My Style: Tomoko Azumi

Interior designer Tomoko Azumi

Photo: Akio — Courtesy of Tomoko Azumi

What is the first thing you notice on a woman?

Her hair and whether it’s dyed or natural. I admire silver hair and when one is not hiding the transition to her natural colours, a result of growing older

Please describe your style in three words.

Simple, tactile, and functional.

What is the biggest mistake one can make when getting dressed?

Too much flavour of a trend that does not evoke one’s personality.

Do you believe in role models?

Not really — I don’t have one myself.

What are your favourite fabrics?

Merino wool for my underwear and cycling gears, then silk and linen for spring-summer scarfs.

Are there any style combinations that you object to?

Sometimes I see women in my age (late 40s) or older wearing frilly and girly clothes. I think they look silly and make their men look very immature — as I think the purpose of wearing such clothes is to please men.

Which city has the best-dressed women?

For me, Paris. Especially these middle-to old-aged women who are chic and playful, not flashy at all.

Would you say that you are conservative or bold?

I would say I am rather bold. But once I like a garment, I will stick to it for quite some time. Also, I often buy the same item multiple times for future use.

What are the rules, if any, in the way you dress?

Simple, tactile, functional, and harmonious to where I am.

Celebrities and style...

I don’t follow these so called 'celebrities' at all — so I don’t know.

One garment/accessory that you can never have enough of?

A pair of short trousers from Oliver Spencer.

A woman should always look like...

That she is feeling comfortable and relaxed.

How do you select your clothing every morning?

Thinking where I will spend most of the day, how long will I walk and whom I am going to see… thinking how I will feel most comfortable psychologically. So, sometimes my choice could be a kimono, going for the traditional Japanese way.

What is your biggest regret?

Can’t think of any.

The three essential things a woman should know about style are...

Clothes don’t hide your age or shape, but rather reveal them. Following the latest trends doesn’t make you look smarter.

Do you have any shopping rituals?

Everything you encounter is a once-in-a-lifetime. So, I try not to miss the chance if I find something special.

We will never see you wearing...

An evening dress with wide opened top, which is designed for the Western well-shaped female body.

Which new designers do you follow and why?

My latest favourite is Yab-Yum based in Tokyo. They are not very new, but are fresh for me.

Who is the most stylish person you have ever seen?

Lucie Rie at an Issey Miyake show in Paris.

What are the most treasured items in your wardrobe?

A complete set of kimonos and obis designed by Hirocoledge, Tokyo.

Is comfort an enemy of style?

I don’t think so. As long as comfort doesn’t relate to looseness, and you are able to feel comfortable when you sit up straight.

Who would you like to recommend for œMy Style€?

Architect David Adjaye.

The best words of advice you have ever heard?

Less is more.

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