Mothers And Their Daughters

If I’m honest I wasn’t aware that people even celebrated Mother’s Day. I’ve no recollection of there being a build up to the event, let along the animated chatter I’ve heard all week.

My interest has clearly been piqued though, not in the gift sense because I don’t go in for Hallmark holidays, but in the sense that I’ve been mindlessly googling images of Suri Cruise and Katie Holmes all week.

Anyhow, after amassing a strange number of tabs of famous moms and their equally famous daughters, I figured I may as well share some of my favourites.

Lena Dunham and Laurie Simmons:

The scattered, callow character Dunham brings to life in her HBO series Girls stays with you after she’s left the screen. But Dunham’s mother Laurie Simmons is equally intriguing – not  because she’s an artist whose images are imbued with feminist undertones – but for her quiet, perennial presence in her daughter’s work. Frequently, when I read Dunham’s occasional New Yorker column or re-watch Tiny Furniture, I see the dynamic I have with my own mum.

Goldie Hawn and Kate Hudson:

I don’t know a lot about this mother-daughter dynamic, but Kate Hudson and Goldie Hawn are two of my favourite on-screen heroines. Admittedly, both have a tendency to play silly, frivolous characters chasing after men and marriage, but they do it well, creating fun personas with cute laughs and fantastic hair to match.

Kate Moss and Lila Grace:

Talk about winning the genetics lottery. Daughter to Kate Moss and Dazed & Confused founder Jefferson Hack, Lila Grace has got to be the epitome of style.

Victoria and Harper Beckham:

I’ve softened to Victoria Beckham since she rebranded as a designer, but that name still conjures images of bad breast implants and oversized sunglasses. Harper Beckham however knows how to work a crowd (and a ballerina bun), getting a smile from Anna Wintour at her mum’s sring/summer show last year. Cutest. kid. going.

Bags of Style

Jil Sander infuriated the Internet a few years ago when she launched a hand-stitched lunch bag made of coated paper and resembling a McDonald’s carryall. Naturally, writers were taken aback by the price tag but many failed to recognise the irony of the piece or the influence contemporary art played in its design.

Personally, I loved the idea – God, I even blogged about it – appreciating that it drew more from Marcel Duchamp and Roy Lichtenstein than it did easily-packaged, commoditised goods by Marc Jacobs and Michael Kors and Co.

Just like Duchamp’s Fountain, Sanders took a mass-produced item, signed it and challenged critics by posing questions relating to object, function and the role of the designer.

I’m a sucker for this kinda stuff, which is why Anya Hindmarch’s Crisp Packet clutch bag got me grinning a few weeks back. Described on net-a-porter as a “gilded ‘Crisp Packet’, which took months to perfect and is designed as a “piece of wearable art,”  it was made in Florence, with each piece taking around seven hours to produce.

Andy Warhol, the shaman of modern art once said, ‘The reason I am painting this way is that I want to be a machine. I think it would be terrific if everyone was alike.’

To this end, Andy Warhol signed Campbell’s soup-cans and aligned himself with the forces which governed post-war America. By becoming like everyone else, Warhol became unique.

This bag by comparison does the reverse. Instead it turns the objet trouvé into a sleek design that appears simplistic but is imbued with one of a kind craftsmanship.

Of course, ultimately I can only ever pay lip service to these products, which I love but could never afford. It’s probably for the best though as Hindmarch’s metallic clutch might share another Warholian quality: Pop Art by its nature makes its point clearly, convincingly and immediately meaning a viewer need not look at the image ever again. Pop Art is intended to be disposable.

At €1,195, this crisp packet is far from disposable, but the idea could rapidly stale.

The Timid Blogger

For someone interested in marketing, I’m appallingly bad at marketing myself. I ran into an old friend recently and was intrigued by his ability to inform me of his goings-on with CV-like precision. Meanwhile I was left stammering my usual self-deprecating nonsense before asking for more information about his fun life abroad.

My limited branding skills go further than one-on-one conversations though (in fact one-on-one is normally where I thrive). I’m incapable of marketing this blog through the usual social media channels with the majority of readers finding me the organic way: Google search.

It seems ridiculous that I can’t bask in the spoils of hard work seeing that I work pretty hard on each post. And unfortunately, the Internet is only getting smaller – while seeming infinitely larger – meaning timid bloggers like myself are  increasingly becoming marginalised on the web.

A recent Nielsen report highlighted last year’s mobile internet usage with some 89% of online browsing taking place through apps rather than the web.  Women – presumably my target audience – also spend more time logged into mobile apps than their male counterparts do. Essentially, apps are splintering  the web and preventing mobile-heavy users from finding non-Facebook highlighted stories; terrible news for a timorous writer like myself.

When blogging became mainstream five or six years ago, it was lauded as organic and unique. This view has since turned sour with street style blogs increasingly reflecting the mainstream media values they were thought to shun.

Increasingly, blogging has become more about self-branding than it has quality content. And in an age where Facebook reigns supreme, only the best brands will stand out and succeed against the company’s user data-driven model and targeted ads.

As they say, blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Just not the Internet.