Mariah, and intro: I grew up in the mountains around Sun Valley, Idaho. Exploring the wilderness as a child left me with a deep connection and appreciation for nature. Both of my parents were craftspeople and instilled in me a creative spirit which brought me to study Textiles and Design at the University of Idaho. Since then I have been experimenting with; graphic design, photography, metalsmithing, textile design and style. I now run my online shop, Everything Golden, a collection of carefully curated vintage clothing and handmade accessories in Bozeman, Montana. An outdoor woman to the core, I find my inspiration in the solace of the mountains.
On Mother Daughter Style
Style is something I contemplate often, I sometimes struggle with the vanity of it, the consumption of things we don’t need. All of my adult life I have worked with clothing in some way, beginning with a retail job in high school where my friend and mentor saw a passion and talent in me that I had not yet recognized, which led me to study clothing, textiles and design in college. All along I have been finessing my relationship with clothing. For me, style is much deeper than a visual quality. If you dress mindfully, it can communicate your essence. Dress, as an expression of self, comes from your desire and the more thoughtful you are of this, the truer your expression. My richest style moments are when I feel a connection, often to my mother, or another time and place. My first style memory involves a red dress. I wore it with a thick red belt and the skirt was so full, I spun it for days. The dreamy quality of that dress lives on. That is why I love vintage & handmade clothing — the story, the intention behind a creation, or a connection to a sweet memory, this is where beauty runs deep.
My mother is my muse. When I’m looking for vintage clothing for my shop I always think of her in the 70’s. She and my father were true bohemians — my mother living in a tipi in Vermont and my father hitchhiking across the country. She embodied an earthy elegance. My mother passed away from cancer 15 years ago. Dress is a way I stay connected to her and a way that her essence lives on in me. I spent many hours with her, scouring thrift stores looking for gems. She loved the serendipitous nature of shopping this way, and that joy has rubbed off on me. Now Ember is in tow with me as I search high and low for that perfect pair of wonderfully worn vintage jeans or a flowing bohemian dress. Another way I connect to my mother is by working with my hands. She was always creating things, whether it was working her garden, making wreaths or clothing. Now, I find my most meditative moments are when I’m creating and I can actually feel her hands as I move through a bouquet of flowers, or a wreath. I hope that Ember picks up that same energy.
This mother/daughter style connection is more apparent to me now that I have a daughter. Ember can’t dress herself yet, so her style is more or less the inner-child version of mine. Even still, I see her own style develop and reflect her person even before she can choose her own clothing. This makes me ponder that element of our style or essence that isn’t about clothing or anything we can name, it just is. The first glimpse I had at true mother/daughter style was from my soul-sister-friend Julia and her daughter Leonie. I was used to seeing babies dressed in very babyish clothing, not necessarily reflecting their parents. Leonie, however was a natural extension of her mama. Julia was wearing Leonie in a wrap and they blended together beautifully — a mixture of funky prints and natural fabrics and colors. Watching Ember’s style evolve will be one of the greatest joys of motherhood for me — whether she’s a tomboy or a girly girl, or a mixture of both, I’m going to revel in her expression of self.
“Vain trifles as they seem, clothes have, they say, more important offices than to merely keep us warm. They change our view of the world and the worlds view of us.” – Virginia Woolf
Photos by Pam Omohundro