How I Dress ¦¦ Tziporah Salamon

“I approach dressing as an art form.  For me the outfit becomes a painting, with my body being the canvas, the various components which include the bottom (usually pants, sometimes a skirt), top, jacket, cape, coat, scarf, shawl, hat, shoes, socks, jewelry, bag, gloves, and eyeglasses being the paints, my eyes the brush.  I work on the outfit as long as it takes until I am satisfied with the composition.  Sometimes it takes days, sometimes months, sometimes years.  I remember one outfit took 7 years because it was a particularly gorgeous shade of brownish red and very difficult to assemble all the perfect elements to go with it.  I had the pants made which is something I do often – utilizing seamstresses and tailors to make things and to alter others.  My standards are very high.  Each item has to be as good as all the other items and has to pass the criterion of “do I want to travel with this for the rest of my life”?  If the answer is “no” I don’t buy it.  Once the outfit is complete, that’s the painting that I show to the world.  I may add more jewelry as the years pass and I am able to afford another piece but basically I wait until it all comes together into a harmonious and organic whole, is in balance and totally pleasing to my eyes.  I am a very harsh critic.  My comparison is a Matisse painting – if my eyes are as happy looking at the outfit as they are looking at a Matisse painting it’s a go.  I am also a purist.  When I’m wearing 20’s, I wear 20’s head to toe – or at least has the look.  When I am wearing Chinese, it’s Chinese head to toe.  Basically, I do costumes:  I might be a sailor, Persian princess, Pierrot, Russian contessa, Japanese geisha, English school girl.  I don’t follow trends, don’t wear what’s “in” or “hot” at the moment and consider myself my own designer and stylist.”

“I owe all of this to my parents.  My father, Itzhak Salamon, was a brilliant tailor and my mother, Ida Dina Berner, was a gifted seamstress.  They made all my clothes and my mother went to great lengths to make me into a little doll.  For Purim, a Jewish holiday in which children don costumes, especially in Israel where I grew up, she went all out in creating the most amazing outfits.  I continue to do Purim everyday.”

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