It has become YLF tradition to dedicate a blog post to my late Mum each year. We had a close relationship. It’s also 11 years ago this month that she passed away, and I still think of my Mama many times a day.
My precious Papa lives alone in the Netherlands and keeps an urn with my Mum’s ashes on his nightstand, along with several photographs from their happy 40 years together. Among them is the photo (right) of Mama at age 20 in 1961. She was modeling for a Dutch department store in the Netherlands at the time, wearing a typical outfit for that era — very full midi skirt with multiple petticoats and belt, shawl collar blouse, and pointy toed stilettos.
When I was very little I would stare at this photo and think Mama looked like a princess. Back then, all I wanted to be was a mini version of my Mum, so I vowed that one day I’d wear a similar outfit and feel just as fab. Well, it’s taken me 40 years to get here. I don’t look as glam as Mama, and my blouse and skirt are not identical, but the feeling is the same.
In love with the trend, my eyes have been peeled for the perfect midi skirt. This Diane von Furstenberg skirt completely fit the bill. The colours are happy, the fabric sublime, the quality impeccable, and the drape superb. It’s made of several intricate pieces. My word! The pattern maker is genius.
I’m wildly excited about my new midi because I can wear it in so many ways. But what tickles my fancy most, and what warms my heart the most, is wearing it in a way similar to Mama’s outfit in the photo. So on went an Anne Fontaine blouse, pearls and my red Kate Spade party shoes. Gold was Mama’s only choice of metal, making the gold watch and wedding ring a no brainer.
It’s hard to conceptualize that I’m twice the age Mama was at the time of the photo. I still feel like I’m her little girl. I also recently realized that my love for blouses, button down shirts, dresses, pearls, handbags and all things elegant, glam and polished comes directly from her influence. I think of Mama every time I purchase items along these lines, and it is a very comforting feeling. As the years go by I worry about forgetting Mama and not thinking about her as often as I want to.
Mama, as you look down on us from your fluffy white cloud with our beloved Jasmine, know that I miss you every second of the day. You will always be my most important style inspiration. Without your guidance, my passion for fashion and style might not have blossomed. You led by example. You taught me first how to look my best and feel beautiful, which are thoughts and perspectives that I now pass along to others in my role as a fashion stylist. Having YLF and devoting my work life to fashion and style has definately kept your spirit more alive in me.
But sadly Mama, nothing can replace the real time that we had together. How I wish I could shop up a storm with you right now. No doubt about it, you’d be a very stylish 70 year old, still trying new trends, yet working your own unique classic and glam look into the mix.
Since you aren’t physically here, I do the next best thing, which is shopping with you in my thoughts. I look at items that I think you might like, that I’d purchase for you, and that you’d purchase for me. Sometimes I purchase an item just because it especially makes me think of you. Like my new midi skirt. This might seem crazy to some, but it makes complete sense to me. See Mama, you’re just always in my head and heart. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
We at YLF wish all Mums a very Happy Mother’s Day on Sunday.
See more photos and outtakes in the Facebook album we created for this post.