Sunday, August 15, 2010

Nuh-uh Award: In the category of hair

Guess who just won a Nuh-Uh award? Jane Glaus's Swiss mother in law Clara. "This photo was taken in 1970," says Jane. "She's 75 now, but she still dies her hair jet black and backcombs it. She has green eyes and hardly any wrinkles, even today."

Parents in love

Maaike Penris' parents have been together for over 30 years. So to Maaike, they just look like, well, parents. But this is what they look like to each other.

Writes Maake: "This is my mom Anne Penris-van Amerongen with my dad, Ap Penris. I think it's taken around 1977/1978 in Spain. We are actually from Holland, but my parents used to go to Spain in the summer. I love my mom's dress and flipflops, the bag I think must be somewhere in her closet, I must look for it!"

That hippie dress and the choker gold chain is where it's at. But dad's style regimen is far more complex.

"He liked to roll up his jean cuffs and is hair was curled by my aunt who was in hairdressing school."

You're Looking at the Dutch Gloria Steinem

What makes someone cool? If I knew I'd be cool. But off the bat, I'd guess it's taking something accessible to everyone and making it your own, and as a result wholly original. That's what Merel Rolf's mom did with mod sweater dress and goggle glasses. Go ahead and purchase them, you won't look as good. It's something about her smile and posture and her shag of hair, like she got dressed to kill and then totally forgot what she was wearing because her mind was on bigger things. And they were. AnneMarie was a founding member of the Dutch activist group Dolle Mina. (a documentary was made abut them recently)

Founded in 1969, Dolle Mina, were a gang arch feminists with a brilliant sense of humor. To say they were ahead of their time is an understatement. Their cause centered around equal rights in healthcare. Their tactics played the Dutch media like a string guitar. Vying for medical coverage for women smokers, they protested with clever signage that said "women had the right to get lung cancer too." Which is funny. But what? Insurance didn't cover women with lung cancer? A sub group fought for the legalization of abortion, "Boss of our own Bellies" was their slogan. In a time and place when women really didn't have rights, they tackled major issues with innovation. They occupied a business school that refused women students and held a public bra-burning, they tied pink ribbons all around the city in protest of the fact that only men could use public toilets.

Public toilets, people. AnneMarie is not perplexed. Instead standing in a square in the Hague, she looks like she knows a really good secret: Things are about to change. I like your style, AnneMarie.

Finding Pucci: An epic journey

Natalia Wein's may have mom, hailed from Mexico, but her style was 100 percent moon. In the 1960's she wore a psychedelic dress by the designer Pucci, who was also busy designing outerwear for NASA astronauts. Laura Wein was equipped for mission to chardonnay buzz. My personal favorite challenge.
The story, which has already been a roller-coaster, gets sad when we find out what happened to the dress. See Jimmy Hoffa's body for more information.
"My grandmother gave all her stuff away," says Natalia. "So I have no ‘vintage’ clothes in my closet."
She inspired me to change that, with a mission to the internet. (Formally known as Apollo 2.0).

This original Pucci mini-dress from the same era as Mrs. Wein's is up for bid at RubyLane.

This signed mod mini may actually be Natalia's moms' but now it's $450 at (sorry, girl)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

PSA: Dangers of Wearing a Playsuit

Kids, when you where a leg-baring jumpsuit to a business function, you could end up attracting the wrong kind of attention: a mariachi band.

In 1977, gorgeous Sharon K. Huys, of Mishawaka, Indiana, went to an annual convention with her husband in Switzerland and ended up fending off three besotted serenaders. It's one thing to look adorable in a fluer de lis collared onesie. It's another thing to pair it with white go-go boots. When you see someone who looks that awesome (at a convention for Movers no less) you just want to grab your squeezebox and play a fast-paced Spanish rendition of "She's Hot Legs" while making intense eye-contact. I hope Sharon recovered from the incident and it didn't deter her from wearing the look again.

Secrets of a Seamstress

Mary Cotter submitted this photo of her lovely mom in the Bronx Botanical Garden: "Sometime in the mid-1940s posing for my Dad in a dress she most likely made. She was a seamstress and did piece work when she met my dad. She refused to sew again after she stopped working (long before I was born) but, after much begging and horrified by my botched job she did alter my wide-leg pants into punk rock ones with zippers in the 1980s. She was a serious fashionista and when she died my sister and I found 10+ pair of grey pants, organized by shade, most with the tags still on. We also got to go through her wig closet. Yes, a wig closet."

FASHION TIMELINE: Gillian's Journey

Jane Fairhurst writes: "Oh the early 60's were such a fabulous time for fashion! And my English mother Gillian was a gorgeous young thing. This picture was taken in the summer of 1963 on a vacation to Tossa Del Mar in Spain. My mum is 21 and holidaying with her handsome fiance Kenneth, the young doctor she met as a nurse in the operating room. They later got married and immigrated to Toronto, where to her horror things were not as swinging as 60s Britain.

With her are her parents Margaret and Harold. They are 39 and 45 respectively (everyone looked much older back then somehow). They had just returned to Britain after a 5 year stint in Nigeria, and would soon move to Uganda (just in time for Idi Amin!) and then South Africa (Apartheid riots!) and then back to retirement in Britain, where they longed for Africa for the rest of their days. My grandfather drove a tank throughout WW2, and spent most of his time on the front. They called him lucky Harry. Lucky because he survived...

"This is a classic picture of my Mum taken in Manchester in September 1963, 2 months before she immigrated to Canada. What a gorgeous coat! And I still have that purse. And the hair.....she owned a special extension to make that beehive so high. Even today, she still backcombs her hair in a high short style reminiscent of those early days."

"Fast forward 1971, in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I am the happy child in the grass. I can remember how dry it was and how it pricked one's bare feet. I think my mum looks fabulous here. Everyone is happy. Mandy the Corgi and even I have the same expressions on our faces!"

Sows Ears and other lessons from mom

When Jill Love transferred her family's old slides into photos recently, she got to know her mother all over again.

"I've learned a lot about my mother since getting all of the family slides and scanning them. She was really into hats and sunglasses… and her friends.

She is now 80 and every bit as beautiful. She has taught my sister and I so much about class, style, grace. It's always been healthy, positive, and fun to learn about beauty from her. She taught us early on to wash our makeup off before bed, no sunning, use sunglasses and lipstick no matter where you go, the value of a girlfriend, and so much more. We let a few of her beauty secrets go, however, such as wrapping our beehive in toilet paper before bed to keep it from being mussed up."

"My parents raised us in a small community where my mother was definitely a glamor icon; cocktail parties, dance club, etc. She used to say the funniest things like "You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear… even if you sew beads on it." I guess that meant you either had class or you didn't."

Fashion Fuel

Meet: Susan McKeever's mother Claire. She's a babe.

"The picture above is from 1959 when she was 16 years old and working in a petrol station as an attendant. She was a rocker girl, and a big fan of James Dean and Elvis Presley."

"This pic was taken 1967, looking very Mary Quant meets Vidal Sassoon, and here she is standing outside a typical irish cottage. We were on holiday deep in rural Ireland and I am grubby little kid walking towards the camera. I had been chasing chickens around the yard and she had just called out to me to come up and get ready for going to mass. This was taken on a Sunday morning."

Wedding of Last Century

This weekend saw the "Wedding of the Century" with glowing bride Chelsea Clinton walking down the aisle wearing Vera Wang and a former U.S. President.

But this month, 42 years ago another, equally memorable wedding took place.
Chantelle Macune writes: "These are pics of my parents' wedding in July 1968. Mom still looks the same. Their names are Ed and Edie Jones and they've been married for 42 years....quite a track record nowadays."

Despite going with Vera Wang, speculation was abound that Chelsea would choose a design by Oscar De La Renta. If she did, it may have looked a little like Edie's delicate lace, high-necked gown. The elegant Grace Kelly confection may be from '68 but it looks like it's right off the 2011 Oscar de la Renta Bridal Runway Collection.

The Bold and Beautiful

Holy McMoly! Nancy Brzyski's mom, Concetta Mazzeo Carbone, was always bold, fearless dresser. Thankfully, color retouching and photography came of age just in time to her looks justice.

"This is mom in in the mid to late '40s in what I like to call her "Ava Gardner" picture. This was done at a photography studio. I love the dress and the use of the flowers."

"This was inspired by your flowered hat post. My mom took a millinery class and she actually made this hat! This was Christmas 1963 (as you can tell by the tree) and I thinks so looks so proud and beautiful."

Genetic Research Contribution #421

Fashion expert Bertie Bowen provided us with photographic proof that style is genetic.

"My parents were fashion crazy and used to save up and go to 'Kenny Market' in London as often as they could to search for coolest clothes and jazziest accessories then bring them home to Bedford, the small town I grew up in. I guess its about the only thing the had in common (they're the most opposite people i know!) These days I am a stylist and I live in London. Its just a shame Kenny Market no longer exists."

"The photo above of my Ma, Linda Bowen must've been taken around 1976 as she is with my big sister. The mixture of diagonal stripes and florals are amazing! Plus that bob, wow!"

"This picture is of my mum with my uber cool, Jimi Hendrix look-a-like, my Pa, Glen Bowen. I love their matching high waisted jeans." [ED.NOTE: Glen just earned a post on MMTSI's Husband Blog: Don't F*** With Dad]

Swiss Mrs.

Marlen Tafoya-Stucky's marvelous mother Monika in Switzerland in the lat '60s. There is nothing neutral about that floral hat.

Miss Margaritaville

Before Key West became the perfect place to write a lonely, alcoholic anthem, it was the perfect place to have your honeymoon. Instead of Parrotheads in Hawaiian shirts...

the look was striped shirts with white beanies...

...strapless one-pieces and head scarves

...and elegant summer dresses.

Damn you Jimmy Buffet! (but also thank you because I do love that song)

Diane Gabbard's collection of photos from her parents 1953 honeymoon in the Keys, is evidence of the golden age of Magaritaville.

"My mom, Shirley Frost Poston worked at the phone company until they made her quit when she married my Dad, James, in January 1953. They had 9 children (the first 7 in less than 9 years!), She was a part time model before she married and always loved clothes and I always thought she looked like a movie star. (ed note: she totally did).
My Mom turns 80 years old on August 5th and still looks like a million dollars."

Happy Birthday Mrs. Poston!