Saturday, February 06, 2010

When I'm 88

If I was a millionaire, and oh GOD I'm sooooooooo close, I would buy homes and decorate them all day and then fly to Milan and Paris every weekend to shop for clothes. Some lucky billionaire out there is missing an opportunity of a lifetime to have his fortune wiped out because HE HASN'T MET ME YET.

When I'm 88, as is Iris Apfel, below, I hope to God I throw caution to the closets and end up half as fashionable. This is the woman who launched one of the most persistent fashion trends of this century. Keep reading.

In the 1940s, a young girl named Iris hounded the owner of a Wisconsin Army & Navy store until he finally ordered her a pair of boy-sized denims. Her intent was to wear them with a turban and large hoop earrings. Such was an early milestone in the career of a fashion visionary and muse who quite possibly launched a trend in women’s fashion — jeans — that now represents a 10 billion dollar industry yearly in the U.S. alone.

With a personal style the New York Times described as 'controlled flamboyance,' (when I first read this I thought it said 'flatulence' and I was impressed) this New York society figure and co-founder of the legendary textile design company, Old World Weavers, has traveled the world inspiring fashion designers such as Ralph Rucci, Jason Wu and Isaac Mizrahi. She recently appeared at the top of Vanity Fair’s international best-dressed list and is featured in print ads for Coach.

Elements of Style According to Iris Apfel:

1. Never take yourself or an outfit too seriously.
2. Visit the animal kingdom.
3. Consider the clergy.
4. Travel widely.
5. Go high and low.
6. Don’t fret about your age.
7. Don’t be afraid to stop traffic.


  1. She certainly has all her elements. Did she mean get high so you won't feel low? Have a great weekend.

  2. I have a girl crush on her now.

    Seven rules I will never live without!

    (this has inspired me more than you will ever know!)

  3. NOW I know where Harry Carey got the inspiration for his glasses.

    Iris is amazing.

  4. You've got to love a woman with a signature "look." Not everyone could pull off those glasses.

  5. She is amazing indeed and I would be equally impressed by controlled flatulence. Now, will you please write a follow-up post about the inventor of sweat pants?

  6. Is she able to walk with all the weight of those accessories? She's a little bitty thing.

  7. She's exactly who I want to be when I grow up!

  8. I want to be Iris when I grow up!

  9. Iris is a hoot. :-)


  10. She's one of my sartorial heroines!

  11. Anonymous8:18 AM

    And I want to be 'exactly' like her when I grow up, as should we all. Let's just all be who we are and not worry about the opinions of the rest of the world.

    The Blue Ridge Gal

  12. Does she mean remember the animals as in no fur or as in wear leopard prints? I do leather shoes because they are better for my feet I think. I don't do zebra, leopard, tiger... or any other animal print mostly because it's so overdone sometimes...snakeskin is ok.
    Neat post.

  13. I'm loving this lady's chutzpah. And since I love my jeans, I love her for that too.

    I like all the rules, and most particularly: Don't be afraid to stop traffic. I always wanna stop traffic. I get it from my dad, so you might say it's "in the genes."

    Heh, heh. Are you falling all over yourself yet?

  14. I think I'm a little bit in love with Iris, and her life list is amazing. I'm about to go out and stop traffic as we speak. I have to do it from several miles away from the actual traffic though, as the roads are icy, and I kind of have a penchant for life.


  15. My fave has gotta be
    "Don't be afraid to stop traffic" Words to live by!

  16. I want to know if she bought those shoes that way or if some tagger chased her down and did them. Stopping traffic is always good. Unless you're actually IN traffic.

  17. I can't even imagine being the one who started womens jeans. I mean, what? WHAT? WHAT.