L’été, quand il fait beau soleil,
Je vois souvent passer deux vieilles
Qui marchent en se tenant le bras,
Elles s’arrêtent à tous les dix pas
Quand j’entends leur éclat de rire
J’ai un peu moins peur de vieillir

Clémence Desrochers, Deux vieilles

You can’t miss Iris Apfel. Those enormous glasses, extravagant clothes and a classy, get-out-of-my-way attitude. Oh! Yes. I forgot. She’s 93 years old. Iris is a fashion icon who is celebrated for her sense style. She loves to dress on the fly, improvise, adding tons of necklaces and bracelets. Actually so much necklaces and bracelets that you feel she will collapse under the weight. But if someone can carry it off, it’s Iris. The love of her life is her husband Carl, who celebrated his 100th birthday during filming. In 1950, Iris and Carl launched a textile business and worked on White house restoration projects for nine presidents from Truman to Clinton. In 2005, her collection of clothes were the focus of an exhibition by the Costume Institute at New York City’s Metropolitan museum of art. And what a collection! Every manners of kitsch and styles, every era, every cultures and countries are represented. One of their apartments is full of weird and fun stuff like stuffed monkeys and circus accessories. Director Albert Maysles, who died last March at 88 years old, follows Iris wherever she goes. She has a very busy schedule. At some point she gives a masterclass at a university. She talks about the importance of history, about learning as much about other cultures and not being afraid to experiment. The students seem to be mesmerised by everything Iris says. “It’s better to be happy than to be well-dressed.”, she says. I may have started with a WTF impression, but Iris Apfel won my admiration.

Rémi-Serge Gratton


Directed by:
Albert Maysles
83 min.
Rated Parental Guidance

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