Thursday, December 15, 2011

creative influence : Iris Apfel

Iris Apfel, Style Icon

When you talk about fashion style icons there are a myriad of people that would automatically spring to mind... Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Jacki Kennedy-Onassis, and possibly Kate Moss. 
For me it's always got to be someone who is not afraid of colour... likes to take pattern + texture and mix it all up.... and someone who looks at clothing as an extension of their true personality and creative self expression. Oh... and they have to have some fun with it all! 

In this context their are only a few people that I love...

Jenny Kee is definitely on my list. I talked about a few months ago as she was featured in The Sun-Herald's Sunday Life Magazine. It was so great to see her creative spirit on the cover a big newspaper with such a wide readership as it gave a nod of encouragement to all the other artistic characters out there who like to see some originality in the wider community.... 

Last Sunday it was the turn of another one of my favourite fashion icons to grace the cover of Sunday Life Magazine. And it may be a person of whom you have never heard of....
Her name: Iris Apfel.  Her profession : Interior Stylist and co founder of Old World Weavers textile house. Her age : 90 years old. And her life has never been busier. 

In 2005 an exhibition of her extravagant wardrobe called  Rara Avis opened to a huge audience at The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute, and it has been touring ever since. She calls herself a 'geriatric starlet' but I believe her to be a true individual and creative free spirit who believes that life is to be enjoyed...

Here are a few great quotes from Iris:

Clothes are not frippery. Properly done, they can be an art form. 
Throughout history clothes represented who you were; they are a great vehicle for explaining who you are. During the Ching dynasty, for example, 
what you wore and how it was made reflected your status in society.
People could literally read your clothes like a book, just by its colour and how it was embroidered.

Fashion really is women’s liberation in a lot of ways. Look at how many women in this country are depressed about how they look and how they think they have to look! 
It’s really sad. And it’s not about money. 
People with a lot of money don’t dress as well as people who have to make do, who have to be inventive. Those are the people who are always more interestingly dressed, I think. Everything I do, I do with gut instinct. If I think too much, it won’t come out right.

I mix up everything. A museum curator once said to me that there is a great Jazz
component to the way I do things because good jazz is improvisation and draws
elements from all different cultures. 

Iris with her husband Carl Apfel

Talk about a true style icon! 

Credits: Article 'The Big Apfel' by Helena De Bertodano, The Sun-Herald Sunday Life Magazine, pg14. 
Photos Chester Higgins Jr, The New York Times. 

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