I write the name Iris Apfel, today, the same way I could write the name Carrie Bradshaw. I'll watch Sex & The City movie later today, then I'll read all the post from my favorite bloggers and I'll comment there. I wont write a review.
I'm just thinking about the fact beyond the utopia of movies world there are real women - lucky icons for some people, just eccentrics for someone else - who in a way or another, in terms of style remind me of Carrie. Not the women who pretend to be Carrie or the ones who desperately try to be her, I mean real women, individuals. In my opinion Iris Barrel Apfel is the commander in chief of this little army. Even if she can't be categorized, even if she's surely more than a tag.
At the age of 86 she's considered a "master of fashion", one of the most influent personality in American fashion, but she refuse the idea of being a fashionista. She tells she simply loves beautiful clothes, no matter if they come from great designers, high fashion or low. Like Carrie, she mixes everything in a very imaginative way.
She's not even involved in fashion world tout court, you know, she's not a designer, not a fashion editor etc. She started as interior decorator end years later founded with her husband a textiles company, the Old World Weavers wich became one of the most internationally known.
With this background, in 2006 the MET celebrated her style with the show "Rara Avis: Selections from the Iris Barrel Apfel Collection". The relation between fashion and accessory designs, the power of a personal style vs fashion diktats were central. The exhibition with more than 80 mannequins looking like Iris's clones - and styled by her, with outfits she really wears and her classic big round glasses too - shown just a little portion of what's in her closet in terms of both clothes and accessories.
The world discovered her a little bit late, but better late than never and I like to think right now she's probably walking up and down Manhattan in search of the perfect 3$ dress to pair with her 300$ shoes...
If you missed the exhibition or you didn't know her, you can read this interview and of course the wonderful book Rare Bird of Fashion: The Irreverent Iris Apfel .