As if the calendar has a magic switch, on the day after Labor Day the days become less humid, the nights are chilly, and the September issue of Vogue comes out. I buy it every year thinking it will give me inspiration as to what to wear and how to wear it. Weighing in at over five pounds and 800 pages, I finally found the table of contents on page 245 where it indicated that the fashion spread would start at page 672. Models with pissed off pouty faces in artistic poses against dreamy backdrops wearing $895 blouses and platform shoes not made for walking is a long way from what I would wear to dinner on any Saturday night. When will I learn.
I come from a family where clothes were part of our lifestyle. My father was a tailor with a store on 168th Street and St. Nicolas Avenue in NYC. Even to go grocery shopping, he always dressed in a white shirt, Bogey style hat and tie. My mother, however was the star. Her dressmaking talents were unmistakably haute couture. As a young girl, I would watch her use a newspaper to cut a pattern right on her customer and create a garment like no store bought dress could compare. Her custom made dresses included beading by hand like this one:
Do you blame me for following fashion when I lived with a woman who could make you look like a goddess?
Another one of my rituals is to go to the Met Museum’s annual costume exhibit chaired by the queen of fashion herself (and the editor of Vogue), Anna Wintour. Every year it opens on the first Monday of May with a anyone-who-is-anyone-gala ball (which strangely enough I am never invited to). Every year I marvel at how the creativity of these fashion experts impress me with their talents and every year it makes me miss my mother.
This year’s exhibit was entitled Manus x Machina which interpreted how technology dating from the invention of the sewing machine has evolved. The displays included garments that were done exclusively by hand and those that were machine made and those that merged both. The show never disappoints me and its theme can be surprising broad ranging from the traditional impact of Jackie Kennedy to the influences of punk rock.
Yes, I love fashion. I wish I was younger so I could wear some of the styles more comfortably. Last weekend, I spent a few days with my daughter who has the figure to wear what she wants. At a Friday night happy hour in Miami, most of the women were dressed with short, tight skirts, very high heels and heavy make up. I am proud to say, my daughter wore ripped jeans with a stylish blouse and heels. I thought she was the best looking one there. My mother would have been proud.