‘Iris’: One Older Icon’s Portrait of Another


The center of the film is Iris Apfel, who although she had a successful career as an interior and textile designer when she was younger (she and her husband/business partner, Carl, who turns 100 during the film, talk briefly about her work at the White House and he lets slip that “We had a problem with Jackie,”) became well known to a wider public when, as a last minute substitution for another exhibit, a collection of the distinctive outfits she put together for herself (always pants and a top often accessorized by trademark layers of big heavy necklaces which catch the eye like the iridescent breast plumage of exotic birds) became a surprise hit. The exhibit traveled from New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art to the Norton Museum of Art in Florida and the Peabody Essex Museum in Massachusetts–making her a star at 84.