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Armed With Antique Clothes and a Bike
June 11, 2013 4:15 PM   Subscribe

Dressing: "It is a gift, and the way God expresses herself through me. I’m so grateful for this art form because I don’t have to invite you to my studio to see my painting. You get to see it on me. I get to wear it, live it, be it". Collector's Weekly profiles Tziporah Salamon.
posted by goo (26 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
I like how she differentiates fashion from style. Delightful read, cheers.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:22 PM on June 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


I like her green bicycle. Looks like it has an internal backhub gear. Very cool. Also pretty color.
posted by ishrinkmajeans at 4:28 PM on June 11, 2013


Seconding the bike. That is one hot bike.
posted by monospace at 4:41 PM on June 11, 2013


I really was looking forward to this, but the twee-"Orientalism" look she was going for in a couple of those pictures made me feel distinctly uncomfortable.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 4:45 PM on June 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


I’ll have people who are apologetic. My friends will say, “I feel terrible because next to you, because you’re all dressed.” I’ll say, “That’s not a requirement of mine that you be dressed. It’s a requirement of mine that I be dressed.”

Folks like her, and Bill Cunningham, and Patrick McDonald just give me life. Dress! DRESS!
posted by xingcat at 5:16 PM on June 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm torn too, because I like the idea of living aesthetic, but it seems like there's a fairly significant class barrier to people really being able to enjoy this on the level that she does.

Now, salad dressing, that's something that everyone can do.
posted by klangklangston at 5:18 PM on June 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


I love that her clothes are for wearing and that she gets around on her bike in the clothes, risking stains and tears and whatever. Life is too short not to wear and use your lovely things!
posted by immlass at 5:36 PM on June 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


For some reason, the older I get, the more I aspire to glamour. So yes, there's totally a class element to this, which is a barrier for me and for most people (regardless of age or gender), which makes me a little sad/envious. On the other hand, I totally love seeing Women of a Certain Age just out there with their bad selves when it comes to personal style like this. Do not go gentle into that good night of matchy-matchy capri pants and tunics!
posted by scody at 5:39 PM on June 11, 2013 [6 favorites]


For some reason, the older I get, the more I aspire to glamour.

Really? The older I get, the less I care what people think about how I look and the less effort i want to expend on it.
posted by jonmc at 5:47 PM on June 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Really? The older I get, the less I care what people think about how I look and the less effort i want to expend on it.

The thing about dressing up, the way this woman does, is that you really can't care about what other people think. But you're right that it takes effort and not everyone has space for that. I personally enjoy the time I spend on my clothes and cosmetics but I recognize that it's not as much fun for everyone.
posted by padraigin at 6:00 PM on June 11, 2013


My favorite "advanced style" icon is Lynn Yaeger. This might be slightly narcissistic, though, as she looks like me in 20 or so years.
posted by pxe2000 at 6:03 PM on June 11, 2013


The older I get, the less I care what people think about how I look and the less effort i want to expend on it.

I didn't say I care about what other people think. It's for my pleasure.
posted by scody at 6:04 PM on June 11, 2013 [11 favorites]


Her Bianchi is not turquoise.

It is

CELESTE

GREEN


neat lady, though
posted by Sokka shot first at 6:08 PM on June 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


Yes, for older woman it's a different relationship with "what other people think," too. There's a whole society wanting you to aesthetically 'retire' and fade into the background: old, out of it, unfuckable, unimportant, whatever. This kind of thing is definitely, in part, a rebellion against invisibility. At the same time, most of the women who dress like this always did - didn't just wake up in middle age and adopt the idea. Though it's great that they don't stop just because they got older.

That said, yes, there's something of a class thing. Ari Seth Cohen is to be praised for singling out women of all income levels on the street. Bill Cunningham pretty much does the same - both are pretty democratic and seem to just exude enthusiasm for flamboyance of any kind. But there's a real possibility that women who do this visible an act of dressing up without the benefit of a 2-storage-unit designer wardrobe may end up getting more of the "crazy old lady" reaction than the "fabulous grande dame" reaction. Again, you've gotta not care what anybody thinks.

I enjoy looking at these women and I enjoy that they do what they do. For me, though, I'm afraid casualization will be the way of my life. I don't like to fuss too much. Even when I think I look fantastic, it's basically because I've got on something simple and tailored, or just look healthy and happy. I'm not much of a fuss-er.
posted by Miko at 6:36 PM on June 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


She also rents much of her wardrobe for films and photo shoots, as well as being a stylist, so her wardrobe is really working.
posted by Ideefixe at 6:48 PM on June 11, 2013


I didn't say I care about what other people think. It's for my pleasure.

I can dig that. It's more the amount of effort that fucks with my head. As a t-shirt I once saw said "I'm awake and dressed, what more do you want?"
posted by jonmc at 8:01 PM on June 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's like the record store owner in Pretty in Pink come to life! Approve! Approve!

(I wish I had HALF the killer vintage stuff I had in high school today...my hat collection alone, sigh!)
posted by bitter-girl.com at 8:02 PM on June 11, 2013


My first reaction was, 'She's 62?!?!'

So yeah, forget the clothes (ain't nobody got time for that) and tell me what she puts on her skin.

(But seriously, her outfits rock. I'd love to come across her on the street. Around these parts, we've only got the crazy stained-sweatpants lady with an Australian flag on her bike who rides around the western suburbs swearing at people.)
posted by Salamander at 9:19 PM on June 11, 2013


My style is more hippie than vintage and I don't bike and live in California and am younger, but otherwise I think I am the local equivalent of this chick. I think a lot of the same things about clothing and random strangers notice my outfits in the street. I totally am into wearable art, I don't think everyone else has to dress up but I want to, and I'm dressing for my own amusement more than what everyone else thinks. You go, girl.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:08 PM on June 11, 2013


Great article, great outfits. I can't emulate her (money, time, laziness) but I sure can admire her!
posted by Athanassiel at 2:16 AM on June 12, 2013


I'm torn too, because I like the idea of living aesthetic, but it seems like there's a fairly significant class barrier to people really being able to enjoy this on the level that she does.

All it takes are looks and a whole lotta money.
posted by backseatpilot at 5:01 AM on June 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Dressing to this level definitely takes money most people don't have, but a quirky, vintagey look is totally achievable on a budget. I have a pretty extensive wardrobe of mostly 1940s-1960s clothes, and I've very rarely spent more than $30 on an individual item of clothing. Usually it's half that. It takes time to develop an eye and to know where to look, but it can be done.
posted by nonasuch at 6:49 AM on June 12, 2013


I dunno, I'm a decade-ish younger (OK, 7 years) and I love clothes, and I get the difference between style and fashion. I'm really glad she's around -- I see her pretty frequently, tooling around town, and she's fun to watch. But, there's something so studied and costume-y and complicated about this approach -- I think it ages her, in fact. It's just not graceful or elegant, which is what I'm trying to master, as I, um, age.
posted by thinkpiece at 9:08 AM on June 12, 2013


I'm going for this!
posted by thinkpiece at 9:16 AM on June 12, 2013


Parasite Unseen: "I really was looking forward to this, but the twee-"Orientalism" look she was going for in a couple of those pictures made me feel distinctly uncomfortable."

Thank your for saying this. I had the same reaction myself, especially when reading some of her interview quotes:

"My mother went all out for my Purim outfits over the years. I started off being an Arabic girl, and then I was a Persian princess. I was Snow White one year and, the next year, I was one of the seven dwarves. I was an abacus once, and I was a doughnut. Every outfit had a hat, exactly like what I’m doing today. Oftentimes, I say I do Purim every single day."

And later:

"For me, dressing is so much fun because I get to design. I’m creating a portrait, and I have very different looks. I could do Chinese empress one day and Persian princess another day."

Um, ew? (Stereotypical renditions of) other people's cultures are not your costumes.

I should say I think she has a great sense of style, and I have no problem with using a non-Western piece here or there as part of an outfit (like the all-magenta one with the Tibetan hat, or the mostly black one with the Chinese silk coat and the rad conical hat/turban thing) providing it doesn't have particular religious/cultural significance. But quite a number of these looks cross the line from appreciation into appropriation -- while also looking much more fussy and forced than the outfits where she's not playing Orientalist princess.
posted by bettafish at 9:39 AM on June 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


The bike is likely a 2007 or 2008 Bianchi Milano Alfine, for the curious.
posted by rhizome at 2:19 PM on June 12, 2013


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