“More is more and less is a bore”
Iris said that.
The 2014 documentary “IRIS” by director Albert Maysles about fashion legend Iris Apfel is a must-see. We could learn a thing or two about style with this soon-to-be 95-year-old New Yorker (her birthday is on August 29) but her take on life is what will knock you off your shoes.
The film is not only about fashion. It’s about how a woman is respected and admired for embracing her own true self. Iris’s personality didn’t fade away with aging. Quite the opposite. She always refused to be one more sheep in the herd and kept her creativity and curiosity always at hand (adorned by her dangling bracelets and exquisite rings, I’m sure). Businesswoman, loving wife, world traveler, interior designer, fashion designer… All this is just an extension of her enthusiasm for life that reflects on her outfits, her words, her attitude. Yes, I know that her style is what caught attention of the fashion world but that’s only one of the facets of her bright nature, it’s only a glimpse of who she really is: authentic, playful, a powerhouse, someone that have always lived by her own values and it’s not ashamed of that. It’s so inspiring to find people like her, especially today, especially for us, women. We all need that, I need that.
The curious part is that Iris resembles one of my aunts not only physically. This sister of my mother also had this confidence, an air of authority; she was a very outspoken and strong-willed woman but not “on your face”, you know? And definitely not behind your back. She was genuine, caring with a sweet demeanor but somewhat you knew it would be wise not to cross her, a “just-retreat-slowly-and-nobody-will-get-hurt” type of feeling. Tall and slim, my aunt had some a fashion signature: who in the family had the biggest round glasses, or owned an impressive red coat with big black buttons and had scarves on her head or neck to frame her face? This is, by itself, striking for me because I don’t remember any other family member’s pieces of wardrobe. And I had a big family, mind you. Yes, my aunt had her own and unique style.
It’s true, she was not as flamboyant as Iris but here at the Bungalow there is definitely room for both. The same to all strong, authentic, REAL women.
Iris, thank you for being yourself and living life the fullest. You inspire and amaze us. How I would love to meet you!
Aunt, I know you are somewhere in the Heavens being sweet and… having your way. I miss you.
“I learned a long time ago: You can’t have everything, and I wanted a career, and I wanted to travel (…) I didn’t want to have my child raised by a nanny. And you can’t do everything, it’s impossible. Something has to give and sometimes it’s you.”
“I never felt pretty. I don’t feel pretty now. I am not a pretty person. I don’t like pretty. So I don’t feel badly and I think it worked out well because I found that, for instance, all the girls that I know who were very pretty girls and got by on their looks, as time went on and they faded, they were nothing. And they were very, very disappointed. When you’re like somebody like myself, in order to get around and be attractive, you have to develop something, you have to learn something, and you have to do something. So you become a bit more interesting. And when you get older, you get by on that. Anyway, I don’t happen to like pretty. Most of the world is not with me, but I don’t care.”
“There is no how-to road map to style. It’s about self-expression and, above all, attitude.”