Sunday, June 27, 2021

What I wore and Chanel Letters


 My sister sent me more old family pics from Philadelphia in a manila envelope. They are mostly a record of what I wore over the years. Here we are in matching pinafores and ruffled bonnets with pom poms, Mom-made for sure. An early choke-hold shot.


No idea where this was taken with my dad. Me squinting in a flouncy sundress. My dad used to take me to Saturday morning finger painting classes at The Philadelphia Museum of Art. After class I’d wander on my own from room to room in wonderment till he came to pick me up. It was a terrific grounding in art history


The picture on the right was in our backyard. I don’t know why I remember my father was scolding me to, ”Stop posing!” I did anyway. Look at the rickrack and lace ruffled hem. A mom-creation for sure.

This looks like the final mom-made frou frou dress…before adolescent ‘rebellion’ set in. So many bows. I do not look thrilled.

As an ado, much to my mother’s dismay, I went completely monochromatic. And I‘ve stayed that way pretty much forever, keeping to a range of neutrals on the dark side. I refuse to wear prints except a scarf etc. Odd how your life-long clothing tastes are formed isn’t it. What do you prefer? Prints or solids?

I was in my brief Moroccan period, still solids. Didn’t everyone go to Morocco at one time or another?

Stripes entered my life in a big way when I worked on Seventh Avenue. *Note the stripped socks.

I Loved Sonia Rykiel and Agnes b. I still have at least 5 stripe T-shirts in my closet and several striped scarves to go with. You can never go wrong wearing classic stripes in Paris. Is that why I moved to France, land of stripes/rayure.

Us again on the Atlantic City boardwalk. Note our matching outfits, Mom-made. I’m sure mother made her own head-to-toe outfit. We were dolls she loved to dress up till we wouldn’t let her anymore…

I played the ‘cover’ as my mother browsed the elegant fashion boutiques in the Hotel Chelfont Haddon Hall just like La Samaritaine. Except back in the day you had to doll up to enter. I would quietly wait outside the dressing room, while mom tried on and examined inner seams and structure of couture dresses. Such dreams of grandeur. When she’d finished her research, we’d waft out casually, (buying nothing) as though we shopped there everyday.

Here we’re dressed to the nines in matching black-watch plaid suits with matching beanies plus a distinctive added feather to go faux/pretend shopping, every stitch made by my mother. My mom was such a fashion plate.
Quelle surprise Mom. I did finally go to fashion design school as you wanted (among many others). I worked in fashion 7 years+ on Seventh Avenue, before moving on to other things like shoe designmedical illustrationfood artistwine art and finally sending out illustrated letters💌 and maps🗺 around the world🌏 from Paris. Hello Moscow! 


I think my mom would love ❤️ the Chanel letters I just put up on etsy. I hope you do too ☺️ Is it any wonder I’m mad about Bear 🐻 He’s monochromatic and wearing a striped T-shirt. Well that’s enough about little ole moi
             💋☺️🐻Have a Bon Dimanche PBers🐻☺️💋



31 comments:

Ga From Dekalb said...

Love, love this!!! More insights into Carol, the woman and artist. Thank you for sharing.❤️🧍‍♀️🎨

Parisbreakfasts said...

Aww…thank you Ga. You know its quite insightful for me too. I never thought about why I only wear solid colors all my life. So wacky the things that influence your decisions. Beyond your control really.

365 Dresses said...

So fun! No comment about the photo standing next to the car? You look quite chic there.

La Table De Nana said...

Treasure of a post♥
Wow..how fortunate to have all these..J'adore.

Parisbreakfasts said...

Chic? Studious? Intellectual you say Jeanne?
I don’t remember anything mostly.

JoAnn Tracey said...

Our mother was also a creative home sewer, so my sister and and I had the same flouncy, rick rack trimmed dresses. What really brought back memories were your bangs: despite our mother’s many talents, our bangs were often trimmed way too short - and way too crooked :)

Bonnie L said...

Is it any wonder you became an artist, Carol? Your Mother was such a creative. So lovely that you have these photos. You truly need to write a book…what a fascinating life.

Aside from the stripes, toting about a sugar cube is another reason to be mad-about-Bear! My kind of guy. ❤️

Patsy Lavinia said...

Carol, thanks for sharing your lovely family photos with your family. I grew up during this time period and my mom dressed us three girls alike for quite a while. I, too, grew up in PA, down the road a bit from Philly in Lancaster.

Ary H said...

Thank you for sharing your memorable vintage photos snd lovely tidbits of Mom. Sewing for you and your sister probably brought her great joy and satisfaction tone creative

Parisbreakfasts said...

Oh JoAnn…that ‘bowl’ haircut.
No choice in the matter

Parisbreakfasts said...

Thanks Mary H,
It probably did give her great pleasure. She was a perfectionist. Something I am not. Interesting what is passed on…

Carolyn said...

One of my favorite posts! I love seeing those old photos and seeing what you looked like as a child! The picture of the two of you in matching plaid 💋Your mother would have been so proud to see all you are doing today! The creative gene passed along. I also enjoyed seeing you sitting on the floor any old place painting away! Reminds me of being on the train going somewhere in France when you whipped out your water colors on a 6 inch table and painted the train conductor standing outside the window!!! Love you

sukicart said...

Love seeing Carol history; fascinating what shapes us for our grown-up selves. Your artistic self was a no-brainer with your Mom and the Philadelphia Art Museum to wander through on a weekly basis. I'm pretty much solids myself; my Mom almost always dressed me in Navy blue and I still gravitate toward it. For many years, refused to buy any thing in that color to make myself branch out.

Robin Mitchell said...

Carol, we must be near the same age, as I have almost identical photos of myself in similar poses and clothing. I love seeing your photos. Thanks for sharing. RM

Ellen said...

Thanks Carol,

Love the throw back pictures today.

Parisbreakfasts said...

Thanks Ellen,
I did not know my fashion history till this week! ;))

At least Suki, you were aware of the limitations and tried branching out. Me I didn't know nuttin’

Carolyn, that is so funny you remember that from our train ride together…LOL :))

Shhh Robin :))

Patsy, I guess that was the trend back then. So much for treasuring individuality…though I don’t think my inner self was crushed by it. At adolescence “the worm turned” as my mom used to say. Lancaster always seemed magical to me….the Amish!

Parisbreakfasts said...

Your post this week is just priceless! So many wonderful memories and yes you were very stylish!! My mother
Made my clothes also. Some good some bad as I grew older! Prom dresses were great.
It’s amazing how we hold onto our favorites. Now my 26 yr
Old Granddaughter living in LA wants my old “hippie phase” clothes.
Your mom would be Proud.

Carol G said...

Once again your email today brought back so many pleasant memories of my own early years—especially the rickrack-adorned dress (see attached). In the photo of you and your mother on the boardwalk I LOVED seeing the marquis (or sign?) “MAILED EVERYWHERE” behind you. Even back then somebody knew.
Thank you for your work—always brings joy to my day.

Ann K said...

I absolutely Love this ! Thank you for posting these pictures!!

Mary in Oregon said...

My Mother and grandmother both sewed for me (even a dress with large orange rickrack down the front on a white and orange sundress (for print - and - cord week, naturally!
You and your Mother look so chic in your matching blackwatch outfits with the berets! I had a pair of woolen fully lined blackwatch pants my Mother made for me! It was just me - no one else to sew for, so I had lots of fun helping choose the patterns and the fabrics. Then, with my only daughter, I did the same sewing and enjoying letting her help with the selections! You must have really been the apple of your Mother's eye to have a career working in fashion on Seventh Avenue, but your art has taken you to Paris...a creative like your Mother would be even more elated, I'm sure! I just love your thumbnail photo with the bright red frames and Paris Rouge lipstick! Again, so chic!

Anonymous said...

These are lovely photos and what a wonderful story about your father taking you to finger painting classes at the Museum. That early exposure paid off! I'm a solid girl - a lot of black in my wardrobe. A friend keeps encouraging me to try color and prints -every now and then I buy some print - and I always give the piece away. It's not me!

Jane said...

Très charmant!
J’aime votre histoire.
My mother, too, saddled me with dreams.
I understand her better now than I did when I was younger.
(So mature!)
She said having a kid was ‘like dressing a doll’!

Thilda said...

So lovely old photos!! I miss old times so much...

Parisbreakfasts said...

Thanks Mary in Oregon. I love all the old memories this post has inspired.. Touching.
Someone sent me an old photo dressed in rickrack. It seems all our mothers were madly sewing for us.
I never assisted with the selection of fabrics or anything else. Not invited. She knew what she wanted. It’s unfortunate she could not have the career she so desired.

Jamie Cat Callan said...

I LOVED the photos of you as a young girl and the
history of your fashion evolution!
Thank you for everything you do.

Bugs said...

these marvelous photos....I'm so glad you
like stripes. I do too. I wear them often. And
love to mix-match them. You are amazing
and beautiful.

Mary Russell said...

So chic, as always! Solids for sure. Prints give me anxiety & look chaotic on me! I was told once that prints hide cheap fabric. Such special photos. It’s obvious you were destined for Paris with Bear to keep you in line. I had those dresses too-starched within an inch of their life. My favorite is the one by your car & the chic one with your Mom. Looks like we’re around the same age?? I’m 69. My goal for my 70th on January 5th is to have dinner at Le Grand Colbert like Diane Keaton. J’taime Carol. Thank you so much for sharing🇫🇷💚

Parisbreakfasts said...

How interesting! Prints hide poor fabric?! Like flavored sausage in France.
I reccommend lunch instead at Le Colbert. Very lively!

Unknown said...

Memories: I got caught in the dressing room of Nan Duskin's with my tape measure in my hand.

Parisbreakfasts said...

Nan Duskin’s! I haven’t heard of that place in years. I guess its gone with the wind.
Philadelphia’s Bergdorf Goodman!!

Jeanette, Mistress of Longears said...

Just curious about your medical illustration work, I clicked on your post about it and can't believe I missed that one. Shocking! So glad it turned out well for you!