Iris Apfel's Life Essentials: A Sense Of Humor and Curiosity


On New Year's Eve, my dear friend Diana and I both sipped a glass of red wine and gabbed away on the phone like we usually do whenever we touch base with each other. Diana is one of my longtime Florida friends. We met back in 1998, when she and I both worked for Chanel cosmetics. We, like my other female friends and I, have the deepest conversations in which we talk and share on so many different topics. And on this particular night, our discussion at one point moved in the direction of aging and keeping a positive outlook on life. We both agreed that although we may look older than we did back in our 20's and 30's, we feel more energetic, positive, and a hell of a lot wiser now than we did then.


It was then that Diana mentioned an inspiring documentary she recently watched, called, Iris. It was about a woman (Iris Apfel) who is an American businesswoman, interior designer, and fashion/style icon, from Astoria, Queens, New York. And I also have to add here that Iris is now 95-years old. However, she was 93 when the documentary was made, back in 2014.

As soon as Diana mentioned her name and that she wore BIG round glasses, I immediately remembered seeing a picture of Iris on a style blog I used to read several years ago, called, Advanced Style.

Now although I haven't yet seen the documentary, I've watched several video clips of this captivating lady being interviewed and fell in love with her. OMG...she's faaaaabulous! She has got the most positive and healthy attitude about not only fashion, design and style, but also aging. I absolutely LOVE her energy and hope to be like her when and if I live to be 95.

Here is what she say's about age...
"You have to push yourself when you’re older, because it’s very easy to fall into the trap. You start to fall apart—you just have to do your best to paste yourself together. I think doing things and being active is very important. When your mind is busy, you don’t hurt so much."
"If you're lucky enough to get old, I think you should celebrate it."
 About life...
"If you're not interested, you're not interesting."
About style...
"When you don't dress like everyone else, you don't have to think like everyone else." 
She also talks about the importance of humor and maintaining a sense of curiosity. And intuitively I know that what she says is true because when you view life with a sense of humor and curiosity, you keep growing and moving forward. And if you think about it, it makes total sense. Watch a small child and notice how they continually view life with such curious eyes. Curiosity keeps your mind stimulated, and your heart and soul forever young.

Even though I might not share her same sense of bold and colorful style, I truly admire and respect Iris's individuality and not caring what other people think. Yet, I do share her zest for always finding the humor and her unquenchable thirst for curiosity.

What an inspiration you are, Iris!

Iris and her husband (who passed away since the filming of the documentary)


Iris in her NYC apartment


I leave you now with a short clip of Iris Apfel, sharing her unique sense of style, wit, and wisdom...


Happy New Year everyone and have a fantastic weekend! 
X


34 comments

  1. Loved the trailer. What a great lady. I agree with you. Having a sense of humor and curiosity keeps you young. Being able to tap your inner child is a gift. I can't image what life would be like without a sense of wonderment. With it, there is a surprise around every corner. Happy New Year!

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  2. Ron, what a wonderful topic and clip! "Watch a small child and notice how they continually view life with such curious eyes. Curiosity keeps your mind stimulated, and your heart and soul forever young." So true!


    And I agree with you, I feel more energetic, less stressed out, and smarter than I ever did when I was younger. I wouldn't trade my life now for being younger. No way. I like where I'm at.


    Iris is such gem! Happy New Year, Ron!

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  3. Rob LenihanJanuary 02, 2016

    My goodness, Ron, what an inspiration this woman is! And it's so great that you wrote this post at the start of a new year so we can start 2016 off with such a great role model.


    I love her comments about aging and being active and that one line "When your mind is busy, you don't hurt so much" is a classic!


    Thanks so much for sharing this, buddy, and I wish you a most happy and fantastic New Year!

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  4. What a wonderfully spunky lady and a fantastic way to begin a new year.....with a new attitude about life! We all need to adopt her mindset for every age. I hope I'm every bit as sassy as she is when I'm 95 years old. :-) Happy New Year and I hope it's a great year for you in every way, shape and form.

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  5. I've actually heard of her! She reminds me of Edith Flagg, also a fashion designer, who died at the age of 94 in 2014. Fascinating ladies, both of them! I love the quotations you mentioned. It's important to take the time to listen to our wise elders. Happy 2016!

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  6. Hey there Lauren!

    I can't wait to see the documentary! I may just try and purchase it at F.Y.E. because I have a feeling it's a film I will want to watch over and over again.

    "Being able to tap your inner child is a gift. I can't image what life would be like without a sense of wonderment."

    I agree with you! And I don't ever want to lose the ability to tab my inner child because it's as you said, there is surprise around every corner. And think it's also important to never lose my sense of PLAY.

    Happy New Year to you too! And thanks so much for stopping by!

    X

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  7. Hellooooooooooo there Elaine!

    Isn't the clip a HOOT? I can't wait to actually watch the whole documentary. I may purchase it tomorrow at F.Y.E.,so I can watch it over and over again.

    I know, can you believe she's 95?!?!?!

    "I wouldn't trade my life now for being younger. No way. I like where I am. Iris is such a gem!"

    Yes, and I feel the same way. I love where I am. Wouldn't trade it for being younger at all.

    Happy New Year to you too, neighbor!

    Cheers to you and your husband!

    X

    P.S. Can you believe how crowded the city was yesterday with the parade and all? It was INSANE where I live. So many drunk and obnoxious people.

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  8. "what an inspiration this woman is! And it's so great that you wrote this post at the start of a new year so we can start 2016 off with such a great role model."

    Rob, isn't she wonderful inspiration? And what a HOOT! And I LOVE the fact that she's from Queens, NY because she's got that faaabulous spunky NYC energy about her.



    And I can't believe she's 95 because she appears so much younger.


    Thanks a bunch for stopping by, buddy. Have a most excellent weekend!


    And HAPPY NEW YEAR!


    X

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  9. "What a wonderfully spunky lady..."

    HA! I agree, Lisa! Isn't she a hoot? Between her awesome attitude and colorful clothing ensembles, I just want to HUG her! She's so damn cute!

    " I hope I'm every bit as sassy as she is when I'm 95 years old. :-)"



    AMEN! And me too!


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend! Happy New Year to you too!


    Cheers and X!

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  10. You HAVE heard of her? OMG...that's AWESOME! Isn't she such a fascinating lady? Thanks so much for mentioning Edith Flagg because I've not heard of her, but Googled her name before I left this comment. Tomorrow I will do some further investigation about her because she looks very interesting. And yes, very similar to Iris!


    Happy New Year, my friend! Have a super weekend and thanks for stopping by!

    X

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  11. Ron, you couldn't have chosen a more perfect post to bring in the New Year! I've never heard of Iris Apfel, so I'm glad you introduced her to me because I will definitely search for the documentary. What an inspiration! And I'm not at all surprised that you mentioned her because you to have such a positive and upbeat attitude about life as well. As I've said many times, you inspire me in so many ways.


    Happy New Year, dude! Wishing you a great 2016!

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  12. Ron, Iris is such an inspiration to us all! Oh my god, not only do I love her attitude about fashion and aging, but also her views on a happy home. She is so wise and adorable! I want to be just like her when I get to be that age too. Hell, I want to be just like her at MY age!


    Wonderful post, Ron! I hope you had a happy New Year. I look forward to reading your blog in 2016! x

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  13. Hey Ron! Happy New Year! I am a few days behind...but trying very hard to catch up!! I love this lady!! I watched the trailer too and went over to Amazon to see if I could catch the Documentary on Prime, but it is not available...except to rent or buy. I just may have to rent it! I usually like to wait til they come available on Prime...just because it doesn't cost me anything then! What an amazing woman she is...so inspiring!! Her husband sounds like a pretty amazing guy too. Wishing you ALL the best in 2016...especially good HEALTH!! Looking forward to another great year of reading your FAB blog posts!! xo Jeanne

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  14. Hiya Matt!

    You know, I never thought about this being a good post topic for bringing in the New Year, but you and several others said the same thing in your comments. I didn't consciously choose to post this on the New Year, but perhaps SUBconsciously I did!

    Isn't Iris the bomb? I love her attitude and outlook. She certainly inspired me! I haven't seen the documentary, but hope to soon.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Have a fantabulous NEW YEAR!

    Cheers!

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  15. Hola Denise, and HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU!

    " love her attitude about fashion and aging, but also her views on a happy home."



    Meeeee too! Especially the part about a home being beautiful for your soul! And agree, Iris is ADORABLE!


    Thanks so much for stopping by, girl. Have a great Sunday!


    X

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  16. Happy New Year to you too, Jeanne!

    " I love this lady!"

    OMG....I do too! Isn't she faaaaabulous? I've never heard of Prime on Amazon, but I need to check it out because it sounds AWESOME! I usually just buy my DVD's at F.Y.E. because they sell used copies that are so cheap. I've gotten some used DVD'S for as low as $2.99!

    "What an amazing woman she is...so inspiring!! Her husband sounds like a pretty amazing guy too."



    Yes, I agree! In fact, she and her husband almost looked like TWINS. From what I've seen on the video clips that I watched, they really complimented each other.


    Thanks a bunch for stopping by, my friend. Wishing you ALL the best in 2016 as well! I look forward to blogging with you this next year!


    Cheers and X to you and the girlz

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  17. Oh Ron, do you recall me mentioning my late grandmother in comments to you over the past several years? Well, Iris reminded me so much of my grandmother who I adored and loved. It's not that they looked exactly alike, but their attitudes were very similar. My grandmother was very upbeat, wise and spunky, much like Iris!


    I will definitely look for the documentary and may even purchase it because I have a feeling it's something I will want to watch several times over.


    GREAT post, Ron! Love the photographs you shared too. And Happy New Year!

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  18. Ron, thank you for introducing us to Iris -- wow, she's as interesting as her name!! I like how she and her hubby share the same round-framed glasses, only his are a tad smaller!

    Ninety-five and still going strong?? That's just so amazing. Of course, she must have aches and pains typical of the aging process, but how refreshing that she's pressing forward nonetheless!

    Sounds like you had a lovely New Year's Eve, my friend. Hope it's the beginning of a wonderful 2016 for you!! xoxo

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  19. Hey ho Robert!

    OMG....yes! I DO recall you mentioning your beloved grandmother in your comments and expressing how much you learned from her wisdom. How wonderful that Iris reminded you of your grandmother. And if she was anything like Iris, I know I would have enjoyed being around your grandmother.

    "I will definitely look for the documentary and may even purchase it because I have a feeling it's something I will want to watch several times over."

    Me too, that's why I'm seriously thinking about just buying it at F.Y.E. I think it will be a film I'll want to watch through the years.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Happy New Year to you too!

    Cheers!
    X

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  20. You are sooooo welcome, Debbie! After talking to my friend, Diana, on the phone, I went online and searched for articles, videos, and pictures of Iris and decided to publish a post about her because I thought she would be an interesting topic - especially her outlook on aging.

    Yes, she and her husband did share the same glasses, you're right! Those glasses remind me of the cartoon character, Mr. Magoo, do you remember that cartoon when you were a kid? I loved it!

    http://www.toonarific.com/pics_root//00002496/mrmagoologo.jpg

    "Ninety-five and still going strong?? That's just so amazing. Of course, she must have aches and pains typical of the aging process, but how refreshing that she's pressing forward nonetheless!"



    Isn't that AMAZING? Yes, I'm sure she does experience aches and pains now and then. But she looks in fantastic shape for her age, doesn't she?


    Thanks a bunch for stopping by, my friend. Happy, Happy New Year to you!

    Cheers!
    X

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  21. Geraldine H.January 03, 2016

    She sounds like my kind of person! And wow, I LOVE her apartment, I want to move in right now. I was sorry to read her hubby passed on recently but I'm sure they had a great time together. What an inspiring woman and post Ron, I had not heard of her before.

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  22. Geraldine H.January 03, 2016

    PS I loved her quote about celebrating getting older. And yes Ron, wisdom does indeed take time. How I wish I had the smarts I have now, when I was in my 20s and 30s but it doesn't work that way, does it? Oh well, it ain't over yet!!! ;-)


    Hugs, G

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  23. I have never heard of her - she is awesome! I love geriatric starlett ....and she had big glasses even way back when!!! My mother just turned 80 on January 1. She is truly "use it or lose it," although I don't know she is aware she is doing that. She is always on the go - always keeping busy and doing things. I am always happy when she fusses about not having enough time at home because she has too much to do. It keeps her going!

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  24. Isn't she SUCH a wonderful inspiration, Geraldine? I love her attitude and outlook on life. I had a feeling you would really like her too!

    "And wow, I LOVE her apartment, I want to move in right now."

    Yes, and I bet she's got some wonderful stories to tell about the items she's collected over the years. What a fascinating life she had lead.



    I know, I read an article a few days ago about her husband passing away. And I bet she misses him very much because they seemed like soul mates.


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend! Have a super week!


    X

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  25. "And yes Ron, wisdom does indeed take time. How I wish I had the smarts I have now, when I was in my 20s and 30s but it doesn't work that way, does it? "



    No, it sure doesn't. It seems we have to "acquire" that wisdom with age; through life experience.


    X

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  26. " I love geriatric starlett ....and she had big glasses even way back when!!! "

    HAHAHAHA! I know, didn't you just LOVE that, Katherine? And her glasses remind me of the cartoon character Mr. Magoo!

    "My mother just turned 80 on January 1. She is truly "use it or lose it," although I don't know she is aware she is doing that. She is always on the go - always keeping busy and doing things"

    OMG...that's AWESOME! And bless her! I would love to meet her some day.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. I know you've been through a lot lately, but I do hope you had a Merry Christmas and that your son is doing well. Wishing you a faaaaaabulous 2016 New Year!

    Cheers and X

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  27. Amazon is AWESOME!! I order a LOT of packages from Amazon...all kinds of things...we do all our christmas shopping on there and I order over the counter medications, dog supplies, refrigerator filters, you name it! Even shoes! Fore $100 a year, it is totally worth it to me for free two day shipping and unlimited free prime movies and unlimited music...the stuff dreams are made of!! :) I can't say enough good things about it. I have always been very pleased with their work! Happy Monday!!

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  28. " Fore $100 a year, it is totally worth it to me for free two day shipping and unlimited free prime movies and unlimited music...the stuff dreams are made of!! :) I can't say enough good things about it. I have always been very pleased with their work! "

    Wow...that IS awesome, Jeanne! And I agree...it's TOTAL worth it! I know of other people who also use Amazon a lot and they share your same thoughts - they do great work!

    Happy Monday to you!
    X

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  29. Yes Ron, that's why my husband and I never left our house. I live in South Philly, so it was the worst!

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  30. OMG, I can only imagine what it was like in SP. I went outside for about an hour because I needed something at the store and couldn't believe how crowded it was. I think this was the most crowed and insane New Year's day I ever witnessed in Philly.

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  31. Mark PetruskaJanuary 04, 2016

    How inspiring! Iris is right, of course. Love her attitude. I feel like I've done a lot of pasting-back-together over the past year. As have you, my friend!

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  32. Hey there Mark!

    Don't ya just love Iris's attitude? And I also love her NY accent - HA!

    "I feel like I've done a lot of pasting-back-together over the past year. As have you, my friend!"

    Yes, we have, you're right!

    Have a super week, buddy, and thanks for stopping by!

    X to you and Tara

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  33. http://ladyfi.wordpress.comJanuary 05, 2016

    What an inspiration - I strive to be her!

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  34. I feel the same way, Fiona! What an inspiration she is!

    Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by because I know how very busy you are right now. Hope all is going well with your move.
    X

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