Portraits of a Dressmaker

Posted on February 4, 2012 by Cindy Wu


This morning, my mom surprised me with a bunch of her old pictures taken in the early 70′s when she was just a teen. I can’t describe how much these photographs excite me.  They offer a glimpse into the times before I even existed. Before my siblings came into this world. Before my dad met my mom.

They’re from a time when my mom first started going out with boys..haha (sorry mom!) How awesome is that!

I’m so proud of her because she is seriously the most talented clothing designer/ dressmaker I’ve ever met. Her career in the garment industry started when she was as young as 13! You will find below a collection of photographs that was taken by her “then” almost-boyfriend. He was a budding photographer who was very attracted to my mom because of her beauty, kindness, energy, curiosity and talent. And all the clothes that you see her wearing (including that of her sister’s–also pictured below) were designed and made by herself!

 This is my favourite out of them all. I love the composition. Do I look like my mom?


My mom, at the age of 16, clad in her own designs. Lacy button-up shirt and floral shorts with suspenders? I’m a fan!


Also 16 here, she’s modelling a button-up dress with fancy tie sleeves. Ladies, would you wear this?


Age 18. Here, she’s sporting the Pixie haircut that was very popular back then because Hong Kong actress, Betty Ting Pei, wore her hair this way. My mom was actually made fun of for looking too much like Betty Ting and her friends joked that she’d get harassed by Bruce Lee’s fans. For those of you who don’t know who Betty Ting is, she’s been rumored to have killed Bruce Lee by giving him a type of super-aspirin while he was sleeping over at her apartment. Bruce Lee died of cerebral edema.

My mom also made this ruffly tank top. She almost made me one last year but I said no…because it was too, uh, ruffly. I’m not a ruffly kinda girl.

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