The Sixth of April was exactly a month since my Mother's passing and for this reason I decided to not post for the month of March. Even now is seems weird that I should do so but of course I realise that eventually life goes on and loss and trauma eases with time.
I have spent most of March and April thinking of my mother and my relationship with her and I would be lying to you all if I said we had a great friendship...We did not. However, we did have numerous things in common she was a very artistic and gifted lady and also adored her fashion and was a lipstick lovin gal just like her daughter.
It was from her that I inherited my love of thrifting and from a young age she would bring me to Dublin and we would visit all the vintage and charity shops together. I found my first piece at the tender age of thirteen and was thrilled to have been discerning enough to have chosen such a gem (It was a 70s leather coat with a fur collar)
As I have been reflecting this month on my relationship with my Mam I also realise the huge influence she has had on me with regard to my style and my image. We didn't have the same taste and clashed almost on every topic......LOL ......But what we did have was the same set of values and this included a desire to use and not abuse valuable items that could be re-used and worn again.
So, my love of Vintage and Thrifting has definitely been influenced by the woman that was my closest real life fashion Influence as I grew up through teenage years and adulthood..........My Mother! I can thank her for my knowledge on materials and appreciation of luxury fabrics like silk and fine linens. Thank you Mam for the uncanny eye for quality items that you have given me over the years. The fact that I can spot them at lightening speed once I enter the doors of the Aladdins cave of an array of charity shops in my locality is I know all thanks to you Josie. However, I don't know if it's so great for my hoarding addiction......LOL!
Last weekend I had the dreaded task of clearing some of my mothers belongings......namely clothing. My cousin travelled to my family home to help me with the task. As I sifted through her wardrobe (one of many I might add...Ha Ha!) I realised that her love of colour was just as strong as my own .The difference was that she collected coloured clothing but didn't venture to wear it at all. The reason for this I'm not quite sure of but I would describe her as a ...Closet Colourist! (Think of just invented a new syndrome....Ha Ha Ha!)
A Closet Colourist, in my opinion, is a person who has a sunny and confident side buried deep within themselves but struggles to free it to the world at large. This is a great shame as we all know the positive affects of colour on the senses. I have written a few posts on this topic in the past and can't stress hard enough the importance of it on our well being.
Within a few hours and with the help of Mary (Thank You Mary!) we had dismantled numerous items of coloured clothing from an array of different styled hangers and managed to fill a dozen or more black bin bags. I found a few items that I have kept and will interpret in a more modern way later.
One of the fashion accessory items that I assiociate with my Mam was her love of coloured silk scarves. I have kept most of these and will wear them turban style in the coming months. I need to be careful however as my weakness for hoarding has a tendancy to overwhelm me and it is something that I struggle with constantly.
This weakness towards hoarding I have also inherited from my mother and I can testify to this first hand as I packed similar items of her clothing (Lots never worn) into countless bin bags . Most of these items had been prisoners that had been sentenced to years of solitude in the dark resesses of her vast wardrobes.
I have learned a great deal about life that I hadn't been aware of before now over the past two months or so. One of those lessons is living in the now and not purchasing for the "WHAT IF" or being afraid to wear something that you truly love for fear of what others might think....Fuck others and please yourselves .....Don't be a Closet Colourist crippled by self inflicted insecurities.
A curious thing in relation to clearing some of my Mothers wardrobe ( and the reason it was tackled so soon after her passing was the emergency of acquiring space in the room as the items had swallowed up most of the available storage there, even swamping the bed etc)....I thought I would be very distraught but as I immersed myself in the task I became euphoric. As the bin bags became fuller the stifled heavy room became larger and lighter. The feeling of relief and freedom I felt as the space became free the more enthusiastic I became.
Suddenly the task became a symbol of 'Letting Go' of stuff and memories and shackles that had become a burden to my Mam and that she had ceased to enjoy. I could feel her relief and her light breath on my face as I packed the bags into a neat heap in the hallway. I felt her smile on my back as I cursed under my breath at the amount of excess that had been accumlated over the years.
Having this experience in my life, filling bags with things that were another persons past life I realise that its not upsetting but liberating for both parties. Life is about living and enjoying in the moment and that includes clothes and wearing them. Style is about NOW its not about that floral dress that's in the darkest corner waiting for "Some day".............
So now my Mams clothes have made there way to our local charity shop and soon will have new life once again. The cycle of life begins again......... Its funny I did a blog post last year all about upcycling and re-using clothing and slowing down the Fast fashion Industry it was called Dead Peoples Clothes.....and here I am a year onwards putting everything that I had talked about in that post into real Life practise.........
Must admit I didn't think it would be my Mothers but there you go.......That's Life!
I would love to hear your thoughts on any of the topics I have covered in this post..... Be it loss of a loved one, how we are influenced by our parents style growing up or decluttering........
Lots of Love VIOLINKIT XXX