Tuesday, November 27

Style Maven: Iris Apfel.

Iris Apfel rocks. I mean look at this incredibly unique personal and timeless style. Because it is so completely her own, makes it timeless. No one is putting any shelf date on what she collects and what she chooses to put together, and I just love that. It takes guts in today's society to wear what you like, love it and not care if people think you odd or even ridiculous. What's really ridiculous is putting on a different tie and the same bloody suit every day of the weak, oops, I meant week. Now in her mid-eighties, Iris Apfel is a unique style icon. An exhibit of her incredible fashion collection, "Rara Avis: Selections from the Iris Barrel Apfel Collection" was even on display last year at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute and the Norton in West Palm Beach, Florida. Of the collection Iris says, "This is no collection. It's a raid on my closet."

Iris Apfel is a woman who has always been ahead of her time. More than 50 years ago as an interior designer looking for fine traditional silk-woven fabrics and noticing a lack thereof, she recognized an opportunity and, along with her husband, Carl, founded Old World Weavers. She built it into one of the most prestigious brands in the world of textiles and interior design, with an illustrious clientele, including Greta Garbo, Estée Lauder and the White House. Iris Apfel combines offbeat styles, colors, textures, and patterns without regard to anyone else's conventions and proves that true style comes from individuality, with a love of "objects from different worlds, different eras, combined her way. Never uptight, achieving - hopefully - a kind of throwaway chic." Perhaps that's why I feel so akin to her - it's pretty much the way I go about decorating - a little bit of everything and a subtle dose of restraint.
There's a beautiful coffee table book out about Iris, Rare Bird of Fashion: The Irreverent Iris Apfel, by Eric Bowman, as well as loads of online interviews, should you want to learn more about this amazing style icon. Iris says, "I've been called a lot of things in my day, but I've never been called an inspiration." As for me, I must disagree! And I am just so happy I bought a pair of humongous vintage sunglasses in Amsterdam when I spied them - I feel so fabulously Iris! I might even find the nerve to wear them!

Photos courtesy of NY Times.

15 comments:

leighwells said...

Yeah!

Anonymous said...

They should have used an image of her in her clothes for the cover of her book. The clothes are nothing without her in them!

Oh, to have an nth of her style!

lisa said...

makes getting older OH SO EXCITING!!! i am serious. thank you for posting about her. i've read about her before, but it was good to be reminded!!

'sposita said...

so, is Edna the Fashion Designer in The Incredibles based on her? She reminds me of her a lot!

Cakespy said...

She is so rock and roll! I truly hope to be that sassy when I'm older.

j said...

you'd look great in those glasses! :)

Alkemie said...

This is a great post! I'm going to check the book out. The photos are great - as is your article about her.

Karen

Promo said...

http://mentalcarwreck.blogspot.com/

Take Me In.

nan said...

Aw, great, great, great post. I've never heard of her, thanks so much!

Keyse said...

I luv Iris!!! We have the same favorite colors. Thanks for posting this :)

Uncle Beefy said...

Love, love, love her! What a great write up, V. Oh yeah...she's inspiring alright. Now put on those glasses Victoria and get thee to Miette!

(Always such great stuff you feature!)

katiedid said...

What a great lady! And the glasses on the mannequins - brilliant! I am looking for that book today!

Anonymous said...

She is the sh** i hope im half as cool when i get older, Love everything especially those super old school vinatge sunglasses.

Discount Designer Shopper said...

She's back again!! The exhibit of Iris Apfel's fantastic wardrobe is being shown again..this time back in NY on Long Island at the Nassau County Art Museum.
If you have time and can get there, it is a must see to add to your summer to do lit. They say that there is even MORE from her closets this time.

Vintage Diva1962 said...

I absolutely admire her style.She is in the latest Coach catalog.
I just LOVE her bug eyed tortoise glasses.