When I interviewed Toronto Styilst Annie Aldworth she mentioned that her style icon is Iris Apfel. I had read about Iris in Vogue (June 2015 issue) and was intrigued. I had to see what this “rare bird of fashion” was all about and I was not disappointment. The documentary “Iris” by Albert Maysles follows Iris around New York as she shops, gives interviews, attends events and talks candidly about her life.
Iris started her career as an interior designer and then started a weaving company – Old World Weavers with her husband Carl. The film documents her rise to “octogenarian stardom” as she calls it but what makes this such a wonderful story is it’s also about the love story between Iris and Carl. Maysles captures their tenderness and adoration so beautifully.
Iris has one of the biggest vintage designer clothing and couture costume jewellery collections in the US. The film shows many amazing pieces from Iris’ collection that it’s easy to understand why it has been exhibited in many museums, including the Costume Institute at the MET. Slowly, Iris is donating some of her collection to the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem Mass. She says in the film that “it’s better to know where your stuff is going while you’re still vertical.” The Peabody held the Iris Apfel exhibition in 2010. Click on the link and try the interactive dressing room. Check out modacarta’s Iris look.
Iris is currently playing at the Bloor Cinema in rotation with another fashion documentary – Mr. Dior.
Other Fashion Documentaries worth watching:
Valentino: The Last Emperor 2008
September Issue 2009
In Vogue: The Editor’s Eye 2012