I think I first got to know about Iris Apfel when I was flipping through an old issue of Vogue Japan. She was hard to miss. Her round-rimmed glasses, her bold accessories, the colours on her and her confidence were just so striking. I didn't know who she was but I knew, at that instant, that there is so much to know about her.
Really thankful to Albert Maysles for the documentary chronicling Iris Apfel. I love to hear her speak and I really love her sense of humour. Her life is spectacular, she really lived her life to the fullest. Her relationship with her husband, Carl Apfel, is so enviable. Those scenes where she was stroking Carl's head and putting on a thick shawl over his shoulders just showed how much they loved each other. My heart wrenched when I learnt that he had passed away in August this year, just days before he turned 101.
Iris Apfel, at 94 this year, is a true inspiration. Her adventures and her collections tell us so much about the century that she had witnessed. Her energy, enthusiasm and confidence is testament that one has to stay true to oneself, that we should embrace our individuality instead of conforming to norms and mass production. I will leave you with a quote from the film:
"I've never felt pretty and I don't feel pretty now. I'm not a pretty person. I don't like pretty, so I don't feel badly. And I think it worked out well because I found that for instance, all the girls that I know, who were very pretty girls and got by on their looks, as time went on and they faded, they were nothing. And they were very very disappointed. When you are somebody like myself, in order to get around and be attractive, you have to develop something, you have to learn something and you have to do something so you become a bit more interesting. And when you get old, you get by on that. Anyway, I don't happen to like pretty. Most of the world is not with me but I don't care." -Iris Apfel
I think I've insecurities of my own and reading the quote aloud made me feel so warm and encouraged. I tell people around me that I hate selfies, I kind of hate my face. But I will never want to change anything. I weigh above 50kg but I don't need to drop a size just to fit in and frankly, I don't want to because that might mean that I can't fit into my favourite trousers anymore. Haha. I love what I have in my closet and I love what I wear. Once, while walking up the stairs of a public bus, I realised that the old grandpa walking in front of me was wearing a pair of trousers that looked like what I have in my wardrobe. I smiled to myself and was really tempted to ask him where he got his pants from. My mum hates my style and she's never nice about it, I think that's the hardest part that I'll have to live with. But it's okay, maybe I will tell her about Iris Apfel and she will keep quiet later haha.
I like the way I live now. I like to start collecting bits and pieces that I know I will keep for years. Even if I'm the only one in the whole world that thinks 'this is a pretty piece', I will still get it because that is all that matters.