastics

Oh wow you can skate really fast, or coast down a mountain on flat board. Big deal. Have you ever worn a pair of heels and a restrictive, figure-hugging, cocktail dress that limits your lung capacity and restrains your leg strides by 90 percent and then bent down to pet a dog--without falling on your face? Anne Marie Tripp's mom Janice has. And she did it with grace and poise all while balancing a pineapple 'do on her head. Give that lovely a lady one of your gajillion gold medals, Shaun White. She deserves it.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Original hipster #254

Eric Rodriguez's mom, circa 1978:
"This pic was taken around the 3rd year of my parents marriage, he used to take hundreds of pics of her, he actually liked to take photos of all of us now that i remember- he was kinda of a amateur photographer. They're divorced now but at that point in time, they lived in this small apartment in Staten Island with my older brother(who was 3 at the time) and my mum was 24."

Friday, February 19, 2010

Lets bring back: monkeys as pets

Alice Marshall's mom at 15 has her hands full. Alice writes: "She is holding her little sister and, inexplicably, a monkey. It was taken in around 1961 in Hastings in southern England. I love the hair, the bag, the fur style skirt but especially the fluffy wool jumper."

I love her "yeah, I'm holding a monkey, whats the big deal?" expression. My mom also had a pet monkey for a few months in the 60's but she got tired of it--turns out they're high maintenance-- and gave it to a local fraternity house. I'm sure they took excellent care of it.

In other pet news... I had a baby [kitten]. Okay it's adopted, but that doesn't make it any less mine. Pictures here!

TAXI! Take us to 1963 and step on it. We have a wedding to attend!

Today, as I was scrolling through google news I got a glimpse of what the future holds: weddings in Mac stores. Now, I belong to the church of Whatever Floats Your Boat--But the idea of two people proclaiming their love amidst flickering ipod screens and $199 sale signs makes me feel, well, like I want to hail a time machine taxi (see Dolorean above) and take it back to 1963.

That's the year Jenny Moss's Grace Kelly doppelganger mom wed her dad at a church in Wimbledon. Carol was a stunning Londoner who met her groom on the tennis court.

Drunken birthday girls, 2003 era Paris Hilton and sorority sisters: THAT is how you wear a tiara. Look at that dress. She doesn't even have a stitch of skin showing--boatneck collars are usually all risk, no reward-- and she's without a doubt the sexiest woman in the room.

Ah yes, the meet and greet. Here the gorgeous Carol, receives congratulations from the world's furriest aunt and does not scare. Look how said aunt(I'm just assuming) took off her own gloves for the handshake. Very classy. And that dapper Mad Men central casting dude in the left hand corner. No doubt he asked to "cut in" on a dance with the bride later that night. (sidebar: when I was a kid, I remember thinking "asking to cut in" was something adults did ALL the time)

Tiny goblets! Tiny freaking goblets. I'm gonna take a gander that they don't have those at the Mac store. Either Carol and her groom were relatives of Andre the Giant or they had the grace to drink liquers and hold fragile, preemie glasses without crushing them on their skull. (note: does anyone else have this problem and if so is there a good time we can all meet as a group in the basement of a church and talk about it?) Seriously, now that champagne toasts have been co-opted by reality shows--
the only wedding toast that says forever is one with aperitifs in baby goblets.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

MOMS IN LOVE: Valentine's Day Edition

Dana Dalrymple: "Here are my parents in 1964 soon after they were married. They were apparently successfully hunting jackrabbits, but in matching white jeans, white shoes, and plaid shirts. They're the most stylish hunters I think I've seen."

Reese Moore: "70's Camping Chic courtesy of Patsy's white Keds and thigh-baring white shorts and dad Terry's amazing green short shorts and sexy sock action. Further evidence that BOTH my parents are style icons."

Emily Yanez: "This is actually my Grandmother Marion Gilchrist standing with my Grandfather Grover Gilchrist not long after they started dating at the age of 15 or 16. I always felt like this was a secret glimpse into a part of my grandmother that I never knew. Sure, she smiled and was happy, but in this photo she looks confidant, but like she is in on a secret with my grandfather that no one else in the world knows. When I was a little girl I remember looking at this photo and thinking that this is what true love must look like...just really really happy and glamorous. It was something that I never saw from my own mother and father and something that I always aspired to have someday. I still have this photo up in my house today and after meeting my boyfriend, sometimes I see pictures of myself and catch that same look on my face just like my grandma has in this picture...a sign perhaps?"

Gene Day writes: "These are my grandparents Thomas Day and Laura Ponton at Milford Lodge, where they met in the late 1940's (after WWII)."

Tara von Andreae's parents: "Claire and Mike in the early 70's. They were actually on their way to a funeral but I guess newlyweds look happy all the time."

Jana Orsolic's parents on their wedding day in 1976, in Serbia: "Mom wearing Mirjana Maric (at that time big shot local designer) dress made of thin white leather. She used to say that it was so comfy and soft. Dark dark hair, lovely pale skin, dusty rosy roses, big pearly stud earrings. How I love these two."

Emma Johnson's parents on their honeymoon in Mexico in 1984: "This might be the worst picture I've ever seen of my usually very handsome father (the one time he experiments with his hair and he ends up with a mini-mullet?), but Mom looks breezy and beachy and very tanned."

MOM STILL IN LOVE BONUS PHOTO: Emma Johnson's parents 20 years later in Italy...

Friday, February 12, 2010

How to: wear a pantsuit

It's a not an easy thing to pull off. there will be unwanted commentary. "Wow! Is that all one piece?" or "Where the hell did you get that thing" or worse "I hope you don't have to go to the bathroom anytime soon."
These inane statements have lept me from wearing the kind of onesie I so desperately crave. But Katja Peglow's spectacular German mom has provided some hope and instruction by example.

1. Keep it loose. A too tight body suit can lead to cameltoe (er, mrs. posh beckham)
2. Stick with earth tones. They downplay the teenager of the future nature of the design. Anything that shines, is fluorescent or made from old swimsuits is to be set on fire --likely by accident-- at once. (er, David Lee Roth)
3. Don't apologize. Make direct eye contact at anyone, even a camera that appears to assume the question: "is that a pantsuit". It will cut them off at the pass
4. Be over the top. If you're going to do it, do it up. Don't just wear the pantsuit, wear tights, bucks, a belt, a turtleneck, hell gnaw on an apple while you're at it. Point is, own it. Mrs. Peglow: you are a superstar.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A tribute to Alexander McQueen

(Photo by Dan Chung/ Courtesy of The Guardian)
Designer Alexander McQueen died today. The fashion innovator was no doubt inspired by his own mom, Joyce (pictured above), who passed away earlier this month.
She actually interviewed her son Alexander for an article published in The Guardian in 2004.
Here is an excerpt:
JM: What is your most terrifying fear?
AM: Dying before you.
JM: Thank you, son. What makes you proud?
AM: You.
Click here to read the entire interview. It's kind of amazing.

I spent some time scrolling through McQueen's body of work-- what struck me was how his looks simultaneously worked on two plains: the past and the future. In this Fall 2006 Paris runway look he manages to wrap up an entire era that's past and one that's still being imagined in his own mind.

(Photo by Eric Ryan/Getty Images)

It reminded me of a photo submitted to MMTSI by Melissa Smith Mallery

Her mom Linda Smith, in the early 80's, cast a preemptive nod to McQueen and his future impact on fashion.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Lets bring back the following...

1. Lady head scarves. If we were in the animal kingdom, the headscarf blowing in the wind would be a flag for other animals to know adventure awaits. Also it's a sign you just had your hair did

2. Men who wear fedoras like it's their job-- because they're fucking gondola drivers. Ashlee Simpson, Monsieur Buble, and The Jonas Three (what they'd be called if they were a band in the 50's) what's your excuse?

3. Our own vintage childhood clothing. Like Fire blogger Lisa Peet sent in this killer vacation pic with her mom, Rhoda (my future child's name) in Venice in 1966. She writes: "Don't I wish I had a stylin' red coat like that again." She's not alone. This weekend I went shopping at my parents' house and went back to Brooklyn with 2 vintage Ralph Lauren blouses from my prep school pre-teendom. They must have been huge on me then slash I'm an underdeveloped 31 year old, because after a little dry-cleaning they fit like new and they are way Sylvia Plath era stylish. I also snagged a bomber jacket from when I was 12 and obsessed with "Empire of the Sun" ("I can bring anyone back, anyone" is my "donna martin graduates"). It's brown leather and has faux patches that imply I flew planes in WWI. That got me thinking of an idea: SEND ME PICTURES OF CLOTHES YOU WORE AS A KID THAT YOU WISH YOU STILL FIT INTO. It's a little spin-off idea I'll call, I WAS A CHILD STYLE ICON

(Sigh) I wish it was summer

A few months back, when this blog was just a toddler and the weather was somewhat tolerable, a reader sent me this picture of her Grammy Eileen, circa 1966. I was holding on to it until I really needed it. On this arctic Monday in Brooklyn, I'm calling in for backup. Eileen: take me away to summerland.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Mom dot prom backslash dream date

My friend Doree Shafrir wrote the book on moms. Mom emails specifically. Her popular book Love Mom (with the brills Jessica Grose) and blog Postcards from Yo Momma is the seminal reference guide to emailing with mom. Here's how it's done.

-----Original Message-----
From: Doree
To: Mom
Subject: Re: important question
My friend Piper does a blog called My Mom the Style Icon. I submitted this photo of you and Nana. Was it for your senior prom? Junior prom? What's with the gloves? Was that expected (like did everyone wear them)? Did they come with the dress? Who did your hair? (Who did NANA'S crazy hair?)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: mom
Subject: Re: important question
To: doree

hey, women wore gloves! everyone did. i had several pairs of gloves, bought separately.don't you remember that philip roth novel? i had my hair done. maybe it was for my high school sorority dance......or prom since nana was in shorts. i remember that i got the dress that was long and had the dressmaker make it short. i LOVED that dress. i want to say filene's (upstairs). i was class treasurer. i went with jimmy schaye. martha starr fixed me up since he went to private school. his father owned a department store in boston. tres riche but i didn't go out with him before or after that.

Thanks Mrs. Shafrir! Not only am I a fan of the ballroom dancing gloves. I also love your 60's hair curl. I don't care what private school he went to, that Jimmy Shaye is one lucky guy.

Monday, February 1, 2010

MOMS IN LOVE, volume 43

Wendy Brandes writes: "My father took this picture of my mother, Barbara, while they were still dating in the mid '60s. I love the ruffles on the sleeves."

You know when all of a sudden, the most ordinary moment becomes blindingly beautiful and you need to rip your shirt open, or plunge into an ice cold pool, or take a picture at the exact right millisecond to show the world how warm it all feels, and amazingly you do? I see Wendy's dad shaking his head. He knows what I'm talking about.