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January 26, 2011

Lifestyle & News Style Icon Iris Apfel

Iris Apfel - Cool Chic Style Fashion


As a child, Iris Barrel Apfel once had a screaming fit when her mother put a ribbon in her hair whose color didn’t match her outfit. So it comes as no surprise that the interior designer and co-founder of the textile house Old World Weavers grew up to become a fashion icon. “But I don’t like anything matchy-matchy anymore,” says the self-proclaimed geriatric starlet, who is prone to donning daredevil extravaganzas of pattern and color along with masses of clanking jewelry.

Apfel burst onto the international stage in 2005, when the Metropolitan Museum of Art put the octogenarian’s flamboyantly bohemian personal wardrobe—antique Chinese robes, haute-couture feathered coats, operatic necklaces, many of them made to her eccentric order—on display in its Costume Institute. And now she is literally taking her mix-master taste on the road, from advising fashion-school students to designing a forthcoming collection of costume jewelry.

Taking a break from stringing beads, Apfel—wearing pencil-slim blue jeans, a brilliantly embroidered Indian jacket, and armloads of rattling wood bracelets—sat down in her Manhattan apartment with Mitchell Owens, Architectural Digest’s special projects editor, for an afternoon chat. The topics of conversation? Everything from how fashion can be the most liberating thing around to why church vestments can make a most modern ensemble.
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