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a beautiful documentary about iris apfel.

Iris Apfel, the fashion icon, is known for wearing large round glasses. They sit, like an elegant punctuation mark, on her face. When you see her in magazines, on beauty blogs, even as a tattoo! the glasses are her most characteristic feature. Perhaps because she’s a chameleon when it comes to her sense of fashion, the glasses, I think, are what people tend to hold on to when featuring or honoring her.

At the urging of a friend, I watched the documentary, Iris. At 93, she is more than just a bird of fashion and this film directed by Albert Maysles (Grey Gardens) illuminates why she inspires. Knowing what’s most important — and as she tells it, it’s not the rooms full of statement jewelry and designer clothing — is a thread throughout the stylish film. What is most important? Good health, time with the people we love most and the freedom to be creative.

A few sound bites:

On style: “People interview me and they keep asking me about all these rules. And I say I don’t have rules because I would only be breaking them so it’s a waste of time. With me, it’s not intellectual, it’s all gut.”

“I think it was some very famous clotheshorse (who) said the best thing was getting dressed. She didn’t give a damn about going to the party or being at the party. It was getting dressed for the party. And there’s more truth and poetry in that.”

On not being a fan of pretty: “One day she (Frieda Loehmann of the Loehmann’s retail chain) called me over and she said, ‘Young lady I’ve been watching you … You’re not pretty. You’ll never be pretty but it doesn’t matter. You have something much better. You have style.’”

On sharing her famous wardrobe: “Somebody once told me and it’s so true, ‘You never really own anything while you’re here, you just rent. So sometimes it might be nicer to see where it’s going than to not know who gets it.’”

Here’s the trailer, if you like. Maybe you’ll see it, too?

Thank you to Sarah who inspired this post. Happy Monday.

{Photo credit: Magnolia Pictures}

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