For all of the larger-than-life personalities in the fashion industry, perhaps no one has been as consistently zany in their personal style as newly 100-year-old Iris Apfel fashion. Born in Queens in 1921, Apfel has worked in just about every aspect of the industry, including a stint at Women’s Wear Daily and a nine-president long run of heading up design restoration at the White House.
The older she gets, the more the centenarian has proven prolific. Apfel has done so many capsules and collaborations since establishing herself as what she calls a “geriatric starlet” that at this point, she’s been actively giving away her clothes for years. When it comes to Apfel’s wardrobe, storage is key:
Iris Apfel has remained a permanent fixture in the fashion industry since the 1940s. She is widely adored for her individualistic style, use of vibrant colours and witty one-liners. In 2005, The Metropolitan Museum of Art even held an exhibition, Rara Avis: The Irreverent Iris Apfel, it gave us a glimpse into Iris’s wardrobe and her impact on fashion.
While we wait for Iris to make our maximalist dreams come true, here are some of the best looks she has donned during her illustrious stint in the world of fashion.
Iris Apfel fashion: A Glimpse of her Top 6 Looks
The icon herself is practically a walking accessories department, ever living up to her motto “more is more and less is a bore.” As for her signature owlish glasses, Apfel recently told W that she’s “just swimming” in them, having started off collecting back in the Great Depression.
“Spectacles are a wonderful fashion item,” she said. “It took a few years for people to understand that, but I’ve always been ahead.” Here, is a visual appreciation of some of her most delightfully eccentric looks.
1. That 70s Show
Celebrating New Year’s Eve at home never looked more glamorous but what else would you expect from Iris? The embroidered silver and black cape paired with a matching black co-ord set is a statement in itself, however, the feathered collar gives it the extra edge.
Paired with a bejewelled pair of sunglasses and chunky silver bangles, this outfit belongs at Studio 54 and is not a turquoise kitchen, but Iris looked perfect either way.
2. Back to Basics
Before Harry Styles, there was Iris Apfel and she knows her way around a pantsuit. Dressed in a more sombre colour palette than usual, this outfit is all about the silhouette. The flared trousers and matching floral blazer are perfectly tailored to fit Iris, screaming “powerful woman”.
Her usual layered necklaces are traded in for an oversized medallion and her signature red lip is replaced with a pink to match her trousers. This look is a departure from her usual eccentricity but is proof that her personal style knows no bounds.
3. Effortlessly Cool
Just when you thought that you’d seen it all, Iris Apfel swaps out her pantsuits and kaftans for a pink Glossier hoodie and patchwork blue jeans. She elevates this simple outfit with stacks of bangles on each wrist and a red lip. Who said work from home has to be drab.
4. Green with Envy
Iris rang in her 99th birthday surrounded by plush toys and wearing a jaw-dropping, emerald floor-length dress. She paired the outfit with all black and silver jewellery with multiple necklaces of different lengths layered over each other and stacks of bangles that almost reach her elbows.
When Iris exclaims she is an “accessory freak” she isn’t using the term lightly and could probably school us all in the art of accessorizing.
5. Her Own Greatest Muse
If Iris Apfel fashion outfit would be this one. Beyond the fact that the skirt embodies her likeness, the outfit is chockfull of vibrant colours and a myriad of textures. The fuzzy blue pullover acts as a perfect visual contrast, providing an edge to an otherwise stylized outfit.
Completing the look with a neon green pair of square-shaped sunglasses, chunky bangles and a multilayered choker that almost looks like a scarf, Iris looks positively radiant. There is nothing subdued about this look, following her Instagram bio and personal style sensibilities to a T: “More is more & less is a bore”.
Iris Apfel fashion is the best example of simple yet over the top, different outfits and we are absolutely here for it. For this look, she chose a pair of washed-up faded black straight fit denim pants with a simple t-shirt. Over she wore a knee-length thick black coat with white flower embroidery.
She paired a pair of turquoise blue shoes and a multi-layered chain with the same colour beads. She also added a couple of rings that matched her necklace and shoes.
And of course, the outfit is never complete without a pair of the iconic big circular glasses. She also added a huge fur bag that gives this otherwise cool basic look a sense of uniqueness.
Since time immemorial, we have seen when women age, they are bound to lose the best of their interests and tend to fit in the cocoons that the world has staged for them. Breaking these norms is Iris Apfel fashion and style are amazing!
Inspiring all generations continues to boldly break all the rules and march forward to becoming an exceptional centenarian. Fashion has given voice to many people, and Iris with her extravagant styling, eye-catching makeup and oversized round glasses showed the world that style can move along with you, no matter what the age.