Style Icon #3: Iris Apfel


When I think of style icons, it’s almost too easy to picture one of the bevy of young bright things who are up and coming models, actresses or singers but sometimes it’s the people who don’t meet this profile that really capture my imagination.

Let me introduce you to Iris Apfel.

At 91 years young, Iris is perhaps not who you’d expect to be the toted as the ultimate fashion maverick, however, her eclectic outfits have captured the hearts of many in the biz, leading to a jewellery collaboration with the brand HSN, a makeup line with MAC and her own successful handbag collection titled ‘Extinctions by Iris Apfel’.

Iris was not always a member of fashion royalty; 7 years ago the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art launched an exhibition about Iris’ ability to mix couture and flea market purchases to make a pitch perfect ensemble.  It was the Met’s first exhibition of a living woman and quickly launched her into the style stratosphere! Giving us all hope, that even in our OAP years we can get our extended 15 minutes of fashion fame!

Of course, every style icon needs a trademark and Iris’ is without a doubt, her oversized oval glasses which perfectly encompass her style motto of more is more.  Iris’ best accessory is of course her husband, Carl, who shares her penchant for large glasses and fine dressing, it’s not often you won’t see him in a smart suit or paisley patterned trousers walking behind his glamorous wife of 64 years.

If you’re doing it the Iris way, don’t be afraid of acid bright colours and endless layering of both clothes and jewellery.  Ditch your sky high heels for some out there flats and pair with a bright matte lip (preferably from MAC).  

Iris is the perfect lesson in gutsy and offbeat dressing and a true indicator that fashion has no age limit.

Perhaps I’ll gift my gran some oversized glasses for Christmas this year…

JKA x

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