Watch: Super Awesome NYC DJ Honey Dijon Reenvisions Sylvester Disco Classic “Stars” for Smirnoff Campaign
Mon, 11/12/17 – 19:17 | No Comment

NYC-based DJ/producer Honey Dijon has garnered a HUGE, international following…from giggin’ at Panorama Bar in Berlin, Sub Club in Glasgow, The Block in Tel Aviv, Space in Ibiza, and back to Output in NYC. Her latest big move is a re-working of Disco classic Stars by Sylvester, a track she produced for Smirnoff’s We Are Open campaign, […]

Read the full story »
ralph lauren pas cher ralph lauren uk sale louis vuitton handbags ralph lauren pas cher Christian Louboutin shoes Christian Louboutin shoes
ARTISTS

FEATURES

MUSIC

MX QWERRRK

WOT’S UP!

Home » FEATURES

RARE BIRD of FASHION…NEW YORK Style Icon IRIS APFEL

Submitted by on Sunday, 11 January 20092 Comments

iris5

Iris Barrel Apfel is currently enjoying the deserving title of one of New York’s quintessential style makers. With recent showings of her personal collection of clothing and accessories at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Norton Museum of Art, and Nassau County Museum of Art, a recently published photo book, and a Lighthouse International honor in her arsenal, Apfel is a rare bird, the new obsession of the fashion and arts communities. As one of the most vivacious characters, endemic to the worlds of fashion, textiles, and interior design over the past 40 years, she has cultivated a personal style that is both witty and exuberantly idiosyncratic. Apfel chose to re-define herself during an era where a woman’s voice, as well as her irreverent style, was irrelevant.

During the 1950’s and 1960’s, American women were expected to find themselves through their husbands, children, and homemaking. As long as you stayed home, you were a good girl. Iris Apfel’s pishing bucked the status quo. In 1952 she, along with her husband Carl Apfel, founded Old Word Weavers- a textile company that would become one of the most prestigious names in the industry, providing interiors for Greta Garbo, Marjorie Merriweather Post, Estée Lauder, and The White House. For Apfel, this was the beginning of her own unique transformation from hausfrau to household name in the houses that mattered. “Everybody entertained at home in those days. We all had lovely dinner parties, and everybody made great effort! The hostesses looked beautiful and everybody dressed up.” Though the elements of society, mass media, education, and women themselves contributed to holding women back, Apfel played the Bridge cards she was dealt, using otherwise banal domestic time to engage the ‘ladies’. She not only showed them how to create a more vibrant décor, she helped them visualize a more enfranchised future for themselves as individuals.

iris-c

Iris Apfel not only talks the part, she reinterprets the parts, creating a whole new art form. Mixing couture Ralph Rucci, Gianfranco Ferré, and Galanos with Southwestern jewelry and souk finds, Apfel’s plumage stands out amongst the lot, emphasizing the person behind the persona. What makes her different from contrived fashionistas is that Apfel’s style is inherently organic. She doesn’t subscribe to the current trends, make up tips, or seasonal looks. Her own special creation is an instinctive, seamless process, constructed with confidence, without regard to period or provenance. “I’m not about fashion at all. I don’t give a damn about what anybody else wears. Nobody’s gonna tell me what to put on. I’m not doing anything differently now at 86 than when I was 26. Now, all of the sudden, I’m a geriatric starlet! Sometimes when you’re too ahead of yourself, it takes time for other people to catch up.” It’s this juxtaposition of sardonic humour and bravado that is the verve of Iris Apfel.

iris-a

iris-b

In 2005 The Metropolitan Museum of Art featured Iris Apfel’s private collection in Rara Avis- an exhibition examining the power of dress and accessories to assert style above fashion. Apfel was originally approached with the idea of doing a capsule show of just her jewelry, but when curators saw her extensive wardrobe, they decided to include her clothing for contextual purposes. “It started out to be a small vitrine show of accessories, says Apfel, The Met has probably the greatest collection of costumes in the country. They have a wonderful collection of accessories, but it’s not as great as they wanted it to be. So they thought they would like to put their emphasis now on accessories to give it impetus. Harold Koda (Curator-in-Charge for The Met) came by and said that showing accessories out of context doesn’t make any sense. It would be much better if I could spare five or ten outfits that they would pick, but I would have complete permission to accessorize and style them.” The impetus that The Met wanted was well received. The initial micro-exhibition in one gallery turned into an 82 mannequin full-scale presentation, taking up the entire Costume Institution. Once again Apfel managed to turn what could have been just another conventional costume showing into a sublime retrospective performance, conducted and finessed with her personal direction.

What makes Iris Apfel a rara avis, or rare bird, is her approach to dressing- clothing can be artfully done, but it’s not art to be hung on a wall. Apfel is an intelligent, well-travelled woman who now enjoys luxuries afforded her by her years of advisement and labouring. In today’s society where the undistinguishable New Yorker’s dernier cri consists primarily of khakis, true style visionaries like Iris Apfel are ephemeral and elusive- a sight to behold…if you’re lucky enough to catch a glimpse.

photo: Takeshi Hayashi

Published with permission of www.woundmagazine.com

2 Comments »

  • Joey says:

    Wow, she is an avatar of a fashionista! Imagine a woman having some much where with all in the 1950’s and 60’s to create such a vivid vision. Bravo Iris!

    JP

  • Lynn says:

    Do you know where the collection is now? I would love a schedule of where it will be so I can plan a visit. Thank You

Leave a comment!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.