I had never heard of Iris Apfel before I watched her documentary by Albert Maysles on Netflix. I’m sure many still haven’t, but all you have to do is look at a picture of the American fashion icon and you’ll want to learn more. At 96 years young, she continues to catwalk through life in a league of her own entirely, dominating the fashion world every single day by simply getting up and dressing herself. Through her colourful mind and her rainbow-bright wardrobe, she teaches us how to live a life that is anything but boring.
Iris Apfel is fashion full circle – the buyer, the designer, the styler, the model. A one women show, nailing it every single time. When she’s not modelling some of the most unique pieces in the designer world or single-handly styling store windows on the American high street, she’s haggling around Harlem for the best authentic African style to add to her own renowned collection.
A famous quote of hers sums up her eccentric style – “More is more and less is a bore.” Her trademark, oversized glasses along with her layers full of sparkles and mismatches make her no stranger to standing out in a crowd. Though her body may be physically frail, she still somehow succeeds in prancing around carrying the weight of frankly too many bracelets and necklaces to count. She reminds us to dress only for ourselves, to step out of the box and away from the normal. In her own words, “rules are the ruination of the art world”. We need to break a few to release our inner creativity.
Not only is Iris the most fashionable lady in the world, but she is also symbolic of a life lived to the fullest. In her 96 years, she has never lost her eye for style, her youth, or herself. She has aged most gracefully and has never been shy in encouraging everyone around her to do the same, because growing old and giving in to our bodies before we absolutely have to is not an unwritten rule, but rather a misinterpreted notion.
Iris Apfel, a beyond beautiful Bird of Fashion, or “geriatric starlet” as she calls herself. She fascinates me endlessly, and personifies everything the world should be – a colourfully chaotic celebration.