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[Icons of Style] The Inimitable Style of Iris Apfel

Posted May 10 2010 9:21am

Calling herself a 'geriatric starlet', Iris Apfel just goes to show us that great style knows no age limit. At the ripe age of 88, Iris exudes more style that many of us have at even half her age. A legendary tastemaker, Iris Apfel was the subject of a recent exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum in Massachusettes, called "Rare Bird of Fashion."

“Her creation of her image is just as artistic as any of the individual haute couture pieces from her wardrobe,’’ says Harold Koda, curator of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where the show originated in 2005. “It’s art in the sense that her materials are from this incredible collection she has amassed, and she uses them the way a painter uses paint.’

Key elements of Iris' Signature Style:

Iris clearly understands the secret power of accessories and uses it to help set her apart. Whether she's wearing a designer label or a mass produced outfit, it's her use of accessories that elevates her look to the next level and makes a stand-out impact.

Bold, statement jewelry and oversized glasses create balance and a consistent look, as well as a 'more is more' philosophy. When Iris walks into a room you don't see one element of her outfit, you simply see her.

A gal after my own heart, Iris is a big fan mixing haute couture with dimestore finds. True style comes in your mix, not from wearing labels and brands. Iris is a world-class shopper who readily confesses that it’s not about how much you spend, but what you dig up.

Your Assignment:
As with Iris' example, accessories can be used to help you create a look that's all your own. Take a look at how you use accessories and note what you wear consistenly. Do you wear a certain motif, a stack of bangles or the same pair of earrings? What accessories make up your Signature Style?
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