Iris Apfel: The ultimate Geriatric Starlet

Today I’m sharing another of my style icons. Iris Apfel. What can I say? I hope when I reach 90 i might be even just a tenth as cool as her! The title of this post Geriatric starlet refers to Apfel’s own description of herself. Superb!

“Mrs. Apfel is the discerning curator of her own wardrobe. Sorted and stowed in a vast nearby warehouse, that wardrobe incorporates pieces commemorating high points in her life. “She’s a great storyteller,” said Mindy Grossman, the chief executive of HSN. “Every single thing she wears, she remembers a story behind it.”

Apfel claims to not be a collector despite her vast wardrobe. Which was epitomised in a comment made in an article for the guardian “Some people own such valuable clothing they would never dare to put it on. This is anathema to Apfel. There’s one lady who lives in the Midwest who has about 15,000 pieces. She once wanted to show Apfel some of her collection, and when she took out “this divine Geoffrey Beene dress”, Apfel said: “Oh my God, you must have had so much fun wearing it!” The woman was horrified. She said: “Wear it!? This is part of my collection. You don’t wear your collection!” Apfel said: “In that case I don’t have a collection.”

(this was so crazily relevant for my current project into wearing historical dress it got me very excited!)

Apfel’s prowess as a fashion icon was demonstrated in 2005 when The Met museum held a retrospective showcasing some of her vast wardrobe. (I highly recommend the book rare bird of fashion that accompanied the exhibition, it has some sublime images of the garments). Mac also dedicated a range to her with super bright colours recently!

If you love the Iris’s style check out this wonderful piece written for the New York times where Apfel and some other super stylish New York ladies discuss their style.

 To me these ladies really epitomise something about vintage style- and something about fashion itself. Fashion should be about having fun, wearing what you want to wear and dressing in a way that is an extension of your personality!

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