This piece was first published in The Times of Israel.
Photo by Ari Seth Cohen
The idea of throwing on a T-shirt and a pair of jeans and running out the door is anathema to Tziporah Salamon, who never leaves the house unless she is fully dressed. And by fully dressed, she means a multi-piece, multi-layered outfit with matching hat, scarf, shoes, earrings, purse, gloves, glasses and other accessories that may take her years to put together.
“It took me seven years to put together one outfit, because I couldn’t find the right earrings for it. I wouldn’t wear it until I found the earrings,” she said in a phone interview with The Times of Israel from Los Angeles, where she, a New Yorker, was visiting a friend whose house had enviable closet space.
The Israeli-born Salamon, 63, has made dressing her life’s work, and it’s hard not to take notice of it. Bill Cunningham, The New York Times’ fashion photographer and others have snapped her picture as she tools around Manhattan on her bike (without a helmet, because it would ruin her outfit) wearing one or another of her unique, colorful, eye-popping ensembles.
All those photos of her on street fashion blogs brought her to the attention of French high fashion house Lavin’s Israeli creative director Alber Elbaz, and he recruited her to model for the company’s 2012 fall-winter print ad campaign. Not long after, London’s Models 1 agency signed the trim, 5’7” Salamon as a model for its classic division.
As exciting as finally getting her first professional modeling gig has been for Salamon, it’s really just a validation of her one-of-a-kind sartorial style. And while she waits for more modeling offers, she keeps busy with wardrobe consultation and style education work. Using her own expansive clothing collection as her instructional material, she offers both group seminars and one-on-one sessions with clients on how to dress, sometimes renting out some of her garments. She is also a performance artist, sharing her personal story and passion for dressing in a one-woman show.
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© 2013 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.