ELLE (UK Edition) April 2005

Closet confidential

Saturday 17 September 2011, by Elle

"Have you seen the library?" Tori Amos nods towards the oversized shed outside her Cornish farmhouse. "I use a catalogue to find what I need - it’s the only way to keep track." The petite singer-songwriter is talking about her huge shoe collection, each pair photographed and neatly ordered: Alaia heels, Bottega Veneta boots, Christian Louboutin peep-toes, Kurt Geiger round toes in every colour... Even Tori, 41, has no idea how many pairs she owns - "If you’re not counting, it’s not decadent, it’s practical."

As well as the shed, Tori has allocated two bedrooms to her vast wardrobe, and still it spills into the rest of the house. Charming and totally unstarry, the queen of kook pulls her favourite items off the rails as she chats about her style - think rock chick meets Alice in Wonderland. Floor-sweeping Vivienne Westwood dresses, Edwardian-esque Marc Jacobs jackets and sheer Paul & Joe shirts jostle for space next to basics from Topshop and Hennes. It may all look like budgetless impulse buying but, says Tori, it’s "deviously calculated". Together with her friend, stylist Karen Binns, she’s created a brilliantly eclectic look that reflects her music.

While her partner, Mark, prefers her in a skirt and go-go boots, when she’s at home or playing with her four-year-old daughter, Natashya, Tori’s a jeans girl. "I have all makes [one rail alone has over 30 pairs, from Red Engine and For All Mankind to Diesel and Miss Sixty], but my Next ones are fabulous - a really great cut."

Would she ever consider scaling down her wardrobe? "Never, clothes become classics. Besides, Natashya says she wants it all, especially the shoes. Imagine, she’s four and she loves Sergio Rossi!"

Tori’s top stores

*Jeffrey, 449 West 14th Street, New York; enq (001 212) 206 1272. ’Just heaven for shoes.’

* Selfridges, 400 Oxford Street, London W1; enq 0870 837 7377. ’Play around on the bottom floor, then head upstairs to get a little more glamorous.’

* Concrete, 35a Marshall Street, London W1; enq (020) 7434 4546. ’Lots of new designers.’

Tori’s style icons

* "The American actress Barbara Stanwyck. I love that she was a feminist, and she was so striking."

* "Georgia O’Keeffe is my touchstone. She always looked exactly the way she wanted."

* "Carly Simon is really sexy and has a great look about her."

Tori’s fave designers

* Viktor & Rolf (www.viktor-rolf.com). "I wore one of their tops on an album cover and they asked me to write and perform a new composition for Paris Fashion Week. Their designs are so pristine and dreamy, like going into the boudoir of rmance."

* Bora Aksu (www.boraaksu.com). "I’ve just discovered him and he’s fantastic. He’s tailoring items from his spring/summer collection for my tour and they’re just the most beautiful colours."

* Ashish (available at Liberty and Selfridges). "I love his patterned turquoise jacket. I saw it and knew I’d take it around the world. I’ll wear it with my Anya Hindmarch bag."

* Chat Charme (from Concrete; see box above). "I love the cut and cummerbund detail on my Chat Charme dress."