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Iris: A Fashion Icon's Life through the lens of Albert Maysles

"Iris" provides an intimate glimpse into the life and style philosophy of fashion icon Iris Apfel, captured brilliantly by legendary documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles.

Keywords: Iris Apfel, Albert Maysles, fashion, documentary, individuality, style, ageless, icon.


"Iris" is a captivating documentary directed by Albert Maysles, released in 2014. It provides an intimate perspective into the colorful life and profound wisdom of fashion icon, Iris Apfel. In a world constantly chasing trends, Iris's unique style and bold persona remain timeless, making this documentary a significant watch in today's fashion landscape.


"Iris" unfolds the life of Iris Apfel, a nonagenarian fashion icon known for her eclectic style and oversized glasses. The documentary delves into her personal life, her incredible career, and the philosophy she holds about fashion and life.

More Film Analysis



Albert Maysles adopts an observational approach in "Iris," allowing the audience to understand Iris's world by simply being part of it. The in-depth exploration of her life and her candid interviews provide a rich understanding of her character and her influence in the fashion industry.

Historical and Factual Context


Iris Apfel, born in 1921, started her career as a model, launched a textile firm with her husband, and eventually became a fashion icon. She is known for her eclectic, layered outfits and her massive collection of costume jewelry.

Key themes in the film

  • The Power of Individuality: Iris's unique style underscores her belief in individuality over fashion norms.
  • Agelessness of Style: Iris proves that style and creativity have no age limit.
  • The Intersection of Fashion and Art: Iris views fashion as a form of self-expression and art.

Film Comparisons

Unlike other fashion documentaries on iWonder, "Iris" doesn't focus on the glitz and glamour of the fashion world but on the personal style philosophy of an unconventional icon.

Noteworthy Moments

One of the most enlightening moments is when Iris explains her philosophy, "I don't have any rules because I would only be breaking them."


"Iris" has been praised for its intimate portrayal of Iris Apfel. Critics appreciate the documentary for capturing her wit, charm, and the influence she wielded in the fashion industry.


"Iris" is a must-watch for anyone interested in fashion, art, or those who appreciate individuality. It captures the essence of an icon who defied norms and celebrated her unique sense of style.

More film information:


  • IMDB score: 7.1
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 98%
  • Metacritic score: 80
  • Film Festival Awards: 2 wins & 4 nominations



  • Iris Apfel: A fashion icon known for her unique, eclectic style.
  • Carl Apfel: Iris's supportive husband and business partner.



  • New York: Where Iris and Carl built their life and careers.
  • Paris: A city that greatly influenced Iris's fashion sense.

Key Questions Raised by the Film

  • How does Iris's philosophy challenge conventional fashion norms?
  • How does Iris view the relationship between fashion and individuality?

I wonder what the film would be in another art form

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  1. A famous book, it would be "The Color Purple" because of its celebration of individuality and boldness.
  2. A famous song, it would be "I Did it My Way" by Frank Sinatra, reflecting Iris's unique approach to fashion and life.
  3. A famous piece of art, it would be Picasso's "La Vie," embodying Iris's colorful, eclectic style.
  4. A famous celebrity, it would be Iris Apfel herself - unique, bold, and unforgettable.
  5. A color, it would be a vibrant rainbow, representing Iris's colorful personality and style.
  6. A music style, it would be jazz, improvisational and individualistic.