“I don’t have any rules, because I’d only
be breaking them!”
[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t’s definitely not hard to fall in love after watching this beautifully shot documentary film, based on the life of the iconic fashion icon Iris Apfel. The documentary follows her regular day-to-day life as a fashionista, model and all round businesswomen, whilst also looking back over her earlier years and how she came to be the legend that she is today.
To prepare myself before watching Iris – the night before, in fact – I watched a documentary on Netflix called ‘Advanced Fashion’ (which I also recommend). Unlike ‘Iris’, Advanced Fashion actually followed a number of uniquely well-dressed older women who use the streets of New York as their (very public) catwalks. Iris does in fact make a very short cameo, but the main purpose of the documentary was to bring awareness to the new ‘Advanced Fashion’ trend that has become popular in the media, recently.
I’m ashamed to say that I’d never heard of Iris before. Apparently, if you’re in the ‘know’ about fashion (unlike me), she’s a well-known fashion icon and trendsetter. Iris’ reputation for out of the box fashion and styling has made her an advocate for individuality in the world of fashion, so much so, that’s she’s usually referred to as the ‘rare bird of fashion’, showing off her individuality through her colourful clothes, and impressive collection of costume jewellery – alleged to be one of the biggest in the world.
What drew me to this film, was that it was a different kind of fashion documentary. The focus wasn’t a fashion house or a big brand, but a personalised, and very intimate look into the life of a woman who has been pushing the boundaries of fashion from behind the scenes for over ninety years! And that’s what I liked about ‘Iris’, in so that it was something a little different from the general ‘sameness’ of the typical fashion of today.
The best bit about the whole documentary is that Iris comes across so genuine. She is portrayed as a genuinely caring and affectionate to everyone around her – from constantly asking the film crew that follow her around if she can get them any drinks or snacks, to even having her housekeeper labeled as ‘beloved housekeeper’ throughout the documentary.
The best scenes are, by far, the scenes with Iris and Carl. What really comes through in the documentary is that even after 67 years of marriage, they are both still crazy over each other – and it’s lovely. One of my favourite scenes is Iris shushing Carl when he starts to gossip over a bad interaction with a well-known White House celebrity – *cough* Jackie Kennedy *cough*. It’s obvious that Iris loves fashion, but it’s clear that Carl is, and always will be, her first love.
As an interior designer, and later co-owner of the luxury textile company Old World Weavers with husband Carl Apfel, Iris has always been involved in fashion and design. But, as she says again and again, fashion is not just about the individual and she is a big advocate of using her popularity to show people across the world that it’s okay to be a little different and experiment.
The documentary is a colourful portrait of a woman who lives her life to the fullest, reminding us all that even at 93, life should never be taken for granted. If you get a chance to see it, I definitely recommend that you do. It’s a lovely story, with a wonderful message. Her zest for life and bigger-than-life personality shines through with her wit and eccentric style. She is an amazing women, with an equally amazing fashion collection. A definite must-watch – I dare you not to fall in love with her after watching this film!