Monday, January 18, 2010

Lessons from Iris Apfel

Last week, I went to the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA to see the exhibit "Rare Bird of Fashion - The Irreverent Iris Apfel" for the second time. I had gone to see it a few months ago with several friends and loved it. This time, I went alone and had a completely different experience. The first time around, I studied the pages of the exhibit handbook to see who had designed each piece of clothing, how old the garments were, and where they had come from. This time, I left the exhibit handbook in the rack, and just looked, absorbed, and became enveloped by the feelings, the colors, and the textures of Iris's wardrobe. I purposely went early and the galleries were almost empty. That allowed me to truly connect with her philosophy of fashion, and I learned a lot. The following are images from the book that accompanies the exhibit,"Rare Bird of Fashion" by Eric Boman. The quotes are Apfel's own.

"Style is integral. It's something that's you."

"You have to study yourself, learn who you are. That requires some work."

"You can copy someone else's style, but it won't be yours."

"I just mix and put things together the way the spirit moves me."

"The fun of getting dressed is it's a creative experience."

"I love accessories. For me, they are the most important part of my wardrobe."

"Given the choice, I would spend my money on accessories."

"You only have one trip. You might as well enjoy it."

I say, dress to please yourself. Listen to your inner muse and take a chance. Wear something that says "Here I am!" today.