Our mother daughter style was quite different. Aside from the difference in our height (she was five feet two inches and I am five feet seven inches), skin and hair coloring ( check out my post Why Don’t You Look More Like Your Mother?, for more on that), my mother, Eartha Kitt, was attracted to a more classic , streamlined look and colors that were earth tones. I, on the other hand, preferred to blend the classics with a little edginess, adding a leather jacket, a stack of bracelets or oversized watches (yes, I said watches, as I often wore two at once. Not sure why), to a sleek black dress.
Yet, my mother always encouraged my unique style (not always easy to do as a mother). She would often compliment me in front of others for an outfit I had put together (and believe me, I put together some interesting looks).
I remember her telling people how much she admired my fashion sense and how I always seemed to know what worked, on me. What’s interesting about this, is that these comments began when I was a pre-teen and continued right up through my adult years. I know, as a mother myself, the many times I have wanted to make my kids turn around, march back to their rooms and re-dress because I thought their fashion choices were not particularly flattering.
But, instead, I would remind myself that mother’s understanding of how important it is for each of us to discover our own uniqueness through trial and error, allowed me to learn to embrace Who I Was, instilling in me a strong sense of self. And, so I tried, and I think mostly succeeded, to hold my tongue and encourage my children to develop their own looks and to appreciate what makes them unique.
My mother’s style was also very much her own. From her voice and her choice of song repertoire to her home and personal fashion style. She liked simple color palettes and classic, timeless designs. She felt that because she was petite, monochromatic pieces made her appear taller and saved the more daring and risqué looking costumes for the stage.
Although she was not a huge lover of jewelry ( that was definitely more ‘my thing’), her bangle cuff and big charm bracelets that I remember her wearing throughout my childhood, have been a huge inspiration for my jewelry designs. Many of my pieces incorporate my mother’s words of wisdom, giving them a peek into ‘life with mother Eartha’.
My mother loved the art of conversation. Sitting, listening, haring ideas, feelings and opinions, sometimes controversial, with people, close friends and casual acquaintances alike. I have said that it is now my turn to give voice to her words, which I do with great joy, respect, admiration and love, for the woman who was the greatest role model I know and even though she is no longer physically present, who continues to inspire me every day.
Remember ~ Treasure ~Love ~Kitt
Here are a couple of my jewelry designs. 🙂 Made in USA (just as my mother would want)