Tag Archives: oscar de la renta

Purple Dresses, Pitch Forks, Tomatoes, and Boots


My friends and family know my obsession with clothes and shoes. I spent 25 years in the prestige fashion and cosmetic business, working for and with famous designers. I started this blog post at the beginning of September but as life on the farm goes; work takes precedent. I wanted to talk about how priorities change as you age. I still love fashion and the colour purple, but catching the news on tv a few nights ago changed my train of thought a bit.

I caught the picture of Amal, the new Mrs. Clooney in her wedding dress. I said immediately it looks like an Oscar de la Renta, and it was. Beautiful, tasteful, a real piece of couture. She is touted as a “style icon”, like Jackie Kennedy or Audrey Hepburn, (some of my favourites). She will change the face of fashion. I had to watch the whole piece and I loved everything she wore. Not only is she a talented, smart woman, she has her own “style”. She is free to be herself.

I like to think I have my own “style”, it’s what makes me comfortable in my skin. How I look and how I dress says something about me. Unless you are naked, what you wear is an extension of you and what you want to say about yourself.

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Thirty years ago I had my style as well. It said: I am my mother’s daughter. As my daughter has quoted “she was a farm girl who wanted to get to the city”. She loved fashion but couldn’t afford to buy the beautiful things she loved. She was very resourceful and creative. An amazing seamstress, tailor, knitter and designer, if she saw something she loved,she created it for herself. She created beautiful things for her five daughters and all their dolls as well. Grandchildren were the best dressed ever. Even her son-in-laws got her creations.

My career in the fashion world thrilled her. One of her most loved creations was the dress she made me for a very formal affair with Oscar de la Renta. She recreated one of his couture dresses. His highest compliment was on her detail at the shoulders and how she did it. I think even he learned something. It was a beautiful dress.

The funny thing is even though I am my mother’s daughter I was born a city girl dying to move to the country. I remember saying in grade 12 that I wanted to live a pastoral life, raising cows in the country. It was the early ’70’s and put down to that “hippie influence”. My desire to backpack through Europe was poo pooed and off I went to university. I have always said it was my road less travelled.

I never lost my desire for the pastoral life and now here I am. Mimi Doolittle as my son-in-law calls me.

Today,  the colour purple in my life means:

purple tomatoes

my heirloom tomatoes (delicious),


my new pitch fork (perfect for the barn)

and my new bog boots, perfect for poop kickin’!


A path is what you walk, and you have to walk it to make it a path. Today I don’t regret a step I have taken. Hey, it got me here to the country and I still have style!