If we could bottle up the magic of Fashion Icon Iris Apfel’s attitude towards life and style, we are sure it would be 3 parts wit, 2 parts color, and 1 part something we could never expect. Making her recipe for life something close to impossible to replicate. But that is the actual magic of Iris – the point was never to copy it, the point is to soak it in and decide how it applies to you. To your style, to your life. Iris herself made this clear when she said, “What’s my style is not your style, and I don’t see how you can define it. It’s something that expresses who you are in your own way.”
That being said, we can certainly take hints from Iris’ closet and home on our way to defining our own specific style. Not everything she would chose is for you, but we have gathered items that embody the bold shape, color, and references to vintage style that Iris Apfel would approve of. See what stands out to you, and be bold enough to flaunt it! And remember, Iris has repeatedly said that her goal isn’t to be pretty. “The goal is to look in the mirror and enjoy what you see.”
We are such big fans of Iris we have this print of her by Rosie Harbottle in our shop! Rosie is a UK based illustrator with a passion for travel and culture, has a knack for prints and textiles, which made her the perfect person to illustrate Iris Apfel. Last June, we read Accidental Icon, a collection of Iris’ musings, for our book club! If you are new to the eclectic and patterned-filled world that is Iris Apfel’s, we recommend starting with this post about her here, and grabbing your own copy of Accidental Icon! It’s a very entertaining read, packed full of photos that will make you want to avoid anything that is a bore and live like Iris does!
Decorate like Iris
“I am inspired by everything around me…I’m just inspired by being alive and breathing and meeting people and talking to people and doing things and absorbing what’s happening. I think if more people did that, there would be better fashion. “
Iris Apfel is iconic for her fashion sense, but her taste spills over to her interior design in abundance. With references to 18th century France and Italy, vintage monkey sculptures everywhere you look, hand-painted chinoiserie patterns, and bold prints that somehow just work, Iris Apfel’s homes are strong evidence that self-expression is the way to go!
Dress like Iris
“You have to look in the mirror and see yourself. If it feels good, then I know it’s for me. I don’t dress to be stared at, I dress for myself.”
Below you will find chunky acetate chain necklaces (an absolute Iris staple) paired with patterned blazers, hot pink head wraps, and thrifted finds but with a wink in Gucci’s direction. If anything we just said feels overwhelming, don’t worry, take a note from Iris’ playbook and start wherever feels right. But trust us, you’ll be surprised how good an eyebrow-raising day of fashion can feel.