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I wasn't thinking about losing my mother when I started the blog My Mom the Style Icon. I was thinking about how NOT to let her know I've posted her pictures on the internet.
Last year, after digging up a mysterious album from my mother's travels abroad in 1968, I was mesmerized by her outfits. Let me just free-associate here: arm cuffs, hair falls, stove-top jeans, mini-mod dresses. The lady had style. And not the kind I knew her to have--that's to say perfume-scarves, and heels that make clickety clackety mom sounds on tile.
So I scanned in the photos and threw it online for proof that the woman I'd battled with in dressing rooms for years was actually my new muse.
Over the past year, the blog My Mom The Style Icon and it's original intention have changed quite a bit. With thousands of submissions -from as far away as Australia, Russia and Croatia--other people's mother's have taken over the site. Many of the moms are deceased.
The site, at times, morphs into a tribute page, dedicated to the memory of mothers--before they were mothers. Yes it's about style. But the pictures, are more than great pictures. They offer an intimate look at the lifespan of a stranger. Not the harrowing loss, but the life lived--it's the kind of public treatment of death most often reserved for celebrities.
These are women who engaged in rebellion, craved a hat they couldn't afford at a local boutique, fell out of love and back in love, worried what their parents would think of their boyfriend--all this before they had their children. And for a moment, they become superstars. The kind
of person you hope to be like.
Here are a few recent tribute posts that celebrate the women who live on in photos and memory.
Piper Weiss is the creator of My Mom the Style Icon (mymomthestyleicon.com), which will be published as a book by Chronicle in Spring of 2011.