My mother was the original fashionista. From the day I was born, she dressed me like a princess in petite designer knock-offs. So it’s no mystery why A PURSE TO DIE FOR (co-written with Cynthia St-Pierre) has a fashion theme to it.
I remember happy Saturdays with Mom travelling the subway to Eaton’s in Toronto, from the time I was five. I would gaze at the super stylish manikins in the picture windows at Eaton’s and Simpson’s (both long gone) with pure delight. It was the 60s and fashions were ‘mod’. Colour sizzled. Makeup was bold. And Mom was a gorgeous diva who turned heads everywhere.
Many years later, I took my own trips down the runway in Vancouver and Toronto, as an occasional fashion model for Marilyn Brooks and others. And trip is the right word! Sometimes those high heels were a little too stiletto.
Now, my own daughter Alex rules the runway, and has taken over as the family fashion Diva. Why?
One of the tragedies of my life is that my mother died mere months before A PURSE TO DIE FOR was published. It was my gift to her – a fun and heartfelt thank you for the brightness she created in my life. Mom was the sun around which this family spun. Her love of beauty in art and clothes reflected the beauty of her soul.
Our heroine Gina in A PURSE TO DIE FOR has the same fashion addiction, and the same big heart. What Gina recognizes – and what my mother so effortlessly portrayed – is that fashion is just down right fun, and we should take joy from it.
So to my dear Mom who walked the Rainbow Runway just months before A PURSE TO DIE FOR came out – this book is for you. Miss you every day.
(That's Mom to the left. Me to the right, wearing Clotheslines couture after one of my last fashion shows. 1986)