I have very recently turned 30, which was nice because I’ve been rounding my age up since I turned 28. I read somewhere that Chanel told people she was 50 until she turned 50 and then she told everyone she was 100. The most wonderful thing about having a birthday is sharing it with wonderful people. The beautiful day I’m about to tell you about was one month after my birthday when I was sharing Mother’s Day with all the women in my family.
As usual, this Mother's Day I spent the day with my mum. I also spent the day with my sister (a new mother) and my aunt (who was not able to have children). It was a day that was about more than sweet moments, pink slippers or candles. More than hanging out backstage at the fashion show we’d been at for 2 days, more than trawling the Vintage Current fashion fair together, more than the sharing a cabin on the train, more than sharing cake after the sun had set.
When we were sharing that cake there were only four seats at that table, but we were remembering the women who had sat with us and wouldn't any longer. We were remembering the children we had lost, or never had. We were imaging the daughters who would join that bond at the table, who would know us after our seats were empty. We were remembering something much deeper than the surnames that changed by marriage, because we no longer share surnames. We were remembering bloodlines.
So this Mother's Day, I remember that my blood, this beating heart, is tied to these women by blood, marriage, love and grief. I know these strong women. I am one. I was raised by one.
My birthday entwines with this particular Mother’s Day after the vintage fashion show when my sister, mum, aunt and I all went along to the Vintage Current fashion fair. We got halfway through walking the hall when we came to the most divine vintage hat stall. There, at the very centre of my vision, was the hat of my dreams. I’m not even exaggerating. I had dreamt about this hat two nights prior. I had styled this other shoot, which we photographed that morning on the concept of that hat. And then it was right there, right in front of me. I picked it up so gently and put it on my head. It was the most dramatically wonderful moment of my dreams just popping into existence. I stood there, transfixed with it on my head.
My mum came by, and she gushed over how magical the hat was. I waited for my aunt and sister to come by as well. While I was waiting I cast my eyes back over the stall and spotted another heart stopping hat. I tried it as well.
And then I just stood there, holding the hats in each hand, changing between each one that I was wearing. I stood there and I tried to burn into my memory the feeling of the velvet, the feeling of the straw, the emotion I felt when I put them on. I knew how much they were. I couldn’t afford one, let alone both of them. I knew that, more than anyone else in the room I could love and cherish those hats as they deserved. I knew that I had never and would never see the likes of those hats again. I stood there, grieving for having to let them go.
A very different Liana, a year ago, would have got out her credit card and bought them. I’m a woman who now lives within her means. I’ve slowly put my addiction to buying things to rest. I know, I know. All those justifications, anything that opens a sentence with ‘but’, it may seem like it was something I would regret, but that is how I learned to stop buying things; I stopped listening to the ‘buts’. So I held the hats. I cherished them. I was making myself ready to let them go.
Then my sister swept in. She could tell how much I wanted the hats. She asked me if I was getting them. I told her with great effort, that no, I had things to save my money for and that I would be putting the hats back as soon as I could find it in my heart to do so. She looked at me sadly for a minute and then checked the price said ‘well, we haven’t bought you a present for your 30th birthday yet, so a hat would be good. If I get you one, you get the other.’ I knew even one hat was irresponsible, but I nodded and said ok because it was a beautifully special moment. Then when asking for the price, the attendant told us that they were on sale, and my sister nodded and said ‘oh, I’ll get them both for you.’ I dipped the brim of this black velvet hat over my eyes and started crying, like a lady, where no one could see. Once I dried my cheeks, they took the hats and wrapped them up in tissue paper to protect them from the rain. I’ve been ever so excited to show them to you since getting them, so here is the black hat. I hope you love it as much as I do.
Hat: vintage from Lady Divine Vintage Hats
Earrings: c/o The Peach Box
Dress: c/o Review Australia
Shoes: sold out - Modcloth, similar
Eyelashes: Russian volume lashes 3D at Ellebonbon Beauty
Make-up by Lara. What a babe xo
Photos: Goldfields Girl
Location: Ballarat Botanic Garden's 1894 Morey Gates.