Thursday, October 18, 2012

My style icon: Iris Apfel

Businesswoman, designer and New York style icon Iris Apfel
knows a thing or two about being fabulous. (Illustration: Joana Avillez)

Youth comes and goes. But Iris Apfel reminds me that true beauty-- the kind that comes from confidence, inner-strength and not taking oneself too seriously-- is always in fashion. At 91 years young, the New York style icon represents what I've always loved about fashion: it's an opportunity to tell a story about yourself. We're all blank canvases when we're born. We might as well have fun and use our palette!  

My favorite thoughts from the style maven:

91 years young and totally workin' it.

"Personal style is curiosity about oneself." 

"If you put something together and it doesn't look so good, the fashion police are not going to come and take you away. And if they do, you might have some fun in jail."

"I can't tell people how to have style. No amount of money can buy you style. It's just instinctive. You can't try to be somebody you're not; that's not style. If someone says, 'Buy this, you'll be stylish,' you won't be stylish because you won't be you. You have to learn who you are first and that's painful... I don't try to intellectualize about it because it tightens you up. I think you have to be loose as a goose."

“I’m a hopeless romantic. I buy things because I fall in love with them. I never buy anything just because it’s valuable. My husband used to say I look at a piece of fabric and listen to the threads. It tells me a story. It sings me a song. I have to get a physical reaction when I buy something. A coup de foudre -– a bolt of lightning. It’s fun to get knocked out that way!”

"He told my friend that he thought I was very attractive if only I would go and get my nose fixed. So I said, 'You can tell him to go fly a kite.'" (On meeting her husband for the first time)

"You gotta have fun. If you don't have fun, you might as well be dead."

"I say, dress to please yourself. Listen to your inner muse and take a chance. Wear something that says 'Here I am!' today.”

“I do have a dominant shopping gene but, unlike a reasonable person, I never plan for what I need each season. I enjoy the thrill of the hunt, the discovery and the endless search."

"Style is all attitude. Attitude, attitude, attitude."

Learn from Iris: beauty begins from within.