Documentary of a ‘Geriatric Starlet’

by: Emily Kirkpatrick

September 4, 2012

Iris Apfel documentary WILD magazine

Iris Apfel, the style icon who just celebrated her 91st birthday, has had a banner year and shows no signs of slowing down now. Apfel has long been a source of inspiration for fashion insiders, but over the past year she has transformed herself into a household name and living proof that it’s possible to be truly fabulous at any age. Not only has Apfel created a line of makeup for MAC, a HSN jewelry collection, an Alexis Bittar guest collection, her own line of handbags, and donated half of her wardrobe to the Peabody Essex Museum, but now the Rare Bird of Fashion will be starring in her very own documentary. The first trailer for the film has just been released online and shows how Apfel’s eclecticism touches every aspect of her life, whether posing on the red carpet with Alexander Wang, or playing with a singing stuffed rabbit in her home filled to the brim with knick-knacks. In a New York Times article from last year, Apfel responded to her surge in popularity and sudden ubiquity saying, “I’m a geriatric starlet, my dear, don’t you know. All of a sudden, I’m hot; I’m cool; I have a ‘fan base.’ ” Albert Maysles, the filmmaker behind hugely influential documentaries such as Gimme Shelter, Grey Gardens, and When We Were Kings, directed the Apfel documentary.

In the trailer, Apfel doles out her usual sage advice, encouraging women of every age to embrace who they are and what they like as opposed to what they’re told they should like by the fashion industry. She says, “Style is all attitude…it doesn’t have to be expensive, and it doesn’t have to be trendy. As a matter of fact, sometimes those things work against you. A trend can be a wonderful thing if it works for you. But if it doesn’t, it’s useless and you can look freaky.” The Iris Apfel documentary promises to be a compelling portrait of a strong, thoughtful woman leaving her irreverent stamp on the often overly uptight world of fashion.

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