Iris Apfel : 93 years old #style icon !
‘When Iris Apfel was a young woman from Queens, New York, starting out in the fashion industry, Frieda Loehmann, founder of the famed department store, took her aside: “She said, ‘You’re not pretty and you’ll never be pretty, but it doesn’t matter. You have something much better. You have style.’ ”
Apfel, now 93 and a certifiable icon, is the subject of Iris, a new documentary, out next month by Albert Maysles—who, with his late brother David, directed such classics as Gimme Shelter and Grey Gardens’ ..see the trailer here and read more here at Vanity Fair .
The 93-year-old “geriatric starlet” is interviewed here in Harper’s Bazaar
“I didn’t give a damn about going to the party or being at the party, it was about getting dressed for the party. There’s truth and poetry in that.”
When did you start wearing those glasses? “People would always ask me, “Why are your frames so large?” And I would say, “The bigger to see you!” And that shut them up. People say it’s a trademark, but I never started out to have a trademark. I didn’t think I had a trade.”
You have the most amazing wardrobe. What is your favorite piece?
“ I’m a flea-market freak, and years ago I was very interested in antique fabrics. I went to a place that had some church vestments, and this one was a knockout. It was a tunic of the most beautiful ruby-red Lyonnaise silk velvet. It had a panel in front, a handwoven broché. I put it on and said to my husband, Carl: “Oh, this is wonderful. I’ll make a pair of trousers and a pair of shoes, and I’ll have the most splendid cocktail outfit.” He went crazy. “What are you, nuts? People will think I can’t afford to buy you a proper dress.” The only time in 67 years when we’ve had major differences is in the flea market.”
What do you think of the idea of dressing for one’s age?
“What do you mean, “one’s age”? I know people of 30 who act like they’re 97, and I have a few old-bag friends who are very hip. I don’t think it has anything to do with numbers. Just because you’re in your 90s, you don’t have to wear sackcloth and ashes. You have to observe a few simple rules, which are really not rules; it’s just being appropriate. If you’re 70 and want to wear miniskirts, 70-year-old knees ain’t pretty! If you’re over 60, arms are not pretty—even earlier for some women—so I think you should stay covered up.”
You’ve obviously seen a lot of fashion trends come and go. What’s one that you’re always surprised to see come back?
“ The animal print.”
How do you feel about social media? Are you on anything?
“Technologically I live in the 17th century. I have a very simple cell phone, one that folds, you know? I say I live through the kindness of strangers, because if they see something on the Net they type it out and send it to me”.
What are your guilty pleasures? Are they different from when you were younger?
“ Caviar used to be my drug of choice, but since my husband is on a no-salt diet, I’ve kind of given it up. I still have dreams of sitting down and gorging, though. I love it with a good vodka; I don’t like it with champagne”.
What is the secret to longevity, in fashion and in life?
“ Humour is important in everything. Dress with a little humour and you can go a long way. When you’re older it’s more difficult, because no matter how good it is you don’t always feel perky and peppy. But if you sit home all day and brood about it, it gets worse. I find that if I get up and push myself, I get lost in what I’m doing, and I forget about everything else until I stop doing it. Then I go home and I hurt again. Everything has a price, my dear. Nothing for nothing.”