Monday, May 30, 2011

Those summer nights, '80s style

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."

Hepburn in a hammock

Maria Nieves ZedeƱo 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

Watercolors and whites

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."

Back in the Saddle

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..."

Life of the party

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."

The monorail model

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

Waterfalls and Wide-brims

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

Your Mom in My Mom Style Icon

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.

You're Invited: My Mom Style Icon launch party!