Until a few days ago I knew Iris Apfel as the ninety something New Yorker wearing vast amounts of costume jewelry and black glasses, along with her brightly colored outfits. But I have to admit that I didn’t quite understand what made her a fashion icon.
Albert Maysles’ documentary “Iris” changed this. Not only does the film allow a glimpse into Mrs. Apfel’s extensive (and that is still an understatement) wardrobe, which is full of one of a kind creations such as a leather jacket hand painted by Versace.
But scenes in which she styles mannequins to be displayed at Bergdorf Goodman’s store windows, or the exquisite textiles on display for Rara Avis’ exhibition at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, made me understand that Mrs. Apfel not only has a truly unique, sculptural, sense of style, but also owns one of the most comprehensive archives of contemporary fashion history.