It’s my YLF tradition to dedicate our Mother’s Day post to my late Mum, who to this day has had the largest and most meaningful influence on my style, my positive body image, and the way I perceive fashion. 

Colours and patterns define the look of 2012 so I thought it fitting to share how much of those style preferences we share (or shared) with our Mothers. As far as non-neutrals go, Mum and I had vastly different colour preferences. She was an earthy, spice-toned gal, favouring coppers, rust, burnt orange, forest green, burgundy and mustard yellow. She also adored deep teal, light blue, antique pink, baby pink, salmon pink, sage green, emerald green, and blush. By contrast, I’m into crisp clear brights like tomato red, citron yellow, apple green, shocking pink and rich turquoise. Chalk and cheese. 

But when it came to the neutral side of the colour spectrum, Mum and I were kindred spirits. Mum LOVED black and white (or cream) outfit combinations — and so do I. When it came to denim, she only ever wore white jeans, and always had a slew of white and cream shirts and blouses, as well as black knitwear. I can’t ever remember Mum wearing black from head to toe, but wearing black with white or cream was a signature look. Both in solids and in patterns, and always paired with bold gold jewelry. 

Mum and I also had similar pattern preferences, favouring geometrics over everything else. We both loved polka dots, stripes, ginghams and checks, but adored a fab floral, animal print and swirly abstract design too. Mum also loved paisley prints, which don’t tickle my fancy quite as much. But I really liked the batik paisleys that she wore from Indonesia, the country where she was born and spent the first 18 years of her life.

The pictures above show Mum in 1979, hosting our annual Spring party in our home in Hong Kong. She enjoyed cooking and would spend days preparing a splendid “rijsttafel” for up to 30 guests. She’d often have the outfit for that occasion tailor made, which was a common thing to do back in those days when you lived in Hong Kong. True to her style persona, she wore a dressy black and white geometric patterned frock with emerald and gold jewelry. So very glam, polished and elegant as always. But she knew how to have fun too, breaking into song at some point in the evening. 

Well. I almost made it through writing this post without bursting into tears, but it’s this final bit that gets me every time: Mama, I am so grateful for your guidance, backbone, candor, fiery personality and unconditional love. You secured my confidence as I was growing up, constantly making me feel special and loved. You were also completely honest when things were not to your liking. And although I only started appreciating it later on in life, I really appreciated that too. It’s tragic that you are no longer with us today, but know that you are always in my heart and mind. I think of you a little harder when I wear my black and white ensembles, and I hereby dedicate them ALL to you. 

Although I lost my Mum quite young at age 29, I was grown up and married by that time. I have friends who lost their mothers when they were still in primary school, and that breaks my heart because I cherished time with my Mum the most when I was little and in my teen years. So this post is also dedicated to those who lost their mothers at a very young age. Right now, our Mums are lounging on their big white fluffy clouds watching over us in their special way.

We at YLF wish you and all Mothers a very happy Mother’s Day.