IRIS Apfel is a New York Society Style Maven and the chicest ninety something we know. Below is a condensed version from her interview with Jennifer Alfano for Bazaar’s
“Fabulous at Any Age” issue. This goes to prove that you can be amazing at any age if you take care of yourself, have a sense of humour and don’t take life too seriously.
What’s wrong with fashion today: Since I became a geriatric starlet, women are always asking me, “What should I wear?” Honestly, women today take dressing way too seriously. Fashion shouldn’t get to a point where it makes you unhappy. Because when you’re unhappy, you look older. I do not intellectualize what I wear. I just put on what I feel like. People see me and say “Ooooh,” but I think it’s a crock.
Looks good no matter what your age: If your hair is properly done and you have on good shoes, you can get away with anything. That and having a good attitude – try to keep yourself on an even keel. All the plastic surgery in the world isn’t going to help if you’re unhappy.
Style is: Knowing who you are. Someone told me a good definition recently. They said, “Real style is having a deep curiosity about yourself.” And attitude, attitude, attitude!
I never leave home without: My eyeglasses, because I would probably fall down the stairs. But eyeglasses have become very high fashion these days. You can really change up your look with them.
My Uniform: For day, I live in jeans. I have so many, from the lowliest to the most fabulous. I think I was one of the first women to wear jeans; I had to fight to buy them once at an army-navy store. Jeans are very basic, so you can be creative with the rest of what you wear. I also have the most spectacular black-tie jeans. I like very simple, dramatic clothes. A little sense of drama is good.
Most proud of: I’m proud that I’ve been able to do so many different careers, and at 91, I’m still doing new things: I have a collection of eyeglasses for Eyebobs and a line of handbags, shoes and jewelry for HSN. I’m always trying to help women be themselves and teach them not to roll up in a little ball when they are a certain age. And this March, my husband and I will have been married for 65 years.
Favorite show: I just became addicted to Downtown Abbey.
Most overrated: Don’t get me started! I think the over stressing of technology is dehumanizing. People are always pressing too many buttons.
Signature dance: I like cheek-to-cheek dancing. My husband and I used to dance the rumba. Sometimes I put on jazz records and dance by myself.
Iris was on the cover of Dazed and Confused Magazine.