Vintage style heroes: our mothers! My Mom, The Style Icon is a fantastic, although sadly no longer updated blog showcasing pictures readers send in of their mothers. 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. QoV: Was your own mum a style inspiration for you? What was her style like? And how has it influenced your own style? Piper Weiss: When I was a teenager I hated taking any fashion advice from my mom (pictured left). I wanted to wear platform styrafoam raver shoes and ribbed tops and miniskirts. Poor woman was exasperated watching me leave the house, as we would have fights over clothes. As I got older and developed an interest in vintage or flat out used clothing, I started raiding her closets and discovered some amazing finds. Today 75 percent of my wardrobe is hand-me-downs from mom. Her style has evolved through the years but she has a few rules such as clean lines, figure flattering cinched waists, and wearing one accessory that makes the outfit indidual, playful or just plain pop. Celebrity-wise my inspiration is Stevie Nicks, Diane Keaton circa Annie Hall, Mia Farrow and Bianca Jagger. I also like Ellen Burnstyn and Jane Fonda. I dig plaid shirts, popped collars, high waisted slacks and fitted blazers. QoV: Mums and daughters often have a difficult relationship. Do you think a mum’s style subconsciously has an influence on how her daughter dresses? Piper Weiss: I think we rebel hard against becoming our mothers and then all of a sudden- maybe when we reach our late Twenties or Thirties and have had some distance – we want to be more like them. I know i do! QoV: I often think women used to be so much more glam in the past and had real fun with fashion. Would you agree? If so, why do you think that is? Piper Weiss: Absolutely, I think more people made their own clothes – out of necessity. It was pre-H&M. Also there was a wider range of accessories: gloves, hats, shawls, pins. Things that now seem overly affected were just daily looks back then. I’m all for bringing that back. And here Piper has picked her favourite three mums from her blog. Piper: “I love this one for the picture and the story!” Dasha Oganezov writes about her crush-worthy blonde mom (at left): “The photo was taken around 1967 in Moscow. At that time, Western music was prohibited in the USSR, you had to go to an underground club or a house party to “do the twist. “This is one of those parties, at the apartment of the boy who’s dancing with her. The clothes are typical, but it’s worth noting that both the shirt and the skirt were handmade by my grandma.” Piper: “This mom is the coolest lady in town. I feel like people have been trying to copy her look for years. It’s a different kind of tomboy vintage that im a big fan of.” Amelia Rambissoon sent in this pic (at right) of her mom in high-waisted jeans, kicks and a vintage Chevy as an accessory in Baltimore in 1984. Piper: “How cool is this mom (at left)? She’s my asymetrical hair guru!” Heather Davidson writes: “My mom, Perley Mae Davidson(who passed away March of 2008), had more hairstyles then I can count. The photo here was taken in the mid to late 60s in one of those iconic photobooths in the Chicago area. “It’s my favorite hairstyle of hers, and I know people today trying to copy the asymmetrical style she had 40 years ago.” All images in this article are taken from http://momstyleicons.blogspot.com/ , except image of Piper, which is by Jessica Dimmock One Response Market Publique January 12th, 2010 ” here was a wider range of accessories: gloves, hats, shawls, pins. Things that now seem overly affected were just daily looks back then. I’m all for bringing that back.” YES! I’m all about bringing all those things back, especially hats – hats really make clothes into an outfit. Awesome blog, Piper! Thanks for featuring such interesting people, QoV!