Iris Apfel: The oldest Fashionista alive today?

Fashion is in the eye of the beholder

IRIS the movie is a fash-doc for fashion fans and anyone who has ever had a grandma! Starring the legendary, flamboyant 93-year old Iris Apfel, who has been playing the fashion game in New York City for decades.

Mostly known for her quirky dress sense, signature oversized round glasses (for seeing and sunshine) and a huge irrepressible appetite for creating fashion, art, and interiors. “I like to inspire people to do things that they haven’t done before. I want to show people that there is an afterlife after 30!” Easy for the ninety three year old to say!

iris apfel Fashioniasta

As a much admired figure on the fashion circuit, Iris has been pretty underground in the media, winning awards and giving them away without shouting from the rooftops. It is her quiet confidence and quick wit, which is easy to fall in love with in this film. Directed by Albert Maysles, it was the last film he made, when he passed away this year aged 88, and the connection is easy to see, as Iris is open and candid with her stories and a natural in front of the camera!

iris apfel Fashioniasta

With Iris, and her unwitting husband (who celebrated his 100th birthday on film) as the subjects of the movie, we are taken inside possibly the biggest dressing room in the world. With the glamour puss, who never had children, but has a lifetime love affair with her wardrobe, talks the mesmerised viewer through her reasoning, fashion tastes and personal asides, with vibrant enthusiasm and pride.

Having worked in fashion and interiors for over 75 years, she is well respected by the fashion community, stating “I can’t judge someone by the way they dress- it’s better to be happy than well dressed”. Which sums up her character- individual and non-judgmental. She even made the cover of Dazed magazine, and although seemed a little flummoxed by her hairpiece, embraced the photo shoot with a wry sense of humour.

Claiming to be the first woman to wear jeans, you believe her! Her honesty is infectious, and she questions out loud what is cheap and what is chic? What is nice and what is ugly? Beauty indeed is in the eye of the beholder.

iris apfel Fashioniasta

Perhaps the world’s premier stylist, if her mission was to find a designer look and mash it up, she is the expert. Declaring, “I’m not pretty, I never will be, but I have style.” It gives hope to all of us, as style never fades.

A fabulous movie, out on July 31st

A big thanks to Daybreakers for the preview- check them out for more early morning summertime treats around London here:

Sara Darling

Sara Darling is a freelance travel, fashion and lifestyle writer. In a previous life she was a fashion luvvie, but quit to follow her gypsy soul! When she is not clutching her passport, microphone or glass of fizz, she can be found avec snorkel in exotic oceans, scouring international flea markets for covetable jewellery, watching indie films or checking out photography exhibitions and wishing she could take a better picture. Follow her adventures on Twitter and Instagram on @wordsbydarling and @1stclassdarling