I don’t know when I last enjoyed looking at pictures more. I had an idea I would be surprised, but the reality of it is a thousand times lovelier. Many of us love looking through old family photo albums but for my mum it is a genuine celebration of life. Made over the past 34 years, her albums are a poignant symbol of the importance of family and show exceptionally rich displays of fashion since the early seventies. It also provides other evidence of interest (travels, places we’ve lived in, things we loved as children, animals we adored, friends, family in Spain, France and England). A visual delight. I recently spent an afternoon laughing merrily at embarrassing pictures of my sister and myself as kids wearing faintly ridiculous outfits, rediscovering moments of mischief and diabolical tricks we played on each other. So there I was, sitting on the floor with an appetite for a mini retrospective of my life, when I found a box containing an exceptional collection of photos of my mother. My mind at once leapt to fashion comparisons and references and I could not help but think of certain trends in particular. A blend of the new and nostalgia. When I was little I always paid attention to what she was wearing and I remember her closet, filled with Laura Ashley seventies dresses, Céline, DVF, Sonia Rykiel, Kenzo, Nina Ricci and her purple Courrèges mini tunic she wore on her wedding day. She always looked so beautiful, fresh looking and young whether wearing one of her soft, loose flowery dresses or her signature Burberry trench coat with jeans and her fabulous curly hair. The designs she wore then seem to have filtered into the current fashion mainstream, with similar proportions, silhouettes and prints. I also loved the precision of her makeup, always wearing red lipstick and her big bambi eyes emphasised with brown eyeliner. I like to think that she has set fashion standards for my sister and me. Her exquisite taste in jewellery has definitely marked and influenced me (but this is a subtitle and should be the subject of another post). She wore great things then and continues to do so today. An enchanting and modern muse to my sister and me.
I owe a debt of gratitude to her for having spent countless hours working tirelessly to neatly organize the one hundred or so albums she has at home and for having taken so many Polaroids and pictures throughout the years! Hours of fun for me and my family!