Posts Tagged ‘Advanced Style’


I spotted these unique women on a recent breezy Sunday afternoon, strolling down Sutter Street in downtown San Francisco.

What stands out most about these creative outfits is who is wearing them. Women of a certain age and I suspect, women who have been dressing this way since the 1980s.



All white on a bright spring day is perfection. I like that there’s subtle interest in the billowy shirt, with extra long sleeves and cuffs. The black work boots add an edge and remind me of the pseudo-punk look of the 80s.

And then we have black on the right. A high-low skirt in lace is flirty and fun but kept ladylike with a knee length black skirt underneath. The platform sneakers are in patent leather and embellished with baubles on the toe – girly meets edgy! Our street style maven is sporting very long dangle earrings and she’s added a pop of color with a pink tote, not to mention her classic bob in a sort of plum color. What I’m not crazy about is the pedestrian blazer. It just does not go with the rest of the ensemble and it’s throwing off the proportions. She needs something shorter with a tighter fit. A motorcycle jacket comes to mind to lean into the edge and away from the girly she’s got going. If leather is too much, she could get a similar vibe with a short black hoodie.

Oh what a treat to find anything stylish on the streets of San Francisco.

Thanks, ladies. I hope you enjoyed your day out.

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10413420_785675868162678_3574336313385235352_nHooray! The Bay Area screenings of Advanced Style start on October 10th, 2014 in Berkeley at the Rialto Elmwood on College Avenue and in San Francisco at the Presidio on Chestnut Street.

Haven’t heard about Advanced Style? Well, the oh-so-popular Advanced Style was first a street style blog by photographer Ari Cohen featuring chic ladies of NYC who also happen to be mature (60s to 90s). Then it was a book and now it’s a documentary.

The Advanced Style women are creative individuals who are less about current fashions and more about their own signature looks. They use color with abandon and don lots of chunky jewelry. They’re not afraid of hats, they adore scarves, and appreciate a good vintage find. To them, dressing every day is an art form.

Working with filmmaker Lina Plioplyte, Mr. Cohen interviews seven of his cadre of fashionables about who they are and what they do, how they put themselves together and what inspires them. One lady weaves men’s blazers into her ensembles always sporting a lovely vintage brooch on the lapels. Another takes years to assemble a complete outfit head to toe often incorporating ethnic pieces, such as a Japanese kimono. Yet another designs her own clothing using unique and colorful fabric she buys in Africa.

Ms. Plioplyte says of the experience, “I love the inspiration and fearlessness that these women exude – just hanging out with them has changed my personal perception on aging.”

Advanced Style won Best Documentary at the Miami Film Festival and has premiered in London and New York City. Now it’s our turn starting on October 10th, Rialto Elmwood in Berkeley and Presidio in San Francisco. Check the theaters’ website for times.

There’s much to be learned from these fabulous women, not just about fashion but about aging and spirit and … life.

This just in: The filmmakers will appear for a Q&A with the audience at the Rialto in Berkeley after the October 11th 3:30 showing. Don’t miss out.

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Tziporah Salamon

Tziporah Salamon

On a recent Sunday afternoon, 11 fashionable ladies gathered in San Francisco to hear Tziporah Salamon talk about her style and how she puts herself together. An artist of fine dressing, Ms. Salamon has created a presentation, part lecture/part show-and-tell, to teach women how to dress appropriately and with flair.

She was born in Israel to a tailor father and a seamstress mother from Hungary. (Her father’s tailoring skills saved his life at the young age of 13 in the WW II concentration camps, where he was charged with making the Nazi uniforms.) Between the two parents Ms. Salamon and her sister never went without quality clothing.  “From day one I would be sleeping, they would be sewing,” she said in her introduction.

The family immigrated to New York when Ms. Salamon was nine years old and she still lives there today. As a former teacher and with years of experience in the fashion industry, Ms. Salamon has a new mission – she wants to redirect women toward a better way of dressing. “It’s so needed right now,” she explained. “Girls and women dress inappropriately.”

To that end she is now splitting her time between New York and Los Angeles with the occasional visit to San Francisco. She feels that the current trend for sloppy and inappropriate attire is rooted in Hollywood and celebrity culture, so it is her intention to infiltrate that culture.  By setting an example, giving her presentation and eventually working as a stylist Ms. Salamon hopes to inspire women to dump their track suits and flip-flops for more elegant and interesting choices.

Photo by Ari Seth Cohen.

Photo by Ari Seth Cohen.

Ms. Salamon’s two-hour presentation is comprised of her dressing in several outfits as she explains where she found the individual pieces and why they work together. When creating an ensemble, she starts with one inspiring item and builds from there using layers of textures and coordinating colors. Sometimes it can take years to complete one outfit. She favors vintage clothing because of the rarity and high quality. She stresses the importance of accessories. “Invest in good quality basics and accessorize,” she said.  Jewelry, sunglasses (vintage), scarves and especially hats are important.  “The hat is the exclamation point.”

Ms. Salamon says there are big benefits to putting some effort into your style. “People talk to you when you’re dressed well and you’re better treated.”

Click here to view more of Ms. Salamon’s sartorial creations.

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Tziporah Salamon. Photo: Ike' Ude.

Tziporah Salamon. Photo: Ike’ Ude.

A couple of weeks ago I was in downtown San Francisco fabric shopping at Britex and meeting a few fashion students for an interview. As I dashed past the St. Frances Hotel, a smart-looking woman popped out of the crowds wearing lots of color and a tall hat. I knew instantly that she was not from around here and more than that, if she wasn’t one of the Advanced Style ladies from NYC, I’d eat my hat.

Fast forward more than a week – reading the San Francisco Chronicle I noticed the same woman featured in the Style Section Buzz column. Well, it turns out my mystery lady is Tziporah Salamon and indeed she is from NYC and part of the Advance Style set (so my hat is safe).

Ms. Salamon was in town as guest of honor for Jennifer Evans’ launch of a new line of evening gowns by The Factory. I was over-the-moon to read Ms. Salamon is returning on Sunday, June 30th to give her lecture Art of Dressing, where she shares tips on how to dress creatively and exhibits pieces from her extensive collection of vintage and antique clothing.

I can’t wait! You too? Contact Ms. Salamon for ticket information: tziporahsalamon@gmail.com.

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Left to right: Valerie, Helen, me, Jean. Photo: Richard Aiello.

One thing often leads to another as was the case with the Night & Day hat exhibit I attended in March. At the exhibit opening I was introduced to Jean and Valerie, two ladies from Advanced Style.

Advance Style is a blog by photographer Ari Seth Cohen featuring chic NYC women of a certain age. The blog turned into a book and now a documentary is in the editing process. Cohen’s ladies have become celebrities of a sort and some are even getting modeling gigs.

I have great admiration for these women. Each has created for herself a unique look combining vintage with ethnic with what ever strikes her fancy. They’ve embraced age and are fearless when it comes to color, pattern, statement jewelry and outlandish hats. What makes it work is they do it all with good taste and flair.

So, I was thrilled to meet Jean and Valerie and their friend, Helen, who owns her own costume shop (watch for a post on that later). The trio couldn’t have been nicer as they posed for photos and took the time to speak with me. Turns out that Jean and Valerie have their own blog, indiosyncraticfashionistas and are the subject of a recent book by cartoonist Joana Avillez.

Hats of course were the accessory of the evening and Jean sported one of her animal ear hats. She has a fondness for the silhouette and owns many a chapeau highlighting two propped points.

Valerie sported a fabulous vintage red feathered number. She’s a hat gal from way back starting as a child wearing hats for warmth against East Coast winters. As she got bored with one style she’d adopt another. The years passed and … Valerie is now a collector.

Thank you, ladies for being so gracious. I look forward to seeing you again in the documentary.

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Two stylish ladies from Advanced Style. Image courtesy of Ari Cohen.

My favorite street style blog is Ari Cohen’s Advanced Style. On his popular blog Mr. Cohen chronicles the most stylish ladies of NYC who also happen to be mature.

The women featured on Advanced Style are creative individuals who are less about current fashions and more about their own signature looks. They use color with abandon and don lots of chunky jewelry. They’re not afraid of hats, they adore scarves, and appreciate a good vintage find. To them, dressing every day is an art form.

For the past three years Mr. Cohen and his business partner, filmmaker Lina Plioplyte, have been interviewing these stylish older women for a documentary called Advanced Style: The Documentary. To finish up the project they are asking for a little financial support. For a mere $5 or more if you like, you can be a part of something truly remarkable.

Here’s what Mr. Cohen has to say:

This film is important because it will allow us all to look at aging in a new light. So much of what is in the media either ignore older people, or casts getting older in a negative light. The women featured in the Advanced Style film are between 65 and 100 and they live active and joyful lives. Their experiences will give us hope for the future.

I have seen the trailers many times and just like a piece of lovely dark chocolate, I savor each taste. I look forward to adding Advanced Style: The Documentary to my collection so I can watch it again and again.

Check out the trailer: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/292182391/advanced-style-film

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Lynn Dell looking stylish in faux fur. Photo by Seth Cohen.

Fashion says me too and style says only me.

Lynn Dell

This is right on. Lynn Dell is known as The Countess of Glamour and she is often featured in Ari Seth Cohen’s blog Advanced Style. The owner of Off Broadway Boutique in NYC, Lynn is also part of the upcoming documentary film about stylish older women.

Oh, and by the way, Ari has a book based on his blog coming out in May. It’s called Advanced Style (powerHouse Books) and it is currently available to pre-order on Amazon. (Or support your local independently owned bookstore and ask them to order it for you.)

Congratulations Ari … I cannot wait to read it!

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