May 30, 2018
The first time I read about Iris Apfel, the author of the write-up said she was “96-years-old.” Can’t be, I thought. Must be a typo. Someone’s head is going to roll. I was dead wrong. Apfel, a style maven, is definitely this age and is still enjoying a fantastic career.
Iris Apfel in all her colorful finery – photo courtesy of Bazaar, March 2018
THE JAZZ AGE
So this means that she was born in 1922. Do you have any idea what life was like back then? Let me enlighten you: Warren Harding was president of the United States (no, I don’t know anything about him either), Ford’s Model T car cost a whopping $260 in 1924 and the “Roaring Twenties” started with Prohibition in January of 1920.
This kicked off the era of the speakeasy. But nobody worried about anything because the boys took care of everyone back then. In Chicago, Al Capone reportedly had 1,000 gunmen and half of Chicago’s police force on his payroll. And, in New York, it was rumored that the Yale Club had a 14-year supply of booze in its basement. Oh yes, and through it all, little Iris was growing up.
AND WHERE IS SHE TODAY?
Recently, I was riveted by a fascinating essay by Apfel that appeared in the March 2018 issue of Bazaar magazine. It starts with a discussion about her new book, Iris Apfel, Accidental Icon, that I plan to read.
She begins with, “When I was working on the book, I learned that I have more than 750,000 Instagram followers.” WHAT? AT 96? She goes on to say, “This is quite amazing (an understatement if I’ve ever heard one) as I’ve never even bothered to get an email address. ‘My’ account is run by a woman named Paris who lives in Vienna. I’m not quite sure where she gets the photos she posts of me.” I’m speechless and all I can say is, “You go girl!”
HER LOVE OF JEWELRY
This piece is fairly long so I’ve picked out the bits that I think ADEA’s readers will enjoy. Apfel says that, “Jewelry is most transformative of all accessories. By changing the kind of jewelry you wear with a little black dress, you can go from day to night. My mother taught me that if funds are limited, get a few well-cut basics and add personality with jewelry.”
She moves on with, “That advice is from the depths of the Depression” [1929 to 1939 when Apfel was seven-years-old until she was 17 – formative years] “but it still applies today. I still wear the Norman Norell dress I wore on my first date with my husband, and that was 70 years ago” [she was 26]. “It’s a simple – and stunning – black dress, and luckily I’m more or less the same size as I was then.” The same size as she was at 26? That is a miracle in itself. This fun piece ends with, “As told to Linda Fargo”.
APFEL IN MY MAIL BOX
A couple of days after I read the piece in Bazaar I received a catalog from Grandin Road, a company that is based in West Chester, Ohio.
Lo and behold! I was looking at six pages of products in Apfel’s new home collection. Think about this: a 96-year-old interior designer and fashion icon is bringing out an exclusive line of goodies for those who want to buy – right now. CLICK HERE to take a look. grandinroad.com/irisapfel
A serving plate from Apfel’s collection sports a fun quote that says, “More is more, less is a bore” – photo courtesy of the Grandin Road catalog
I studied every page carefully and decided it was all great. Like its creator, this collection is a winner!
Exuberant colors and fabrics take center stage here – photo of Apfel’s newly launched collection is courtesy of the Grandin Road Company and their latest catalog
UPDATE: I just watched (by accident) the Albert Maysles documentary on Apfel that was released in 2015. It’s spellbinding! She’s extremely articulate and sounds 30 years younger than she looks. Don’t miss it!Shaun Nelson-Henrick
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October 22, 2020
I just read an article that sounded – to me at least – like “a canary in a coal mine” or an early warning of danger. This piece, written by Joe Pompeo, appeared in the May 2020 issue of Vanity Fair magazine with the title “The British Tabloid Invasion” and a subtitle that read, “How the Daily Mail is conquering American gossip.”
The paparazzi horde, La Dolce Vita, 1960 – photo courtesy of Vanity Fair
October 14, 2020
Apparently the good old U.S. is a nation of “not great” sleepers. Really? And I thought I was the only one! According to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention it was revealed that one out of three Americans are chronically sleep-deprived. Yikes!
October 06, 2020
I think we’re all taken by the incredible mystique of the famous French fashion house, Hermès that has been with us for two centuries and is still owned and operated by the same family. From its beginnings in fine equestrian leather goods, they are – in the tumultuous year 2020 – best known for their handbags and many other items.
My image of Hermès has always been rarified products at equally rarified prices so imagine my surprise when I recently received a very stylish publication of theirs in the mail.