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The Rare Bird of Fashion

Ninety five-year-old fashion icon showcased in stunning documentary.

Iris+Apfel+is+posing+for+one+of+her+many+photo+shoots.
Iris Apfel is posing for one of her many photo shoots.

Iris Apfel is posing for one of her many photo shoots.

Photo by pintrest.com

Photo by pintrest.com

Iris Apfel is posing for one of her many photo shoots.

Alaina Anderson, Staff Reporter

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“You can’t take your eyes off Iris Apfel, but then again, why would you want to?” raves The New York Times about Albert Maysles’ documentary “Iris.” “Iris” is a hidden gem that wows viewers with its outlandish vibe and infinite wisdom.

Anyone who knows fashion knows Iris Apfel. She is iconic when it comes to her extensive

Photo by Peabody Essex Museum
One of the mannequins featured in the Rare Bird of Fashion travelling exhibit.

wardrobe and ability to accessorize. She spends her time, in between interviews and magazine shoots, rummaging through vintage stores and various thrifty clothing stores to find unique pieces. These pieces are so unique and well known that they have been displayed around the country in various museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute.

The documentary records her daily life over a span of four years. These four years included tours of her multiple houses, which all resemble vintage toy stores, and various shopping and bargaining excursions. In between tours and shopping, interviews with designers and other fashion gurus provide the viewer with Iris’ past as an interior designer and a look at her quirky personality.

The overall simplicity of the documentary is part of what makes Iris so spectacular. The documentary was shot on a single camera by Albert Maysles. Over four years, he would meet with Iris and simply film her life in his free time. Because of this, it has a sincerity and genuine feeling that some other documentaries try to force.

Despite the genuine feeling, the documentary at times can be repetitive. Certain clips can feel as though you’ve already seen them a million times, and some interviews lack new or insightful information. Even though some repetition is apparent, it doesn’t detract from the quirky, yet wise personality of Iris.

Photo by thedailybeast.com
Iris Apfel in her Manhattan home

Overall, Iris herself is what makes the documentary spectacular and unique. She continually advocates for individuality and being yourself. Sprinkled throughout her fashion advice and tales of her past are small pieces of wisdom that are insightful and inspiring in an odd way.

Iris captures Iris Apfel’s distinct style and personality in way that is simple, yet inspiring. This documentary is a must watch and will leave you in love with the seemingly odd Iris Apfel.

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The Rare Bird of Fashion