Vintage style heroes: our mothers!
By Lena on December 11, 2009
My Mom, The Style Icon , a QueensOfVintage.com favourite, is a fantastic blog showcasing old pictures readers send in of their mothers. Seeing all these stylish women really reminds us that way before they had us and became mothers, these fashionable girls had a keen interest in fashion and style, making them our number one style icons. We’ve met up with the website’s founder, Piper Weiss, to find out more about the influence maternal style has on our own fashion choices, and how it informs our endless fascination with vintage style.
Lena Weber for QueensOfVintage.com: Tell us a little about yourself :
Piper Weiss (pictured below right): My name’s Piper Weiss. I’m 31 and I was born and raised in NYC. I’m currently living in Greenpoint Brooklyn, a neighborhood chock full of fashion inspiration. There are a slew of – in some cases over-priced - vintage stores and residents who are most comfortable dressing like it’s 1982, a year I romanticize thanks to the movie Tootsie. I’m a newspaper editor for the NY DAILY NEWS. I edit features and lifestyle pages.
QoV: What was your inspiration behind setting up your website?
Piper Weiss: There’s something you should know about me: I don’t consider myself someone who’s into fashion. I’m more someone who likes to wear costumes. I’m not into designers, and I get my inspiration for getting dressed by thinking about what year I want to pretend I’m in- the Forties, the Seventies and so on. I’ve recently enjoyed dressing like a preppy pta mom in the Eighties, which probably has to stop. Basically, I get my inspiration for clothing from movies, old pictures and songs I like. I’m kind of driven by nostalgia.
For the site, inspiration was clearly my mom. I found these old pictures of her from the late Sixties. She was 23 in them and I was just awe-struck with jealousy. I realized she is the person I want to look like. She had bellbottoms, I dream of genie pony tails, arm cuffs and string of very hot hipster boyfriends looking longlingly at her. In one picture she’s wearing this little mod frock with a ruffled bib that is my fantasy dress. I had bought something similar days before but hers was definitely more unique. I asked where she got that from and she said ” Oh I had it handmade by a tailor in Italy. That was a cheap way to shop back then.”
My mind was blown. I have a group of close friends who also love vintage clothes and costumes like me, so I scanned in the pictures while my mom was walking the dog and posted them to a blog. The initial idea was to share the pics with my friends and get them to submit their moms pictures. Ithought it would be a fun Mothers Day gift, plus we all would really like the inspiration. Nothing really come of it until the fall when a trend tracker did a story on websites that post parents’ old pictures.
From there I started getting submissions from all over the world: Panama City, Croatia, Russia. There was big hair, fancy cars, lots of fur. The styles were all over the map and really fun to study, but I was also taken in by the stories that were submitted along with the photos. People really wanted to pay tribute to their moms, and several submissions are actually memorials. Others detail overwhelming obstacles their moms have surpassed. It’s kind of amazing when, despite all the baggage we all get from our families, we get the chance to see them as people.