It should come as no surprise at this juncture in our relationship, dear readers, that much of my obsessive fashion behavior is due to my mother, Ro. Which actually also puts the blame for my debt on her as well (sorry, Ma!).
With that said, when I found out one of my dearest was getting married in December of this year and making the event black tie, I knew a shopping trip to “Ro’s Closet” was in order. I jumped out of the city and into Englewood, NJ and dove right into her secondary closets of vintage items from days gone by. Running my fingers over sequined, shoulder padded ensembles that screamed “Dynasty” and hand-crocheted bikinis that yelped “Raquel Welch”…I sailed the seas of my mother’s closet like Magellan – ready to conquer new territory (or at least the perfect frock). And then it happened.
From the corner of the closet…a shimmer of sea green caught my eye. There she hung, wrapped in tissue and plastic covering…a cross between Pippa’s post-Royal-Wedding-Temperley London dress and Angelina Jolie’s 2011 Golden GlobesVersace gown.
The ultimate vintage accoutrement had been unearthed… in zip code 07631. And as tears of joy welled in my eyes I heard a familiar (and often times intimidating) voice from behind me, “Christina, OOOOHHH NO YOU DON’T”. If I were a Ninja, how would I get this dress past the enemy and back into Manhattan without her being the wiser. Think, CC, think…Crap – I am NOT a Ninja. And being light on my feet is not a particular strong point of mine.
But I AM a PR girl… and I can spin better than DJ Vice at LAVO. “Mom”, I began, “I think the world needs to know what a style icon you have been your whole life. What better way, than for me to wear this dress to a high-profile, NYC wedding and advertise your sharp taste and impeccable fashion sense?”… “I could never do it justice, nor could it ever look as good on me”, I continued as I slipped the jade long sleeve stunner on my own body, “but look mommy, it fits me like it was made for me. I am JUST LIKE YOU!”.
With that, I won that crazy Brooklyn Italian lady over and the dress was mine to wear (and if I played it smart, TO KEEP-FOREVER).
The wedding was this weekend at Studio 450 in Hell’s Kitchen. The dress was a hit, and as promised, I boasted all night how it was my mother’s vintage dress and that she was the Rachel Zoe of that time. And indeed – she just might have been. Further exploration at my parent’s house, led me to my Christening photo album-where my mother is holding “baby me”, in NYC, wearing the perfect, sea green, “mother” of a dress and a fur stole…in perfect diva-goddess grace, that only Ro knows how to do.
Fashion icons can be found all around us, but none as good as the one that bore, birthed and raised you…
SPECIAL THANK YOU: A special thank you to Yuriy at Landmark Cleaners in NYC, who not only fixed the sleeves on this dress in record-breaking time, but also got 30+-year-old stains out of the hemline. I cannot recommend their services more highly – 5 stars!