Hello. I’m Edwina Owens-Elliott, Fashion Illustrator, Indie Author and today, the Guest Blogger for AN ORANGE MOON
In spite of its ills, I love social media. Without Facebook, I may never have met my sister-in-spirit Lynne McDaniel, never had the opportunity to drool over her posts about the impressive estate sales of Lerone Bennett and Cyril Pinder, and I would not have this opportunity as a guest blogger to wish Lynne, her husband Ty, and AN ORANGE MOON a fabulicious 11th Anniversary!
It feels inevitable that Lynne and I would have hooked up somewhere down the line. I’ve lived in Atlanta now for many years but I was born and raised in Chicago and I’ve rummaged through vintage stores, consignment shops, resale boutiques and yes, the Goodwill, for as long as I can remember.
My first vintage piece of furniture was purchased while visiting Atlanta over twenty years ago. I was in town deciding whether to vacate the Windy City for a warmer climate and the ATL won me over. I purchased this bench and left it in my friend’s home as a commitment to return. We were betrothed, Atlanta and I. You could say the bench was an engagement ring I’d given to the city.
I’ve purchased a few more furniture pieces since then but my most precious vintage is the china, jewelry and accessories of my late mother.
For a little girl born and raised on a farm across the river from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Rosa Smith Everett Owens possessed great style. By the time this image was taken of her in the late 1940s, frolicking in her first Chicago snowfall, you can see that she was already primed and ready to stroll along North Michigan Avenue.
She was an in-demand fur finisher in Chicago for over forty years and worked for the most exclusive fur salons in the city. Frequenting the shopping aisles of Marshall Field’s, I. Magnin and Bonwit Teller regularly, she breathed the same exclusive air as the wealthiest women in town. As far as she was concerned, that’s exactly where she belonged.
When she passed away in 2001, among the many household items I packed up and brought back home to Atlanta with me is this Dragonware tea set that she acquired from an estate sale back in the 1960s. I remember as a child being fascinated by the geisha’s face in the bottom of the cup.
My mother’s style was quiet, tasteful, and her leather glove and handbag game always on point. The jewelry, outside of her restyled wedding band that I wear on my pinky, was mostly costume. But every piece is as precious to me as diamonds.
My favorite image of her, the one that still takes my breath away, was shot in New Orleans before I was born. She was Lena Horne-lovely and these clip-on earrings she wore are among my prized possessions. The memories of playing dress-up in them as a little girl are still fresh and to have them today, still, fills me with tremendous joy.
Fashion and style was ingrained in me and my career could only go in one direction. I’ve been a fashion designer, a fashion illustrator, an art director and finally, an author. My book series, WINONA, INC., is a fun and sexy illustrated adventure for adults about—what else—fashion and the modeling industry.
The book is dedicated to my parents but especially my mother, who encouraged me to dream big and let nothing stand in my way. And while she didn’t leave behind the legacy of possessions that a Diana Ross or a Barbra Streisand will someday bequeath, she taught me to buy quality, always, and to know that I’m worth every penny.
Ty & Lynne McDaniel, Owners & Founders
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