Saturday, December 11, 2010

Harry Raupp, Dad Icon

I recently lost a dear family friend. Harry Raupp was a poet, an engineer, a gifted musician, a Beatles interpreter, a sing-along purveyor, wonderful dad to Aimee and Harry Jr. and devoted husband to his high school sweetheart, Kathy. He was also a great friend to me, even though I was about 30 years his junior. A huge supporter of this blog (and anything I ever wrote) he put up with countless frantic emails I'd send him asking for hi-res scans of his gorgeous wife for the book.
Today, I discovered an email from Harry I'd never opened. He'd sent it to me two months before he died after a visit to New York, where I was lucky enough to spend the day with him and show him around my neighborhood. Attached were three pictures of himself through the years. The photos show a strong, handsome, old-school-type virile man. The kind that's pretty rare these days. But the email he sent with the pictures reminded me of another side of Harry, and a quality he possessed that's even rarer. No matter what, he was always the first to say I love you.

From: Harry Raupp
Date: Tue, Sep 7, 2010 at 2:35 PM
Subject: Da shots

Hey Pipe

Your dad suggested the picture of me and my buddy, someday to become brother-in-law, in front of a 1938 Cadillac with Weehawken High in background. Easter Sunday 1965 . I am holding a pink spaldeen.

The other shot is with my weight lifting buddy Alex Suvino. We lifted together in the basement of my parents house. Looking good me thinks.
Last one I call "psycho dad". We are living in one bedroom lakefront apt at Sullivan's marina. Easter Sunday, Kathy trying to get dad ready to go to Hoboken to visit her granny - me being the kid.
Love you
P.S. Had a blast with you in Brooklyn

We miss you, Harry.

Cocoon Caftan: where are you?

Sydette Brown's gorgeous mother was ahead of her time: "My mother, Glorya B. Hartley is my fashion inspiration. Everything that I know about fashion, I owe to her. Being a curvy woman, her size was never an issue for her and she passed that self loving comfort on to me. She was a "Plus Sized Model" before it became mainstream. She taught me about fabric selection and wearing what works for my body type many years ago."

She was also a designer: "My mom was a great seamstress with an eye for all things fabulous. She would see an outfit on TV or in a magazine and make it for herself, or for me. She taught me not to be afraid of fashion, but to embrace it."

And a giver: "In the photograph, taken sometime in the very early 80's, she was asked to be a model in a fashion show , in it she is wearing one of her "creations"... a beautiful Cocoon Caftan made from a sheer graphic print fabric. I wish that she still had that piece, I'd love to wear it today! However, soon after the fashion show a random woman admired it and longed to have one just like it, and being the loving, generous person that she is, my mom gave it to her. Right there on the spot."

Oh to have a Glorya original. If that lucky beneficiary is out there and still has the dress, please take a photo in it and share with us!

Debra in the '70s

Caroline Barth writes:"My mom Debra, is the most beautiful woman in the world to me. I find it to be quite the compliment when people say, 'You've grown up to look just like your mom.'"

No joke. This is the kind of photo that makes you fall instantly in love. Beyond the fact that she's grilling up a fine herd of chickens barefoot in my #1 favorite type of plaid, her dewy, dreamy-eyed beauty bleeds romance. Also, someone must have climbed a tree to take her picture. Now that's devotion.

Here's the likely tree-climber with his bride.

Sometimes, she did local fashion shows, no doubt collecting a steady stream of admirers.

And you know what that means? She was a prime candidate for a NOT YOUR FATHER photo.
Writes Caroline: "This dashing fellow pictured alongside my mom, is not my dad, but actually my dad's dearest friend. I'm not sure of this picture's actual date, but I would say circa 1978. My mom stays true to her classic self. I love her white shawl and black clutch and belted blouse. Perfection mom, like always."

The first flash of marriage

Wafa Musitief sent me this photo of her parents on their wedding day after finding out about the site in Lucky Magazine.
Unlike the coaxed expressions in most wedding photos, Rebecca Hamid and her husband make the first moment of marriage look as complicated as it really is. The realization of what was just done, and what it will mean in their future is smoked onto their faces. I love how he looks in shock, gripping her shoulder as if he were steadying himself. And I love how steady she seems, even though she's only 19.

Here's what Wafa sees when she looks at her parent's wedding photo:
"Every woman wants to look beautiful on her wedding day. But in my mother, Rebecca's case, she not only achieved that; she also was able somehow to create a timeless elegant look that still takes my breath away every time I look at this photo. I recall vivid memories of her over the years, and the innovative fashion statements she always made whether on the street or at a parent -teacher conference. This is the marvelous woman who taught me the importance of tailored clothes; the woman who always chose the perfect sleek winter boot. My mother insitinctively knew how to dress in shapes and colors that highlighted her natural beauty, and grace. This picture is the perfect example of this, and one of the very first fashion statements she would make in her life. Every day I get up to dress, I remember I am carrying her legacy on with me."

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Blonds have more fun with orange

Sara Branley writes: "Meet my amazing mom, Karen. The youngest of four, she didn't grow up in the wealthiest family. But her innate creativity and resourcefulness didn't let that stop her love of style. Like my grandmother before her, my mom has great talent with sewing and making clothes. She made almost all of her outfits like this awesome one here. Inspired by a mix of styles, she took the simplest patterns and made them amazing and fashionable."

I am one LUCKY cat

That's pretty much me, but cartoonified. Lucky Magazine has made My Mom the Style Icon the back page of every issue starting this Decemeber. The first, on newstands now , features me own mums MARILYN in Cannes in the 60s. The magazine's genius editors even round up a few genius ways to get the look.

If you want your mom to be featured in a Lucky back page, you can submit your photos to Lucky or to me and I'll pass along. Also check out the rest of the magazine. Brilliant new editor in chief Brandon Holley gave the glossy an extra shot of adrenaline. You end up feeling like you shopped without actually spending any money. And lets be honest, it's all about the dopamine (AAD, yo)