Becoming Iris

I have become obsessed with Iris Apfel. This 96 year old fashion maven has somehow managed to consume every little fashion decision I make...

My Iris obsession started when I first saw her several years ago on the Internet. A friend sent me her picture with the caption, “Elaine, this is so you!”   I took a look and there she was, resplendent in feathers and furs, looking like the magnificent peacock that she is, peering into the camera with an intimidating stare that made my knees quake. I was immediately hooked. I watched a documentary about her life and so the one-sided admiration began. I began to see Iris Apfel everywhere. I find myself mixing patterns, layering necklaces, piling on bracelets, stacking scarves, with feverish delight...And all the while, I’m asking myself, “Would Iris like this?” Or  “Would Iris approve?” I am much like the lady who became obsessed with Julia Child, although I doubt I’ll write a book about it, like she did. If I did, it would be a relatively short work, not because Iris is dull, but because I am. 

I am not Iris, but I am becoming more and more like her, both in style and in attitude. There are much worse things to become...Should I ever have the privilege of actually meeting Iris, I’d imagine she is courteous, flamboyant, ingenuious, happy, and spunky. At 96, she would be a woman who knows her own mind and heart. She would have a low tolerance for drama. She would be devoted to her friends and family. That’s the Iris I imagine in my head. How she really is, I haven’t a clue. But I know the woman inspires me, both as a businesswoman and a fashion icon. Even as I type those words, I realize that’s but a small part of who she really is and how she has influenced a multitude of would be Chanels and Saint Laurent’s, and how she inspired a plethora of entrepreneurial businesswomen to reach for that elusive brass ring. She makes her own rules, breaks her own rules and follows her gut instincts. In other words, a rare bird...

I have had Iris on my mind all weekend. She was peeking over my shoulder as I picked my outfit for the baby shower yesterday. She whispered in my ear as I dressed for church this morning. And as I planned my week for my agency, her indomitable spirit smiled as I wrestled through marketing ideas.  

I am becoming Iris....and that’s a great place to be!  God Bless and have a great week!




Rara Avis...Iris Apfel