Iris unplugged.


In case you don’t know, Iris Apfel is 93 years young. And, she is beautiful. Every wrinkle and gray hair radiates the depth of her style. She represents, for me, authenticity and connectedness to what is real. She reminds me of what I miss. The familiar glasses, the silver hair and lip stick. She reminds me of my mother. And she reminds me of the style and character of a generation unplugged.

In my view you can’t go to the future if you haven’t come from the past. — Iris Apfel

Marian in 1978.
Marian in 1978.

How do we create?

It’s been three days since I saw the movie “Iris” and for three days Iris Apfel has been on my mind. There is no doubt Iris Apfel is talented. It’s refreshing to see her connect the dots of design while unencumbered by brand influence or ego. And invigorating to watch the “geriatric starlet’s” mind gather her components to create. She has a sense of self so rich you can’t help but fall in love with her.

Iris Apfel isn’t new or fleeting. To be defined by media then tossed aside. No, her bountiful curiosity has enriched her wardrobe and us. Her body is her canvas. Her age is irrelevant. Her style can’t be categorized. Her art (yes, it is art) is timeless.

As I watched her work her magic I longed to explore design again without the aid of technology. To let my mind blissfully wonder, unplugged. Did I? No. Can I? Is that today’s luxury? It takes hours of time. The internet has become my avenue of discovery. A quick reward. But the personal reward of natural discovery is so great. It seeps deep into my soul.

To find out who you are is like putting yourself on a psychiatric couch, but you have nobody to help you. Really it isn’t easy. I was talking with my nephew this morning and he gave me one of the best quotes I’ve heard in years ‘Personal style is curiosity about oneself. — Iris Apfel

Looking to the past to create for the future

It’s easy to think every answer can be found on the internet. It can’t be. I can easily get in a rut where I think it can. Sometimes, I simply forget that answers come to me when I let my ideas “stew” or through natural exploration. A valuable takeaway from a movie. Looking backward, discovering where I came from, why I am who I am, exploring and connecting. The essential components of self-awareness and creativity.

My mother's accordion box evening bag. Italian, made of silk.
My mother’s accordion box evening bag. Italian, made of silk.

I just got pinged from my friend Joann. Do I want to see the documentary “Sagrada: The Mystery of Creation” on Friday night. Barcelona’s La Sagrada Familia designed by Antoni Gaudi and still under construction. We visited Barcelona in 2002. How great it was. Even if it’s virtual, I think I’ll go. To hopefully inject my creative soul with a little more borrowing from the past.