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My Mother, My Muse

Images + Post By: | May 9, 201154 Comments
Vintage Momma

Vintage Momma

For so many of us, our mothers’ closets were our first foray into style, and how better to honor our mums on Mother’s Day, than to dig into our first love of second-hand fashion.  The inaugural post of Blogue’s new, weekly vintage column, “Something Borrowed, Nothing New,” takes a look at our first fashion icons: our mothers.  Much, much more after the jump.

Its the stuff of a Hallmark card: little girl tipped over in high heels 10 sizes too big, with 3 scarves wrapped around her wee shoulders, draped in her mother’s over-sized ballgown.  Cliche for sure, but for many mini fashionistas, this was our first shot at styling.  Having carte blanche over our mother’s (or father’s – my fav) closets, sharpened our material taste buds.

For me it all started with the “dress-up” trunk.  For years, I had the privilege and the terror of bunk bedding with my older brother.  On days I was not dividing the room with a fence of teddy bears for “girls only,” my bro and I would dig into the trunk filled with mom and dad’s cast offs.  (picture update to come!)  There were many, many fringed scarves and 70s metallic knit tube tops that fit me like a dress.

I mean how could I not take style tips from this fashion forward lady:

My Mum

My Mum

These days when I look through my closet there are many pieces pilfered from the “dress-up” trunk after it was cast away to the dark and dusty attic.  Then there are the many rings that my mother says she recognizes that I pass off as vintage finds.  But when I look at photos from my mum back in the swinging 60s I am simply enraged that more of those numbers she wore so well didn’t survive to make it to that trunk.

Look at this babe:

My mom, standing with her BFF, living it up in the glory of 1960s Minorca.

My mom, standing with her BFF, living it up in the glory of 1960s Minorca.

Up until the last 5 years when more new clothes began to have greater vintage depth, I had an “always borrowed, nothing new” mantra.  I was all vintage all the time.  But these days it is clear that even our cheapest clothing is starting to reflect second-hand style inspiration.

Clearly today’s designers were inspired by their mother’s sense of style.  Tommy Hilfiger, Jason Wu, Tory Burch and a many others  just gushed about their fashion kinship to Harper’s Bazaar.  Alexander Wang summed it all up with his mommy love saying:

I look back at pictures of my mom before I was born and I’m always shocked at how unconsciously stylish she was. That is my favorite part about it, that she just buys what she loves and it’s not about buying into fashion.

Indeed, Wang, indeed– it’s all about the love.  Since taste is so subjective, those good vibrations from our home baked style mavens, have gone a long way.

Rag & Bone's Marcus Wainwrights' Mom (via Harper's Bazarre)

Rag & Bone's Marcus Wainwright's Mom (via Harper's Bazaar)

One blogger, and mom style aficionado turned her mother obsession into a fantastic book, “My Mom, Style Icon,” (perhaps a fantastic Mother’s Day gift).  Like Piper Weiss says “call me a proud kid, but pictures of my mother in her twenties– pre-me– is a treasure trove of style inspiration.”

Check her mom:

There she is: my mom looking fetching in a gamine wool frock in 1963 during a trip to Portugal. Call me a proud kid, but pictures of my mother in her twenties-- pre-me-- is a treasure trove of style inspiration.

Piper Weiss's mom looking fetching in a gamine wool frock in 1963 during a trip to Portugal.

In truth, there simply is nothing new in fashion.  Each new line reaches back in time and borrows from vintage silhouettes, fabrics and cuts. Today’s designers are constantly in a state of time travel, as they take cues from various echochial inspiration.

Here on “Something Borrowed, Nothing New,” I will be exploring that claim weekly- vintage inspiration is everywhere!




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