|Iris Apfel celebrating her 99th birthday in an ikat gown|
The quick-witted, flamboyantly-dressed style maven, who has had an outsized presence on the New York fashion scene for decades, chose to celebrate in a long ikat gown.
On her Instagram account she wrote:
"Quarantine can’t spoil
My happy day
Number ninety nine
Let’s go up up & away!"
In 2014 a documentary, Iris, was released. More than a fashion film, the documentary is a story about creativity and how, even at Iris' advanced age, a soaring free spirit continues to inspire.
The film portrays a singular woman whose enthusiasm for fashion, art and people are life's sustenance and reminds us that dressing, and indeed life, is nothing but an experiment.
Despite the abundance of glamour in her current life, she continues to embrace the values and work ethic established during a middle-class Queens upbringing during the Great Depression. She said "I feel lucky to be working. If you're lucky enough to do something you love, everything else follows".
|Mattel launched the Iris Barbie doll in 2018|
She was 90 when she made her first limited edition for cosmetics manufacturer MAC Cosmetics – red lipstick is Iris Apfel’s trademark alongside oversized black owl glasses.
She was 97 when she signed her first modelling contract with the modelling agency IMG and 98 when a Barbie Iris doll was created.
Working in fashion and interior design, Iris Apfel has amassed a large textile collection. In 2005 New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute, organized an exhibition, Rara Avis (rare bird), showcasing fashion, accessories and antique fabrics from her collection.
Later, Iris created a fashion line Rara Avis, in which Central Asian ikat featured.
|Iris Apfel putting the finishing touches on an ikat coat in her Rara Avis collection|
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