If there’s one person in this world who’ll always have our back, we know it’s our Mom. Sacrificing, caring, protective (threat-hurling?) – she’s all that – but what really stays with us forever is the unmatchable, indelible impact she’s had on us. From being the reason and motive behind the first words you uttered, to probably being your inspiration for your first drawing or the muse to your first song, she has inspired you in so many varied, beautiful, intrinsic designs, that I would deem even fathoming the all-encompassing influence unnecessary.
You probably got your sense of humour from her; maybe your sibling inherited the tinkling laughter. But one thing that possibly every mother has passed down to her offspring, is her body language. The way she speaks, moves, passes the salt, raises that one eyebrow, and of course – her inimitable style of dressing. If you would give it a thought, your earliest memories of life are probably specked with vivid images of her favourite plaid jacket (like Tommy Hilfiger remembers about his mother) or those suede boots circa 1985. Fashion maverick Joseph Altuzarra reminisces, “I always think of her Armani jackets when I design. In part, I think my love for tailoring came from those pieces.”
Many of us have a treasure trove of fashion wisdom handed down from our mothers – however silly they might sound. Princess Caroline of Hanover certainly has her mother to thank for her good hygiene. “My mother always told me to wear nice underwear.”
Some of us discovered ourselves with her support. Says designer and power fashionista Tory Burch, “My mother inspires me in every way. She taught my brothers and me to believe in ourselves and have the courage to think differently.” Or you received a life altering lesson like fashion’s most flamboyant nonagenarian Iris Apfel did – “My mother knew if you bought a couple of really good architectural outfits and put your money into accessories, you could create a million different looks. She taught that to me, which I think was invaluable.”
In retrospect, it was probably my mother’s deep-seated interest in all things aesthetic that sparked in me the thought that clothes make a person so much more appealing and fascinating, from the length of his trousers right down to his pocket square. I still remember the smack on my hand I received from her whenever I slacked off on impeccable dressing by carelessly slipping a rubber band on my wrist when it temporarily had no business on my head. “Beauty lies in the details,” she’d say. Admittedly, at fifteen, a fourth of my wardrobe consisted of hand-me-downs from her. Timeless pieces I reach for every now and again from the back of my closet when it feels like I have nothing to wear.
It’s easy to lose yourself in a nostalgic gossamer of memories, but you can’t deny that paying sartorial homage to your mother feels like a warm ray of sunshine in your heart. So go dig into your wardrobe, rummage through fond forgotten memories, and breathe life into your mother’s precious heirlooms. And as we always say, spread a bit of love of love today. Happy Mother’s Day!