My mom, my wonder woman & my fashion icon

I know this post is one day late, I couldn’t find the time to go through all the family albums until this morning. As you may have noticed this is a tribute to my mom – isn’t she beautiful?
Let me warn you that this is a very long post and it couldn’t be different when I am talking about my mom and how much I am proud of who she is and everything she has taught me. It is really intriguing to notice how the world has changed around her but she has kept her integrity. Gossip, bad words, violent movies and shallow tv shows were never part of her reality, and they will never be. She is from a generation of values – where education, etiquette and literature were the only things worth of her time.
She came from a family with very little so she learnt how to appreciate things in life. Growing up she would look through fashion magazines, sketch her own clothes and then a local seamstress would make them for her. She is from an era where clothing meant luxury fabrics and tailored finishes. It wasn’t about quantity, but high quality was top priority. Some of her clothes are now hanging in my closet – things were meant to last forever!
When she started shopping for clothes in a store, the retail experience was another reality from what we see today. She would sit on a comfy chair, people would serve her tea and then multiple sales reps would bring to her all the latest fashion. From her comfy chair she would decide what to try. Totally royalty treatment… Fancy like that!


And then she met my father… so she then became the wife of an army colonel.
When she got married she had a custom made dress that fit her like a glove. Oh and the hat… dying over the hat!
They head to their honeymoon and she was wearing velvet from top to bottom – another favorite of mine! Wishing she would have kept that one… and the wedding gown…
They had some fun times as marriage couple, always going out for dances and enjoying Carnaval time. This particular Hawaiian costume she is wearing on the picture below I was wearing on Halloween 2008 when I met my boyfriend!
All the furniture in my parents home was bought 39 years ago, made of solid wood and also built to last. I am now planning a design for their master bedroom and keeping her precious furniture is my main goal because there is nothing like it in the market today. She has amazing taste and she is the most perfectionist person I have ever met! This ad below is her original bedroom set, she has kept the magazine ad for 39 years!
After a few years trying… she got pregnant of my lovely sister Virginia
…and 2 years later she got pregnant of my awesome brother Fred!
And then 2 years later… here I come to crash the party… a surprise baby!
I really admire how my mom managed to look impeccable in a hot and humid weather like Rio de Janeiro… while taking care of her asthmatic 3 kids and having a full time job. And again they didn’t have much money, but whatever was spent was invested in high quality pieces. She was always tanned and she enjoyed a lot of prints, silk, animal prints and tailored suits – gosh I so wish she had kept all of her clothes…My mom is from another era in fashion, and in design in general. Nowadays she finds quite challenging to go shopping when stores offer not much more than loud music, lack of seating options and lazy sales reps. Even harder when she turns the clothes inside out to only notice poorly made construction. Even much harder when the prices are so high for something that is not so unique or not even that special.
I fell like my mom is trapped in a society that aside from the technology progress (she loves her apple computer and digital camera) a lot of things have changed for the worst and she was not prepared for it. Furniture is now produced with crap materials and even worst finishes, and this fast fashion and mass produced pieces are below her standards. She can not absorb the concept of fabrics that will not last a couple of washes…
I see now that most of my illustrations and textiles were inspired by the decor around the house while I was growing up. It was all full of dark wood furniture, african american masks and tapestry from Bahia. I can pretty much say that all my design and fashion sense came from my mom’s taste, style, magazines and books.


What is also so amazing about her is that even thou she was always so beautiful she was never too vain neither shallow. And even thou she was so intelligent and she got accepted to work at the brazilian senate she quit to follow her dream to be a high school teacher. She always felt her calling was to inspire young ones and what she teaches goes way beyond what is her duty. She teaches about life, etiquette, manners, discipline, responsibility and commitment.
I am proud I got to learn it all from her (well at least she tried!) and I am proud for growing up in a house full of books. She made me read for 1 hour daily and she also gave us only healthy foods – which I didn’t appreciate at the time but now I am very grateful for it!
My mom is now 66 years old, she still works as a Portuguese teacher at the school I went to and she is often recognized on the streets by former students! We were in Hollywood and she bumped into some of them, then at Disney in Orlando she met another ones, and even when she was on vacation in Paris she met a bunch of them! The pictures below are from my brother’s wedding just a few months ago, doesn’t she still looks stunning?
Let me emphasize: no plastic surgery!
I am very grateful for my mom and the fact that when I came into her life – by being a surprise baby and a high risk pregnancy – she never even considered abortion. She embraced me in her life, went through a rough c-section followed by a rough surgery… all with grace, all with style, all with faith… – yep she is my rock star, my wonder woman!
Thank you for being so brave and giving me the opportunity to come to this world and thank you for welcoming me in your life, eu te amo!


  • Wow your mom IS beautiful. At 68 she looks AMAZING. Stunning lady, whats her secret? She must have good genes..lucky you! She must live a happy life..she looks like a happy lady! What a wonderful and beautiful tribute to your beautiful mom. Thank you for sharing.

  • Nessa, duas correções: 66 anos(quer q ela te mate?!rs) e “Coronel”, não “colonel”…
    Eu gostaria de escrever em inglês, mas é impossível, é muita coisa…q post maravilhoso! Q homenagem linda!
    Mas minha mãe é tudo isso e mais um pouco…tb meu ícone, meu exemplo, meu porto seguro, minha deusa…deixa eu contar mais um pouquinho sobre ela: minha mãe é Ariana,muito, mas muito Ariana…eu sou ariana tb, mas minha mãe me bota no chinelo!Nunca vi ng com uma opinião mais forte do q ela, nunca vi tanta personalidade em ng que tenha passado pela minha vida…mas tb nunca vi ng tão amorosa e generosa…nunca vi tanta devoção à família, ao trabalho…a meta da minha mãe é, mais do q ensinar, educar seus alunos…sim,ela é uma educadora nata, isso está na alma dela, é sua missão nesse mundo…e ela é super elegante,linda demais,tem olhar muito forte…minha mãe derruba qq um com suas palavras sem dizer um palavrão…sério, já vi muito marmanjo com medo dela.
    Mãe, minha vida sempre foi maravilhosa e isso graças à vc…e posso dizer q mesmo no excepcional pior momento dela, onde quase enlouqueci, vc foi a responsável por não me deixar sucumbir…nunca me esqueço disso:vc me olhou nos olhos, muito séria e disse várias vezes “se cobre no Manto dourado de Nossa Senhora”…e assim me salvei, e assim vou dormir todas as noites…coberta pelo manto de nossa Sra…o manto das mães, o seu manto, a minha eterna proteção…
    Vc sempre esteve à frente…yoga, meditação, doutrina espírita, muita leitura…nos ensinou a sermos, acima de tudo, independente do nome da religião, cristãos, pessoas do bem…moral, princípios,generosidade…nos ensinou q a essência vale muito mais que as formalidades…
    Sou o que sou por sua causa…e nas poucas vezes em que não te ouvi eu errei, atrasei minha vida…vc sempre esteve certa em tudo…vc é minha razão, meu equilíbrio…
    Dizem que escolhemos nossa família antes de chegarmos a esse mundo…então eu escolhi muito bem…não existe família melhor do que a minha…começando por minha mãe, a cola de tudo, a matriarca, a voz…q encontrou no meu pai o marido perfeito, 38 anos de casados…e desse amor vieram 3 crianças felizes,q escolheram esse casal como seus tutores eternos, laços que nunca se desfazem…
    Mãe, obrigada por tudo, TE AMO DEMAIS…e Deus, obrigada por minha família,proteja-os sempre…

  • This is one of the most gorgeous postings I have ever seen…I felt like I was watching one of those tributes to Elizabeth Taylor. Your mami is absolutely stunning! I love love all the pictures you shared with us and the lady had amazing style and class, I love it! Reminds me so much of my mother, I learned so much from her too and my parents also had very little. Now at that age, your mom is still looking amazing with no surgery….WOW. I hope that when we are her age we look as good! She has a beautiful smile that I see can illuminate a room as soon as she walks in! God Bless you and your family, this was really beautiful and totally inspiring. Makes me so grateful for having my wonderful mom still!

    xoxo darling,

  • Once again a very sweet post! I love these photos of your mom, she is gorgeous! And I adore her wedding dress and the hat! I wished I could have worn my mom’s wedding dress at my own wedding…but it disappeared many years ago. What a great collection of photos and wonderful memories.

  • Your mother is beautiful and the last word in elegance – appears you have got your good looks from your mum. X X Mothers are blessing that we sometime forget to thank – this post is just beautiful. X

    e tanto amor! a tua mãe pode orgulhar-se! ela é linda e tu também em todos os sentidos! fiquei com os olhos cheios de lagrimas com tanto carinho!
    quero ser como a tua mãe quando tiver a idade dela! perfeita! e já agora… que os meus filhotes falem com tanto carinho de mim como tu fazes com a tua mãe!
    that is so pretty!
    perfect post!
    happy day!

  • You’re right, this was a long post!! But I loved it, your mom looks amazing and I loved seeing all of her photos. It always fascinates me seeing pics from my parents or that era, as you said, everything is just so different now.

  • Vanessa,
    What a beautiful beautiful post and tribute to your mother. I read every word and was tearing up by the end! She sounds like an amazing woman. It is so awesome to hear how through faith she chose to give you life despite the health concerns it would bring. It says a lot about her.

    We are lucky to have women like this to look up to and aspire to be like! My mom is also my personal hero:) Thanks for giving us a peak into your family!

  • I just ADORE this post, what a beautiful tribute to your mother! All photos are gorgeous but I liked especially those ones she’s wearing hats. You got her amazing looks too… Thanks for sharing these wonderful memories with us, may God Bless you and your family!!

    Also THANK you Vanessa so much for checked out my work, means a lot to me.

    Have a lovely week! (-:

  • I’ve read your post and I’m almost crying, it’s so moving. As a fashion freak I must say your mom has a great style – the wedding dress, for example, is stunning! And this biiiiiig hat? Gorgeous! The last photo is fantastic. I think that it’s one of the best things which can happen to us – to have a great mom and a best friend in one person 🙂 I’m happy to be so lucky to have her 🙂 Kisses!

  • oh my goodness, my friend! This was just beautiful! I went back to look through the pictures again and again… because she is just breathtakingly beautiful. And you, my dear…. look JUST like her. AND YOUR STYLE!!! Like mother… like daughter! What a legacy!!! You can see the love that you have for one another!!! One day… I’m coming to Rio… and I’m going to meet you and you are going to share with me more photos and stories of your mom!!! And we are going to talk about so much!!! The non-profit that you are a part of that helps girls become who they really are… helping them meditate… and find that inner beauty!!! ( I just can’t get over the fact how AWESOME that is!!!!) Anyways… that was kinda random… but I just really think you are something!!!

  • Oh my goodness your mother is beautiful…I see where you get your good looks from! You are so lucky to have all those lovely photos of your mom….hugs xoxoxo

  • Oh my goodnes I totally adore this post and your mom is stunning! I love looking at old photos and that red dress looks amazing on her. Wish you a fantastic day, darling

  • Just stumbled across your blog for the first time while looking for colour combos to go with orange. Your Mum is stunning, such grace and style evident through all her life – such a lovely post and she is lucky to have such an appreciative daughter. Thankyou for sharing.

  • OMG! Este post esta bellisimo. Me encanta como muestras la historia de tus familiares, eso demuestra mucho amor para con ellos. Es hermoso trasladarse al tiempo de nuestros padres y tu logras llevarnos hasta su historia y desear estar ahi para verlos.

    Dios los bendiga.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *