Editor’s note: For this edition of PaperCity’s “She’s the Bomb” series, we switched things up and asked contributing style editor Bradley Agather Means to select a photograph capturing one of her mother’s most fashionable moments. This snapshot of Elaine Agather — chairman of Chase Dallas and managing director of J.P. Morgan Private Bank, as well as a philanthropist and fashion goddess — is not what you may have expected…
The important thing to know about this photo of my mother is that it was not taken on Halloween. Nor was it snapped at a costume party. It could have been taken on a Tuesday — in July.
The truth is, I can’t tell you the date of this photo, because it could have been taken on any day during my childhood. Growing up, my sister and I became accustomed to the surprise factor from our mother. We never knew what she might show up wearing.
On any given day, she could be in a Chanel power suit — albeit a hot-pink one — to a vintage rodeo ensemble or a floor sweeping gown. Then there were days that she would show up at our elementary school dressed as Cruella de Vil. Just because.
Simply put, my mother loves to get dressed. She has always looked to clothes as a powerful form of self-expression. She decides what she wants to wear and who she wants to be. She doesn’t save things for special occasions.
Clothes, after all, are meant to be worn. It’s because of her that I understand that the true value of a dress lies not in the price tag, but in its ability to make you feel something. Clothes are not just what we wear. They’re a large part of who we are.