The documentary about Iris Apfel premieres 29 April, Getty Images.
The Great Iris Apfel
Today, 29 April, the documentary Iris is premiering. To celebrate fashion’s grand dame we list ten – out of tens of thousands – of her great style moments.
10. ALL RED EVERYTHING
The style icon was probably born with the gift of speech. In Iris she tells filmmaker Albert Maysles about her attitude to dressing up, in a frank and bold manner: “I didn’t give a damn about going to the party or being at the party. It was all about getting dressed for the party.”
Here she is wearing head-to-toe red matched with a cane. We can definitely tell getting dressed is the most important part of the party for Iris.
9. STYLE BEFORE LOOKS
In the documentary, Iris also reminisces about the early days of her career. At one point the founder of the famous department store Loehmann’s, Frieda Loehmann, took Iris Apfel aside and said “You’re not pretty and you’ll never be pretty but it doesn’t matter because you have something much better – you have style.” Mrs. Loehmann was definitely right about the latter.
8. MORE IS MORE
The most important items in Iris’s wardrobe are her accessories…
7. BIGGER IS BETTER
… and there is one accessory more important than all other: her signature glasses.
6. IF YOU HAVE TO WEAR IT – WEAR IT
When Iris realized she needed to wear glasses to be able to see properly, she decided she was really going to wear glasses.
5. FUR FRENZY
Other favourites are fur. Here she is, casually sporting a foot-long coat. No wonder her nickname is the rare bird of fashion.
4. RUNWAY ROYALTY
Iris is part of the reason old has become the new young in major fashion campaigns. Other examples of seniors taking the spot from youngsters are Joan Didion for Céline, Joni Mitchell for Saint Laurent and Iris herself for Kate Spade.
Here Iris is in her natural habitat: On the runway…
3. RED CARPET QUEEN
… and here she is at the Tribeca Film festival together with a group of important film people. To her right is Albert Maysles, director of Iris. His most famous films include Grey Gardens and Gimme Shelter. Iris outshines everyone else on the red carpet with this diagonal fur purse – and erases all doubt that she’s the one standing in front of the camera and not behind it.
2. THE THREE A’S
In an interview with One Kings Lane, Iris talks about what it means to have style:
“I define it with three words: Attitude, attitude, attitude.”
If there’s one thing this picture is proof of, it's that she’s got all three – and that there is no such thing as too many necklaces and bangles. At least if you’re Iris Apfel.
1. UNEXPECTED COMBINATIONS
“I don’t have any rules cause I would only break them so there isn’t any point”, Iris says in the documentary. Here she mixes patterns with a massive, warrior-style necklace. To the left is her husband Carl Apfel, they married in 1948.