To some, she’s known as the 94-year-old icon with wit as bright as the ostentatious jewelry that covers her feeble, boney wrists. To others, she’s a pioneer in the fashion industry—showing that, sometimes, it’s okay to break the rules. She’s none other than Iris Apfel.
Apfel, who’s consulted models and worked in interior design for nearly a century, lives by the motto, “Life is gray and dull; you might as well have a little fun when you dress.”
Apfel challenges us to break long-standing fashion standards—such as mixing blacks and blues, over accessorizing and utilizing clashing patterns—because doing so can be fun. Plus, isn’t that what fashion is all about?
This Fashionista embraced her inner Apfel, pairing unusual colors and patterns, layering various sizes and styles of jewelry and trying out some new makeup approaches. It’s important to remember that this look really is all about what some call “over accessorizing.”
First, this Fashionista went for a simple base look: a saturated, yellow turtleneck, a pair of light wash ripped jeans and a pair of studded, cheetah print heels. Building from the base, she added a vibrant blue peacoat—keeping things on that fine line between classy and cool—and a whole lot of jewelry.
As Apfel always says, layering jewelry is about marrying separate pieces. So, although this Fashionista is donning around 10 separate accessories, many of her pieces appear unified. To replicate this look, it’s best to select a specific theme or color scheme for your accessories because there’s a definite separation between matching and ill-assortion. This Fashionista went with a flower theme with white, gold and silver embellishments. Needless to say, her chunky flower necklace serves as her main statement piece for the look.
As for this Fashionista’s makeup, she toned things down a bit, focusing the attention on the flashy jewelry. Overdone makeup can take an Apfel-inspired outfit from playful to costume, so be conscious of your contour.
How To: Bring your accessories to the forefront of your outfit by mixing and matching your boldest pieces. It’s all about having fun, so don’t be afraid of appropriate clashing (It’s a real thing!)