Iris Apfel: a decade-long power woman. The new documentary is “Iris” is shedding new light on her life. 93-year old Iris never dresses boring in beige; she loves glamorous and opulent styles. She is a one-of-a-kind lady, a fashion icon, and she looks back on an outstanding career as a businesswoman, interior designer, and model. She is the epitome of girl power.
What a lot of people don’t know is that Iris is not only a fashion icon (fancy glasses and unusual jewellery being her hallmark) but also a smart business lady. She founded her own interior design company back in the 1950’s. She had an illustrious client list including various POTUSes (president of the United States), although we guess that this was more of a FLOTUS (First Lady of the United States) thing.
Iris Apfel is not into Chanel costumes, nor will you find anything in her wardrobe you that you would normally expect a mature lady like her to wear. She buys her clothes and accessories when travelling the world, creating a unique collection that brought her to the attention of Harold Koda. The director of the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum also dedicated an exhibition to Iris back in 2005 “Rara Avis: The Irreverent Iris Apfel”. It is no wonder that Iris became a role model for many women and our power woman of the month.
“When you don’t dress like everyone else, you don’t have to think like everyone else“
“Now when I walk down Fifth Avenue in the summertime I just want to throw up. It seems that the fatter and uglier people are, the fewer clothes they wear. The shorts and flip-flops and tight jeans on butts that go from here to Poughkeepsie. I always say they should put people in jail for wearing clothes like that. Especially stretch jeans over size 10–they should be outlawed. Ten years ago people were starting to look like slobs in New York, now it’s an epidemic.”
“I don’t expect to find inspiration. It just sort of comes. Sometimes you step on a bug and you get inspired.”
“I think you have to have self-confidence, or you just can’t pull it off. And fantasy is something that is so, so lacking in this world today. I think that’s the reason that all of my museum shows were so successful. I mean, it just showed people that there was something other than just encasing yourself in fabric. Fantasy is powerful, powerful, powerful. And everybody can’t handle it in big doses but you can try little bits at a time.”
“If your hair is done properly and you´re wearing good shoes, you can get away with anything”
“I had a big decorating business, and we used to go to Paris twice a year. We got to a point where my husband said, ‘We don’t have any more room; you can’t go to the flea market.’ So I thought, I’ll go, but I won’t buy furniture; I’ll buy jewellery.”
“I never had a fondness for gems or the extravagance of Harry Winston or Van Cleef & Arpels. I’ve always liked the more flamboyant, imaginative things. I lusted after costume jewellery. My husband was a very lucky man.”
Personal style (prompted by Lindsay Lohan asking Apfel to be her stlyist): “I can’t tell people how to have style. No amount of money can buy you style. It’s just instinctive. You can’t try to be somebody you’re not; that’s not style. If someone says, ‘Buy this, you’ll be stylish,’ you won’t be stylish because you won’t be you. You have to learn who you are first and that’s painful… I don’t try to intellectualize about it because it tightens you up. I think you have to be loose as a goose.”
She even said more things to Avant grade Diaries!