Maureen Hart, the Bathing Queen

Photo: Courtesy of Piper Weiss/Chronicle Books

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The Bathing Queen
Mom: Maureen Hart
Daughter: Deborah Hart
Era: 1950s Fijian Islands

The reason Piper loves it: Clothes were harder to come by in the '50s, so they were more original. There were fewer mass-marketed clothes and you couldn't order them online. So a lot of moms in the book either had their mothers make their clothing or they made it themselves. They were really proud of what they were wearing and it showed. Like Maureen, the bathing beauty mom living in Fiji, who handmade all of her bathing suits. So much of her identity was put into her work because clothing was a reflection of the place she was from or the place she had just visited. I think how she dressed played a factor in how she expressed herself because what she wore helped her define herself...or who she was going to be next.

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