Tribute to Iris Apfel

Before I delve into some facts about my queen, I would like to preface this article by saying if you don’t know a thing about who I’m talking about, I would recommend watching Iris the documentary on Netflix. It will bring you into the wild and colorful world of this style icon.

Iris Apfel is a lover and collector of all things fashion. You would never catch her outside without some type of long overcoat, a rainbow of jangly bangles, men’s mules on her feet, and her trademark circular glasses. She resides in an apartment in Astoria, New York, which is stuffed with all things interesting and classy. Her closets are filled with clothes she has found and collected over the years.

She is 96.

Iris is everything that French fashion is not- loud, with many colors and patterns and covered head to toe in accessories. (Don't worry, I'm not dissing Coco Chanel.)  The contrast is impossible not to notice. 

I first “discovered” my girl Iris when I watched that documentary. As my mother fell asleep, I fell in love. (It’s true- My mother has never been able to sit awake through a movie. Sorry mom.) I followed her on Instagram, attempted to visit her exhibit at the Met (which was unfortunately closed), and even painted a huge picture of her for my school. (I know this isn’t about me, please just let me fan out for two seconds.)

Back to Iris.

I think the reason I find her so alluring is because of her unapologetic boldness in expressing her style no matter what others may think. She’ll wear the hugest string of mismatched rocks around her neck without inhibition. She’s a pioneer of wearing men’s shoes. Even her apartment, as previously stated, is full to the brim of the whimsical yet chic spirit she so effortlessly displays.

I know on Fusfoo a big thing is to describe some dead people you should know, but even though Iris ain’t dead I really think people should know about her too. Painting her alone was one of the most surreal experiences I have had, as if I was channeling her within every wrinkle I painted. (She has been known to call her wrinkles “badges of courage”.)

Writing this article my love for her was just renewed for like the 17###sup/sup### time. Watch the documentary! I hope that maybe she will reach a wider audience and inspire someone the way she did to me. 

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Anastasia Grigoryeva, Delaware Valley High School


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