DOCUMENTARY; 1hr 23min

DIRECTED BY: Albert Maysles

Lights, camera, action: Apfel

With her owlish specs and silver fox crop, 94-year-old New York fashion doyenne Iris Apfel is the kind of break-the-mould character most people rarely get to meet. Her ensembles are her artistic voice and what she doesn’t know about uniqueness wouldn’t fit on a manicured pinkie. “I like individuality,” she says with BS-free directness. “[It’s] so lost these days.”


Not chez Iris. The lady is a bowerbird, plucking from high fashion, bargain basement and her interior and textile design history. Her clothes and Aladdin’s cave of costume jewels have been exhibited in museums, and why wouldn’t they be? Oh, the rainbow fineness of the creations!


Married since 1948 to “cool, cuddly,” 101-year-old Carl, Iris is also so at ease with the great documentarian Albert Maysles (Gimme Shelter, Grey Gardens) that she could be chatting to an old friend. While casually hanging out with her, Maysles allows Iris to speak for herself on her own, astute terms as she goes about the business of fabulosity at shows, in interviews, when being feted and photographed and, of course, when shopping. It all comes down to style as life.