2015 National Mature Media Award WINNER

2015 National Mature Media Award WINNER
The Creative Landscape of Aging Wins a NMMA Award!

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Friday, May 31, 2013

WHEN GETTING DRESSED IS AN ART

Some linger. Others are quick. The solution is always the same; get clothes on and begin the day.

For most of us, it is as elementary as brushing our teeth in the morning yet there are people who consider it an opportunity for artful choices. The body is the canvas and fashion magazines simply emphasize that fact. And Hollywood’s red carpet at the Academy Awards celebrates famous people who take getting dressed very seriously.

While most people do not think about dressing in such a sophisticated way, at least not daily, women tend to be both more concerned and more interested. After all, their choices are greater than men; they have tops, bottoms, dresses, accessories. So it is not such a surprise that Tziporah Salamon, 63, a self-taught style maven has developed a cult like following in New York City.

It’s almost like a home course in Dressing 101. Held in a residential apartment, women gather to watch Tziporah take a variety of pieces from her large vintage wardrobe to demonstrate the art of dressing. She may not tell you that it requires a trained eye, a comfortable budget and a strong ego to absorb her creative suggestions but her demonstrations are in high demand mostly by middle aged women. While she acknowledges the body changes of getting older, she also makes fashion choices to address those changes. There are wonderful stories about her bargain finds that captures everyone’s attention; her finds range from a $60 jacket to a rare Prada handbag for $800.  Of course not everyone has her closet filled with eclectic choices but they are there to understand how to make those kinds of decisions. Not that Tziporah wants clones, she really wants to empower these women to find their own personal style.

And the fashion world has taken notice of her talent. She recently signed a modeling agreement in London and has participated in a Lanvin campaign. Of course New York Times’s Bill Cunningham is always taking pictures of her on the street and that alone is confirmation that what she is wearing is interesting and important in the fashion world.

Style is the hallmark of a true fashionista. Look at Iris Apfel, now 91, is a revitalized icon partly because of her style and everything because of her fashion vision. Having spent many decades with her husband traveling the world for textiles, she indulged in any and all types of wearable art. Known for her big black circular eyeglasses, she has a unique method of dressing. It’s almost architectural. She begins with a solid color, usually black, from head to toe. That enables her to “paint” herself with an abundance of unique and wild accessories. Her style is so extraordinary that she has recently become a brand and even scarves patterned with her eyeglasses can be bought in stores. She says ‘I can't tell people how to have style. No amount of money can buy you style. It's just instinctive.”

For Iris Apfel and others, style is instinctive because they have a keen eye and understand how to mix diverse and unique elements. But it does not always have to be eccentric, bold and colorful. Jackie Kennedy became our fashion leader with her elegance and understated simplicity of dress. While she could have easily worn a full mink, she chose to wear a wool coat with just a narrow trim of mink at the collar. Jackie established a new American style as our First Lady.

So whether it is a flamboyant assemblage of elements on your body, or a simple white kaftan, you can make your own style. It is a personal statement of choice that should be held with pride and confidence.

Iris Apfel:
No. 1 style rule: “If your hair is done properly and you’re wearing good shoes, you can get away with anything