Style Icons: Tziporah Salamon and Kansai Yamamoto

tziporah 01I have a terrible middleagegirlcrush on Tziporah Salamon. We’ve mentioned her before on TWR because as a New York based stylist, model and fashion-muse she is featured regularly on Advanced Style and in Bill Cunningham’s fashion reports. She also has her own website here. I have the above left image of Tziporah on my mood board of ‘all time favourite images ever’.

In particular I love her use of oriental textiles, how she layers heavy embroidery over printed satins and yet doesn’t look swamped. She keeps her shapes neat and  tailored then adds the volume with a scarf or jacket. I have a hankering this winter for these type of deliciously decorative fabrics, I’m getting a bit bored with minimalism…

tziporah 03There is elegance in her clothes and accessory combination at all times, I particularly love the way she does this, it’s like refined eccentricity. It’s easy to look a bit mad if you get it wrong, Tziporah never does.

tziporah 02As chance would have it, I got a new mentor in this layered oriental-pattern-and-print look last week when I went to the vibrant and exciting Kansai Yamamoto Fashion in Motion catwalk show at the V&A. It was one of the happiest and most colourful shows I’d been to in a long while, with layers of gorgeous Japanese fabrics such as kimono inspired silks combined with indigo (I have a thing for Japanese indigo, regular readers may remember). Wildly colourful makeup and scruffy kabuki-inspired top-knot hair finished off the look, with the odd feather thrust in at a fierce-looking angle.

You may remember Kansai from the David Bowie exhibition as he did some of the Aladdin Sane costumes. I didn’t realise he was still making clothes, but he most definitely is, art too and although his style is a bit too ‘Rainbow Warrior’ for me, I love the indigo/satin/embroidery mash up.

kansai 03My photos are not great -sorry- but I’ve nicked a couple from Susie Bubble’s site as she was there too and is a far better photographer (read her write up on the show here)  The giant dragons embroidered onto oversized ikat indigo bomber jackets were my favourite, and the patchworked kimono prints in golds, blues and reds were good enough to swap your grandmother for. I couldn’t help thinking that drawstring sack would make a great yoga mat bag….

kansai 04And there were parasols of colour to push home the point.

kansai 06So, should you want to -like me- add a touch of Tziporah-style layered embroidered and vaguely Kansai-Japanese-ish inspiration to your wardrobe, I suggest you get to Zara or Toast, who both have the rich fabrics and embroidered pieces you need.

mixedI love the embroidered satin bomber from Zara at £69,99, above left, which would be very easy to wear, and the Toast indigo over jacket (actually a dressing gown, I think) at £85 is a fabulous Kansai-inspired item.

Toast have a good selection of silk velvet, a very Tziporah-style fabric, to use as layering pieces..(jacket £195 and trousers at £149) remember to add scarves of colour and pattern,

toast 05And a coat with a touch of embroidery £445, below from Toast, layered over a satin and embroidered dress at £79.99, Zara below, is what we’re looking for…with an oriental patterned scarf too…

toast againThe Toast beaded and embroidered blouse at £245, below even comes with its own obi. I’m thinking Christmas party dressing here, what do you think?

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  • Becky says:

    Fabulous – I love this look sooooo much and wish I could dress like it all the time. I have a Japanese friend here who got hold of an old Kimono for me in the summer, I have yet to get it off of her, but when I do, I’m thinking of having it made into a big jacket / coat thing – I love all those oriental prints and materials. Lovely x

  • Amanda says:

    Glad you liked it Becky, I also have a kimono contact at Hammersmith Vintage Fair, they are just gorgeous when seen altogether too. Ax

  • Sarah says:

    Tziporah is a living work of art, I worry about the fancy dress element as I get older, as don’t want to look like a demented elderly clown but she is always elegant and exquisitely groomed. I doff my( jeweled pirate) hat to her and her discipline.
    I had a pair of Kansai boots, lost many years ago.

  • Monix says:

    Oooh – perfect! But how long does it take to choose, edit and get dressed every day? Takes an artist’s eye to get the layers and textures right without, as Sarah says, getting into the clown spectrum ( as I think too many of the advanced style women do). Have noticed that the addition of something modern like a sharp pair of sunnies or sandals tends to stop that.

  • amanda says:

    Mon I think it’s essential to keep it modern too, I worry about wearing top to toe vintage for the very same reason, it can look daft, but cutting through with a modern jacket shape or great shoes can help. Sarah I think it’s all about practice, and maybe doing that Chanel thing of taking one thing off before you leave the mirror to be less cluttered (or was that Vreeland? can’t remember) A

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