Tuesday, June 29, 2010


In this edition of not your father, we meet a mom posing with a studly young Elvis impersonator.
Scott O'Brian writes: "Here's a great pic of my Mom, Miss Patrica Baustian, taken in my grandparents' back yard from June of 1968. She was 21 years old and living it up in Hillside, Illinois. Accompanying her is her best friend "King", who was named after Elvis, of course."

Monday, June 28, 2010

Mom hair for summer: a guide

If you watch the Bachelorette, (and I know you do, cowards!) then you know hair has gone to the dogs. If we are to believe Ali is the sweetest, most beautiful girl on the planet, then we're are also to believe that bleach blonde extensions that belong to the tail of a sick calf is also the only thing a man wants to run his fingers through. I CALL BULLSHIT.
Then I called Siobahn Benson, hair-cutter to the stars (of my life) for help. I pleaded, is there any way to bring back the hairstyles of moms of yore? Here's her guide to updating some of the looks on this site for summer.

First up, Megan McKeever's mom looks beguiling in pigtails in 1969. But is it doable in 2010?

Siobhan says: Oh hayls yeah! The look is straight of the Prada ad campaign. It's great for showing off the eyes and cheek bones and works best with oval faces. Just make sure the rubber bands are loose and your part is a little off to the side to avoid winning a Cindy Brady lookalike contest.

Sounds simple enough, but what about for those of us (ahem) who are prone to summer frizz. Can we "own it" like Rosa Smurawa's mom even if the 80's are long gone?

Siobhan says: Uh-huh. This is a great look for someone with the confidence to wear big hair. Cut your hair in rounded layers--that allow the hair to stand up on its own. It's great for any face shape as long as you have attitude to back it up (or a face like Halle Berry, no big whup)

Okay what about this slightly longer lady-bob circa late 60's England? Emily Materick's mother had it made.

Siobhan says: Fo sho. Consider exhibit Gaga. This A-Line blunt bob with bangs never goes out of style. Girls in London are STILL rocking this. But be forewarned: big eyes and a heart shaped face are a must for this style, otherwise your features get lost in the bangs.

Have I mentioned that it's very hot outside? It is. How about a pixie cut like Andrea Silcox's mom? Her cut was in 1969 when hairstylists had Mia Farrow as an inspiration. Now our pixie muse is Victoria Beckham's angular chop that might just slit your throat if you get too close to it.

Siobhan says: Oh you don't want to send the signal that you're vagina's a food processor? For a softer look like Mrs. Silcox or Carry Mulligan, first be sure you've got petite features and a square-shaped face. Then don't spike or gel those front wisps. Trust they will land where they may.

Wise words from a hair sensei.
New Yorkers, let Siobhan turn your old cut into an old-school cut by going to arrojostudio.com or email her questions at sionyc@mac.com. Mention MY MOM THE STYLE ICON and get 10 percent off.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Dear Antonella Ravani,
This may sound strange but..
I want to BUY THIS PHOTO OF YOUR MOM, blow it up 10 feet, hang it in my living room, and throw a big dinner party with the toast of NY's art world and their much older, much richer lovers and maybe Alan Cumming and that woman from the Old Navy commercials, but I assure you I am totally of sane mind. I'm just saying, your momma belongs in the MOMA.

Here's how the placard will read:
Title: Donata Galizia, 1975
Artist: unidentified friend
The subject's daughter writes: "I was 5 and saw mom as the most glamorous woman in the world, and she still is... Mind you, we did not live in a big city, but in a very small town in the Italian Alps, making it all the more difficult to find things to wear "alla moda"! But my mom's innate good taste always made something special out of nothing."
Materials: Gelatin color print

Seriously, how much?

The fox in fox

In the 1930's, people wore animals. That's just the way it was. I'm not about killing for the sake of fashion. If I were a fox I'd be pretty pissed off if my remains ended up flanked across the squat shoulders of a teenage Gotti brother. But if you're going to be worn, this the woman you want your carcass draped on.

Daughter Rhonda Moore agrees:
My mother Bessie Lee Moore was in her 20's when she posed for this shot with a fox stole around her shoulders. I believe the photo was taken in San Francisco, Ca. It's absolutely my most favorite photo of her, ever!

She was born in Jennings, Louisiana on April 22, 1912. Lived in Beaumont, Tx. where she attended local schools there through high school. Her family moved to Houston, Tx later where she graduated from Phyllis Wheatley High School (years later in 1972 I graduated from there, too). My mother had a beautiful soprano voice, and devoted her entire life to singing. She directed church choirs for over 50 years, until about age 82. She passed away on January 30, 2007.

My mother married Clarence Louis Moore, a nataive of Camden, Alabama, whom I must say was quite a 'dapper' dresser himself. [CLICK HERE FOR PROOF]

Monday, June 21, 2010

NOT YOUR FATHER: Unless you're Mariska Hargitay

HOLY MUSCLE BEACH MOLY. Sometimes we find old pictures of our moms posing suggestively with strange men. Sometimes those strange men beget cast-members of the Law and Order franchise. Prepare for the most skimpily clad NOT YOUR FATHER yet:

Lisa Gerardi writes: "This is a photo of my beautiful Mom ( then) Joan Gerardi, in 1970. She's on the beach in Puerto Rico and she met Mickey Hargitay, yes, THAT Mickey Hargitay, Mariska's father, the body builder. Mom has always been beautiful and people have always flocked to her, and once they get to know her they stay!"

Kind of blue

Tricia Byers Roghair sent in this stately photo of her mom at 16 years old in a blue bonnet in 1964. From the photo we can gather that she knew how to pull off a hat like nobody's business. But there's more to Tricia's mom than fashion savvy.

Here are few things, via Tricia, you should know about her mom Patricia Diane Faucett Byers:

- She was married at 17 , the summer between her junior and senior years. Although she was not expecting a baby, she was not allowed to walk in the ceremony for highschool graduation.

-She married a plumber/pipefitter had six children, they traveled to Africa for humanitarian work over a period of ten years. She buried a son in the soil of Africa, raised 4 daughters and the youngest, a son.

-Today, in spite of her diabetes, she entertains many through her home and welcomes many in need.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Photo Album: Red hot mama

Suzanne Jewell sent in a slew a photos of her mother, each one more color-soaked and eye-popping than the next. So I decided to post them all. Here's a little backstory courtesy of Suzanne:
"My mother was born March 15, 1922 and lived on a farm in Illinois. Later she became a nurse and joined the Army and after that the Air Force. She passed away December 1, 2005. She was a beautiful, fun loving, happy, Irish girl and always had great style. Joining the military as a nurse brought her to Germany and later on she married my father in New York. My father was retired as a Lt. Colonel in the Air Force and together they raised 4 children and we travel to and lived in many countries. It was an exciting life." The proof is in the pictures.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer

I know, I know, we talked about this. Buying vintage bathing suits is like purchasing used underwear and is by that logic grody. But Carolyn Landry's mother is making me reconsider, your honor. Take a look at Hannah Helen Leslie (and her friend) in 1927-- a time when shorts were built in to all regulation swimwear and policemen measured the distance between nether regions and knee on the beach. Oppressive? Yes. But all that fabric begged for a mean pattern you'll be hard-pressed to find on beaches today.
Point is, I'm making peace with the vintage suit purchase.

Here's one I'd like to get right now. For $75 clams this polyesther 60's rainbow suit is BEYOND (...the Valley of the Dolls). Plus the crotch region appears to have a shelf to store your keys, cash and whatnots.