Wednesday, June 15, 2016


I recently saw the 2014 film "IRIS", a profile of fashion icon Iris Apfel. The director, then 88-year-old Albert Maysles, since deceased, is best known for his movies "Grey Gardens" and "Gimme Shelter".

Iris Apfel is the 93-year-old style maven who has had an outsized presence on the New York fashion scene for decades. A description of the film from the ImDb film review site says,
"More than a fashion film, the documentary is a story about creativity and how, even at Iris' advanced age, a soaring free spirit continues to inspire. IRIS portrays a singular woman whose enthusiasm for fashion, art and people are life's sustenance and reminds us that dressing, and indeed life, is nothing but an experiment. Despite the abundance of glamour in her current life, she continues to embrace the values and work ethic established during a middle-class Queens upbringing during the Great Depression."
The film offers us a glimpse into her very eclectic home, a veritable museum of curiosities. We also witness the loving relationship she has with husband Carl, some seven years her senior.

I would have liked to have had more of a backstory in the film. Apfel credits her mother as having been a big influence in her life, but we don't learn much about her mother, or even about her own career as a designer. What was her interior design work like? What exactly was her contribution to the White House? The movie is more a snapshot of her life now rather than an exploration of her influences.

The film is available as a rental or purchase on Amazon, and also as a free download.

No comments: