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Style Icon: Mama Glanzman

by Silka

I come from a long line of collectors (ok, hoarders) which is lucky because when I was a little girl, I was a major snoop. I’d go through my mom’s purse, make-up bag, jewelry boxes, closets, and desk, examining and often reorganizing the contents, making mental lists of what I’d found and creating my own stories about how it got there. Since she’s a hippie at heart, mom’s make-up bag generally held little more than some nice hand cream and a Mason Pearson brush… but the closet, oh, the closet!

My mom was an avid vintage shopper when she was young so her closet (and now parts of our basement, attic and garage) is piled high with hats from the ’20s, house dresses from the ’30s and some majorly bedazzled evening-wear from the ’40s. By the time I became interested in fashion she wasn’t really digging into the archive for her own outfits anymore. Instead she opened the collection for her daughter’s use, drawer by drawer – a privilege I took full advantage of. Ten years out from under her roof, I still dig through my mother’s closets every time I go home. And like any good vintage shop I always manage to come away with something I’ve never seen before, that perfectly aligns with my current style and size, and that I can (almost always) convince her to part with.

Despite my mom’s extensive collection of vintage fashion, I think she’s always been much more interested in the “vintage” than the “fashion.” She loves a good story and a well-made, much-loved object. In fact, my mom’s personal style has always been marked by her bohemian roots – windswept and natural. She is unapologetically carefree and a bit of a tomboy, never interested in the spotlight but instead quietly doting on life’s beautiful details. Every available moment is spent in her masterpiece of a garden, thin, blonde hair loosely clipped back with a tortoise shell barrette, a pair of comfortable sandals and a mud-covered sundress or faded t-shirt and jeans. She doesn’t know how to braid, so neither do I and she doesn’t care to wear make-up and so now I rarely do. I have always cherished these things about her, and now I’ve learned to fully appreciate them in myself.

I never snooped because I was trying to unearth some scandalous secret, but I was and still am endlessly fascinated by my mother. She seems to have lived through so many different lives, each with their own ups and downs, while remaining unwaveringly supportive and loving towards my father, brother and I. I look forward to the coming years together, being inspired by her effortless beauty and charm and endless supply of vintage outfits.

Image above, clockwise from top left: First Blush Dress $148, Happy Cat Seeds $2.50, Shelter by Lloyd Kahn $27, Wrought Iron Coffee Table $168, Garden Tools $11, Gardeners Hand Therapy $7, Frye Sandals $158, Napkin $18, Mason Pearson Brush $190

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  • I can really relate to this post about your ‘hippie at heart’ mom! I was the same type of snoop with the only difference being that my mother hoarded (and still does!) art supplies! The stories that my mom shares or reminds me about where something came from make my heart happy! Now what will I do with that 30 year old box of Popsicle sticks?! ;)

  • This is so beautifully written, and such a wonderful tribute from a daughter to her mother. On top of that, I want every single thing on the page.

  • What a wonderful sounding mother you have. And I am so happy to hear I was not the only little girl who unabashedly loved to snoop in her mother (and grandmother’s) stuff. I too am a terrible hoarder and lover of vintage and I hope my daughter enjoys snooping too. Beautiful post, : )

  • I am bombarded with newsletters and RSS feeds on a daily basis but really enjoyed this personal post that instead of focussing on material yearnings reminded me that behind this ‘anonymous’ stream of information are real people. I enjoyed this beautifully written post immensely. X (also I am a lurker and this made me comment…)

  • Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! I hope my own daughter has some of those same feelings about me. I had to leave the country for a few years to look after my own mother (who had fabulous “stuff”) and while I was gone, my daughter who was in her teens then cataloged photos, arranged my jewelry, wore my clothes and made my life so much more fun to come home to. Ahhh, mothers and daughters.
    Thanks for the smiles to go with my morning coffee!

  • I have a baby daughter and was very touched by your sentiment of your piece. Your mum sounds wonderful and I can only hope to be so inspiring.

  • Silka~ what a beautiful loving story about your mother and oh so true. There is no greater love than the love of family.

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