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!