Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Makings of Mama - Part 1

Back in the days before fashion was Fast Fashion, before any 14 year old and their babysitting money, could purchase the latest piece of cool from Groove, I loved fashion. In those days, there were no girly days out at the mall, except those with Mum, and these were usually for fairly functional outfits.

My Mum used to create the most wonderful outfits for me, hand sewn, painted and styled. While it took me almost 25 years to learn to sew from Mum, (just lazy I guess) I did learn lots of styling tricks to completely transform an outfit. Even though I couldn't hem to save my life, I'd tackle a pair of slim legged black pants with double sided tape, to turn them into the perfect peddle pushers for a barbeque after church. Given that I probably only had one pair of black pants at the time this was probably an excellent choice. I would wear things inside out, back the front or upside down, if it gave me the look I desired.

I would pour over Studio Collections, my magazine of choice, hauled home from the local library. Then I would put on my school shirt, trying to make the collar sit 'just so' like the photos, and layer it with skirts, scarves and various bangles. Wearing a uniform to school meant that my opportunities for self expression through fashion were somewhat limited. But when Sunday rolled around, it was church day, otherwise known to me as My Own Personal Catwalk. Keep in mind that I was under 10 at the stage, and the style at the time for girls of my age, was not much more than a Laura Ashley pinafore and a Peter Pan collar. Certainly no Hannah Montana or Mary Kate & Ashley ranges for the formative fashionistas.

Each week, before church on Sunday, I had a ritual. I would sit at the end of my bed and flick through the pages of Studio Collections as if it were my own personal wardrobe. When I found an outfit I liked, I would pull any piece resembling it from my wardrobe and set to re-creating the look. I had no sense of age appropriateness, so what looked stunning on Helena or whoever it was then, must have looked exceedingly odd on me. I remember feeling fabulously well dressed in a mixed plaid, cropped jacket and natty green beret knitted by Nana. I felt oh so glamorous the day I wore Mum's vintage floor length red cape. My favorite purple suit had shoulder pads that nearly poked my eyes out and was much more Joan Collins that 12 year old school girl. But I didn't care. I loved it, it was my own little Nirvana.

Images from Studio Collections December 95, one of the last copies I stole from my school library.

** Don't forget - If you want to be dressed by me, you need to leave me a comment over the remaining two days to go into the running. **


miss vintage love said...

Oh my, that reminds me of all the awful outfits I put together for myself! All I can say now is, at least I was original! I never did want to look like everyone else. :)

Tizzalicious said...

Haha, absolutely fantastic! I love how inventive you were (are!).

enc said...

I like how you refused to be limited, and invented your own way to express yourself. I did the same thing, changing my clothes into what I wanted if I couldn't get it off-the-rack.