Iris Apfel, Personal Style Inspiration on Exhibition

Rare Bird of Fashion: The Irreverent Iris Apfel

There are times when we all get stuck in a style rut. Times when some of us even drop the ball on fashion altogether and settle for the humdrum, ill-fitting, and perfectly blah daily uniform simply because we don’t have to think about it.

Well, start thinking!

Everyone needs a little inspiration here and there. A style muse to get your creative juices flowing, to rethink what you have at hand and what you really must add to your wardrobe for a little zing. Not necessarily something to copy, merely something to get you thinking about you, about the chances you take, and the image you set forth.

Something, someone to make you fearless in your choices and not be bogged down by the ordinary but rather inspired by the extraordinary.

While watching a TV show and trying to copycat a character’s style is a no-brainer for some, it certainly doesn’t make for an originalŚit makes for a zillion one-dimensional fashionista clones in the same darn gladiator platforms toting the same ôItö bag of the minute that will be passÚ before the reruns even start. Boooooring!

ôWhen you overstudy things, you get uptight. Being relaxed is the best part of it. I like architectural clothes so I can embellish them myself. You can always switch things around and dress it up or down by the accessories you wear with them, ô says Ms. Apfel.

Iris Apfel is the tastemaker’s inspiration for an unparalleled mix of eclectic individuality that fuses haute couture with costume jewels and trinkets from who knows where. I would dare say that she is troubled with age-appropriate style as she in her 88th year! If you are not familiar with Ms. Apfel’s dose of whimsy and elegance, you should be– you may even recognize her by her signature oversized round eyeglasses. Find your inspiration in a cuff, a color, a chance that she took to cement her personal style as a true fashion icon.

Dare to be you, that’s very Iris Apfel.

Image gallery- click on thumbnail to enlarge:

Rare Bird of Fashion: The Irreverent Iris Apfel
On view October 17, 2009 to February 7, 2010
Peabody Essex Museum
East India Square
161 Essex Street
Salem, MA 01970-378


Rare Bird of Fashion: The Irreverent Iris Apfel


Conversation with Iris Apfel: online

Peabody Essex Museum presents more than 80 dramatic ensembles from the personal collections of legendary tastemaker and style icon Iris Apfel. Known for her eclectic mixing of haute couture with costume jewelry and exotic baubles, Apfel has inspired bold developments in the fashion industry through her spirited irreverence and pitch-perfect taste. Now in her 88th year, she continues to challenge visual culture with radical juxtapositions of disparate influences. These spectacular and unexpected wardrobe combinations are exhibited with inventive staging and playful displays that underscore Apfel’s inexhaustible creative spirit.

Photos, this page only, Peabody Essex Museum