Friday, November 6, 2009

rare bird, indeed

via nytimes

When I'm up in Boston for the holidays, I really want to check out the special exhibition at the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) called "Rare Bird of Fashion: The Irreverent Iris Apfel."

Iris Apfel is an 88 year old legendary style visionary (and, professionally, owner of a textile house). She's been dressing to the beat of her own drummer for 70 years - mixing vintage with designer, bright eye-catching colors with big and bright eye-catching jewelry, pattern with more pattern. I don't and may never dress like her, but I so admire the tenacity, individuality, and bravery of her style.

You know that slightly hokey poem, "Warning"? It starts with the lines:
"When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves..."

That poem reminds me a little of how unconventional Apfel is and was long before she had the excuse of age to do and dress as she pleased. I think that she's a wonderful model for just enjoying what you are and what you like - no matter how left field it is (and no matter how much turquoise jewelry you end up swimming in...)

via exhibition at PEM

via past exhibition at Nassau County Museum

via past exhibition at Nassau County Museum

Oh, and check the beautifully photographed book about her style:


  1. Wow! These dresses are gorgeous. I love the black and red dress in the second picture very much.

  2. so super fabulous. I don't know anything about her but what a dose of individuality and boldness. I need that. what courage and what a way to live life! thanks for this post.

  3. going to check this out right now

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. This one actually works. Delete-Pants!



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