Throughout my entire life, Haydee Seiger, my mother, has dressed impeccably. She adores textiles and yarns — their textures, colors, movement. Her biggest soft spot is for silk. She could wear a new silk shirt every day for the next decade, and she loves each and every one of them.
Mom has a collection of fabrics and yarns from her travels around the world. One of her favorite spots is the Mocenigo Palace Textile Museum in Venice, which she came across one day while lost in that great city. She has made pieces of fabric from Thailand and Hungary into long skirts so she could wear them and show the entirety of the fabric. Mom and Dad went to an International Genetics Congress in Tokyo in 1968, and the Japanese graduate students voted Mom the Best Dressed Person at the ball. I don’t know what dress she wore, but I do know that she had a golden Mexican mantilla draped around her shoulders.
Shopping in a flea market or thrift store with Mom is like going out with a cashmere magnet. We have found more Pringle of Scotland cashmere sweaters in the thrift stores around San Diego, presumably tossed away by retiring Navy officers. And if a sweater isn’t so lovely, Mom will take it home, wash it, unravel it, let it dry in the sun, roll it into skeins and make something beautiful out of the cashmere yarn.
Mom is living in a Senior Community now, and her closets are frustratingly insufficient for her wardrobe. But that doesn’t stop her from dressing to the nines every day. Even in a pair of white jeans, she’ll pop on a nautical patterned silk top and slip her teensy feet into a pair of elegantly worn Kenneth Cole loafers.
During my last visit, we were up late chatting, and I had the idea of doing a photo shoot. We dove into her closets and chose a collection of pieces. We didn’t pay any attention to the labels, just the colors, textures and styles. This video is the result of that photo shoot, and I am happy to share it with you.
Happy New Year to you and to all the fabulously stylish moms out there!
My mom, Haydee Seiger, circa 1949
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