I recently just made the step to move in with my grandmother. Yes, my grandmother. It has come to the point where I’m the poor post grad that needs a rent-free place to stay temporarily to be closer to where I need to find work. So to grandmother’s house I go.
My grandmother is a sweet woman from Kentucky with a mother that was a seamstress with her own shop “JoLinda Modes” named after her daughters Josephine, my grandmother, and Linda. “Modes” meaning “style” in French. She designed clothes for my grandmother all the time. This dress was one in particular that she designed for my grandmother to wear to the Eléganté event held at the Science Center in St. Petersburg that was featuring designs by Mr. Blackwell himself.
If you don’t know of Mr. Blackwell, he was a journalist, designer and fashion critic from LA. He is known as the creator of the “Top Ten Worst Dressed Women List.” Also the “Fabulous Fashion Independents” list, a fashion review of the Academy Awards. His designs were featured at this event on Nov. 21, 1963, the night before the Kennedy assassination.
My grandmother met him in person and said that he pulled these earrings out of his pocket and gave them to her, after telling her what a lovely dress she was wearing.
The dress has a small stain on the bottom, so I suggested to her to cut and hem it to be a shorter dress. We’ll see if she takes the suggestion. She also has some other gorgeous “JoLinda Modes” pieces including a silk kimono-inspired cropped jacket, and some beaded flapper dresses that I will photograph and feature for a future post.
Even though I don’t have my own place anymore, I appreciate the fact that my grandmother is letting me stay with her. She has so much to share with me about my family history. She is also a great cook and has a specialty pound cake that I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy for every one of my birthdays. Hopefully she can teach me her secret southern recipe 😉