When Iris Apfel, now 93, was younger, she was shopping at the now-closed Loehmann's when its owner, Frieda Loehmann, stopped her. "Young lady, I've been watching you," Mrs. Loehmann told Apfel. "You're not pretty, and you'll never be pretty. But, it doesn't matter. You have something much better. You have style."
It's a story Iris Apfel tells proudly in the new documentary IRIS, fimed by the legendary Albert Maysles. Unlike her society counterparts, who were conventionally attractive, had buckets to spend on department store threads, and strived to look "pretty," Apfel chose to do things her own way. And, in the pursuit of personal style, she and her signature look have become an iconic symbol of rebellion for anyone who doesn't get dressed the morning with the goal to look "pretty."
The film follows Apfel around town as she haggles for deals at thrift shops, works with high-fashion magazines to tell stories, and even holds a styling session at Loehmann's for fans and admirers. Through it all, she spouts a whole tome of aphorisms, some of which we documented in the following slideshow (along with some classic Irisisms we couldn't leave out).