Happy Mother's Day: Isabelle's "maman"
To celebrate Mother's Day we're getting our mums to dig out their old pictures to celebrate mums through the medium of fashion. The fetching jacket you see me wearing was made for me by my mother, so one of the main influences is that she taught me to sew. Much to her annoyance I'd have to call her over every five minutes to rethread our old sewing machine that she'd bought second hand (influence number two). Shopping at Portobello before it was cool my mum was the queen of mixing it up, although I have to credit my dad for my unwavering stingyness. Before I was born my mum and my dad did some travelling ma-aan, working in hotels in Switzerland, narrowly avoiding kidnapping in Morocco, and sailing a boat across the channel for an American hippy. Me and my sister used to look at the pictures and ask her about her red cords, cool shoes or her (now retro) t-shirts.
Happy Mothers' Day - why I love my mom's style!
Before she moved to England at the age of 19 (see pic above of her on Brighton beach) my mum still looked very innocent and probably remained so until my dad stopped her on the Uxbridge Road and asked her out for a drink. She gets all her looks from my grandfather of Iranian origin, and in her youth looked much like a pre-surgery Cher. At their wedding my mum wore a tiered dress and gloves, while my dad wore a jumper and jeans... I don't they've ever really been ones for tradition. My mum has always been stylish, but she was at her most glamourous in the eighties with permed hair, red lipstick and statement jewellery. Not for the timid a russet silk jumpsuit! Bubble skirts, loud shirts, you name it she wore it. She still has a jacket from Elton John's annual clear out years ago that has to be seen to be believed, all pink and purple silk with patches and tassels. As soon as I was old enough my mum let me wear whatever I wanted bar the odd matching outfit for me and my sister. We used to pore over my mum's 'Colour Me Beautiful' books trying to decide whether we were a 'Spring' or an 'Autumn' while laughing at the women with frosted lipstick and 6 different colours on their eyes.
When the 90's arrived in came the short miniskirts, which she could get away being a size 6 or some other stupidly slim size. I remember her meeting me for lunch when I was at university a few years ago and my coursemates thinking this Punkyfish-clad, Puma-wearing woman was one of my friends; she certainly seems to dress a lot better than most people's mums. Seeing as charity shops are my main inspiration I don't there's that much room left for anyone to influence me, but we both share an idiosyncratic way of dressing and aren't slaves to the high street. I wear many of her old clothes, like her t-shirt from Spain, her fitted black minidress (very now!) and mourn the disappearance of her Fair Isle cardie in the picture above.
As she's a hard-working Japanese student (one of her many languages) I'll wish her happy mother's day in Babelfish's version of Japanese: 幸せな母の日!