In my first memory of my mom, she was wearing a blue silk dress with black stripes. It had shoulder pads. I thought she looked like a princess. Shortly after that, I remember her trying to get me to wear a blue quilted romper, and rejecting it out of a very strong sense that my mom would never wear that shit herself.
Whatever our mother’s personal style is, she’s usually the first person we learn about fashion from. And those lessons linger with us for the rest of our lives. They certainly did so for photographer Jeannette Montgomery Barron, author of My Mother’s Clothes. And Jeannette’s mother had truly fantastic style. She was once voted “Best Legs” in Atlanta and was a personal friend of Bill Blass. It would also appear that she knew how to rock a Norma Kamali swimsuit. However, once her mother started to lose her memory as a result of Alzheimer’s, Jeannette found herself trying to piece together her her mother’s history through the pieces of clothing she had loved. The process inspired the touching, uplifting work which is “part fashion diary, part personal memoir, part loving memorial, and part life celebration.” In the gallery below, a few excerpts: