Iris Apfel turns 100. Who is she and why do we care so much about this celebration
When you think you are cool remember that one day there was someone who took the lead. Fashion icon before the term ended up being discarded as hackneyed, of the vindication of the catwalks in favor of diversity, of millennial disinhibition. Before everything we think of as modern today, Iris “happened”.
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The best message that the New York socialite and who was the favorite interior designer of the White House with the Old World Weavers company that she founded with her husband, Carl Apfel, sends us with each of her public appearances , is that age does not matter. . A phrase that sounds like a cliché until you see how someone puts it into practice. Born on August 29, 1921 in New York, she celebrates 100 years without renouncing a hyperbolic style in which oversized jewels, blinding patterns and colors acquire harmony. Irisconvinces: combining the latest Dolce & Gabbana leopard print trousers with a flea market piece is not a sign that you have lost your mind and no one around you dares to give you advice. Fashion is to be enjoyed no matter how old you are. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York took note of this mantra, which in 2005 dedicated an exhibition to his wardrobe. The protagonist, who as expected does not lack a sense of humor with herself, nicknamed herself “the star of the nursing home.” In a documentary that already belongs to the Netflix catalog directed by Albert Maysler and entitled Iris (-shortly and that’s enough-), he says the following: “Nobody wants to get old, but what other alternative do you have?”
In the same way that Natalia Vodiánova was discovered in a fruit stand (in the tops it is that or the supermarket), Iris discovered her passion for fabrics and their textures playing at her grandmother’s house, in the borough of Queens. The Apfel girl was given scraps for entertainment instead of Martian games.
The awareness of designers to show diverse profiles in their presentations is relatively recent. In 2020 the New York catwalk was pleased to bet on other parameters of beauty . The creator Christian Siriano announced that in his casting he would have Candice Huffine, a model labeled as curvy and Tadashi Shoji prioritized multiracial. It is striking that these insights related to the physique of women are part of a press release or the marketing positioning of a designer at this point in the film.
Iris Apfel has been giving them and giving us a thousand turns for years, making and dressing how she wants and likes. There is no press release for it, although Mattel dedicates a Barbie to him and the cosmetics firm MAC asks him for a makeup line. Along with her look built on more is more, Iris is easily recognized by her huge round glasses . If we go to the Zenni optics website (www.zennioptical.com) we can choose for less than $ 30 some models similar to the ones she wears, personally chosen by the biggest fan of the oversized format .
“If you do not care how you dress, why should important what others think of you?” Expressed very sensibly.
Another good thing about the “Iris case” is that it is a real woman, it is not a mere image resource that cannot be bought later, because on the catwalk almost everything is aspirational … Iris Apfel is not that magazine bag which we will never be able to access. We would meet her at a conference on luxury in Miami, in the first row of fashion weeks next to Karolina Kurkova, in Cipriani, in a tribute to the designer Isabel Toledo. It is a practical example of the street.
And as we trust that he will continue to give us many lessons in life and style, and we hope that he still has a lot of cloth to cut, we recommend reading his memoir, Accidental Icon. The best coffee table book to start the season with clear ideas. Never justify yourself to others (or use anglicisms or battered words as an icon).