Friday, January 7, 2011

Family Fashionistas

Ethiopian Designer Twin-Sister Duo of Mataano.  Image:

Most fashionistas have someone whose lipstick they stole and whose large shoes were filled with newspapers and goodness knows what else by an admiring 7-year old. For me, those people were all family. One of my uncles donned three piece suits by Hugo Boss or the like, for his gig as a motorbike messenger in pre-email Johannesburg--talk about hip before the birth of cool! My mother always had kids at my schools on the watch, waiting to see what she turned up wearing...they could never figure out how the nerd I was landed such a stylish mom.  And my dad?  My father refused to wear a suit to work as part of his fashion stamp (I don't follow too far behind) but that Cat was sharp.  I learned the importance of a good shoe from my dad and the eloquence of understated attention to detail and quality.  I also learned the importance of fresh socks--he always carried a fresh pair with him for mid-day change--a classy man with pungent feet does not classy make.

And of course, my grandmother, who taught me so quietly the art and dignity of all things beautiful.

If you're feeeling the family love of style (+love), enjoy Elva Fields--a boutique of gorgeous handmade jewelery, see left, with lines named for designer Emily Maynard's great-grandmother (Elva), grandmother (June) and mother (Deb).  And of course, how can we forget Ethiopian Mataano sister-design team--Ayaan and Idyl Muhallim--who bring family inspiration+love to every piece in their collection? Cannot wait for long summer walks sporting a wide, flowing number from their Spring 2010 line.

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