Every new season, we wait for fashion weeks, magazines and trend reports to ‘inspire’ us what to wear. That’s how we think we will win the fashion game. Not for Iris. She has only two trends to follow- an attitude and a good sense of humour, which coordinates well with all her looks!

At ninety-three, she is the coolest oldest style icon. There is no room for minimalism, neither in her house nor her style. A walking mood-board, she plays with colours and prints like us Indians play holi. It’s not the clothes, it’s the styling and accessorising. As if the word accessorising derives it’s true meaning from her. So much so, I enjoyed drawing her illustration for the minigasm section.bindigasm_iris_apfel_style_icon_fashion_0

Even before they coined out different cultures in fashion, she was wearing them all. The first American to wear jeans borrowing from the boy’s closet. Beat that! Pairing random pieces together she has been collecting from around the world (which she stores in a warehouse by the way!) with her iconic Mr Magoo-like glasses, loafers and a bright red lipstick, she has inspired so many with her eccentric state of style. Who says you should only shop brands? You just have to have a great taste in picking stuff! Given a black dress, she could style them in fifteen different ways, just by accessorising and styling them differently, something she learned as a child from her mother during the time of depression.


A revered textile designer, her company ‘Old World Weavers’ with husband Carl to whom she is married for 66 years now, she has done restorations at the White House for nine Presidential terms. “Rara Avis: Selections from the Iris Barrel Apfel Collection” at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, an exhibition held in 2005-06 showcased about three hundred of her clothes and accessories.

IRIS, is a documentary by late David Maysles releasing this 29th April, and I am eager to watch her style-in-motion and the witty one-liners she is famous for! Take a look at the trailer

Here are a few tips we could borrow from her-

  • Three words of a great style – Attitude. Attitude. Attitude.
  • Don’t shy away from embracing colours. Let’s make this grey world a little colourful
  • Decorate yourself. You are a piece of art after all!
  • Shop what you like, not what the magazine tell you. Chuck the herd-instinct.
  • You home should speak of you. Otherwise, it isn’t your home.
  • You have only one trip. Take a chance!