I recently watched a 2015 documentary called Iris. This is all about Iris Apfel, a 95 year old Businesswoman, Interior Designer and Fashion Icon. The documentary itself is fairly simple, nothing fancy or over the top, no dramatic music. Simply a mix of action shots and interviews. Upon watching it you completely understand why it doesn’t need to be overly dramatic. The woman herself is so special and unique that her character takes over the screen, fills it with crazy furniture, her wonderful clothes and her beautiful personality.
She truly is an inspiration, not just for her fashion sense but because she does not make concessions about her age. It’s all about her hard work ethic, the fact that her age hasn’t stopped her and she still keeps going. Another thing that occurred to me was her honesty about not wanting or having children. She breaks every boundary and stereotype that a women has to confront. And she does it while looking amazing.
If I ever talk about fashion it tends to be that I saw someone wearing something in her latest Youtube video, or on her Instagram, or I saw a picture in a magazine. It was while watching Iris I began to think about 4 women in particular who have actually shaped and inspired the way I dress, and when I say dress I am mainly referring to jewellery.
My Grandma had a massive thing about wearing big clip on earrings because she was forever paranoid that she had big ears and wanted to hide them. She would wear the most beautiful earrings. I particularly remember a bright orange and black beaded pair. She always wore the most beautiful pearl necklace and earrings, and I guess seeing as her name was Pearl it was only fitting.
Earrings weren’t just my Grandma’s thing. For as long as I can remember my Mum has always rocked long and brightly coloured earrings. I even remember on one occasion I was going shopping with her and she realised she had none on. We had to quickly rush to a shop and buy some. Maybe I don’t agree with some of the things she wears but I will say one thing, the woman has a killer earring collection.
My Aunty passed away when I was fairly young and I have very few memories of her. One thing I do remember is the beautiful clothes and necklaces she would wear and how elegant she would always look. One thing I will always remember is being at her’s and my Uncle’s house and going upstairs to where use the bathroom. I walked into their bedroom to play with the necklaces she would hang on her wardrobe door. I began to hear footsteps and put them back. It was my aunty and she came into the room and put the necklaces on me. They made me feel so special and beautiful. And as lame as that sounds, dressing up can give us that power.
The last person I want to discuss is my older cousin Aliza. Any dress phase she has had I have always somehow copied. I was always in awe when I was younger about how much she would experiment with what she wore, rocking alphabet tights with a brightly coloured top. She has always worn what she wanted and how she wants to wear it.
I like to think how all 4 women have reflected and inspired the things I wear. Yes, fashion isn’t the be all or end all, but watching Iris just made me remember how personal it is and how it’s yours and no one else’s.