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New York loses an icon of fashion and design: goodbye to Iris Apfel

Short white hair, a face cluttered with oversized glasses, flashy outfits, flashy jewels and an open smile: this is the style that made Iris Apfel unmistakableicon of American fashion and design, died yesterday at the age of 102.

To confirm the disappearance of the «geriatric starlet»as she defined herself, was her agent, Lori Sale, who said that “working alongside her was the honor of a lifetime.”

Born in 1921 in New York, Iris Apfel got her start very early career as an interior designer, which led her to work on increasingly important projects, such as the restoration of the White House. Her unique and original style made her, in the Eighties, a fashion icon, inevitable presence at the most important fashion shows, as it has remained for over half a century.

Her career in the world of fashion was somewhat “accidental”, as she herself wrote in her memoir, entitled Iris Apfel: Accidental Icon. Yet it led her to incredible goals, both as a stylist and as a model: advertising campaigns, art photographs, a documentary on her life directed by the famous director Albert Maysles in 2014. But also lines of bags, accessories, glasses, clothing and furnishings.

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An influencer before its time, who has made originality her distinctive feature. «I am not beautiful, and I never will be. But it does not matter. I have something much better: style.”, Apfel said of herself. Her unique ability to mix designer pieces with vintage items, to proudly show off color and to be delightfully unconventional led Iris Apfel to resounding success, celebrated by all the major designers.

In 2005, her personal collection of vintage and designer clothing and accessories became the subject of an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New Yorktitled Rara Avis: the Irreverent Iris Apfel. «Iris Apfel is one of the most vibrant personalities in the world of fashion, textiles and interior design and over the last forty years she has cultivated a personal style that is at once witty, exuberant and eccentric», we read on the presentation of the 'exposure. «Its originality is typically revealed in its mix of high and low fashion: Dior haute couture with flea market finds, 19th century ecclesiastical vestments with Dolce & Gabbana lizard trousers. With remarkable panache and discernment, he combines colours, textures and patterns without regard to period, provenance and, ultimately, aesthetic convention.”

Only last year, at the age of 101, Iris Apfel collaborated on a make-up line, creating her first beauty campaign. A liveliness that certainly, at least in some way, has made her immortal.

Source: Vanity Fair

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