Iris in Paris

culture iris apfel.jpg

▽ Le Bon Marché stages Iris Apfel exhibition

Iris Apfel has been the subject of an exhibition at Le Bon Marché in Paris since the 27th of February. “Iris in Paris” will include window displays at rue de Sèvres and at Galerie du rez-de-chaussée, as well as a pop-up store with display cabinets showcasing 10 outfits Apfel put together for various activities in the French capital. 

For each outfit, or “instant”, Apfel composed silhouettes from her personal wardrobe and paired them with 10 quotes close to her heart, which inject the boldness and frivolity of her own personal style into the capsule collection.

The exhibit will continue until the 26th of March.

▽ Iris Apfel, geriatric starlet

Iris Apfel was born in Astoria, Queens New York in 1921. Her father made mirrors and her mother owned a fashion boutique. No wonder Apfel always has a knack for styling clothes.

Iris studied art and worked as an illustrator’s assistant, a journalist and ended up an interior designer. She married Carl Apfel in 1948 and her work took off as she founded her business “Old World Weavers”. Between 1950 and 1992, she was requested by nine US presidents to restore rooms in the White House.


Since she travelled a lot to find fabrics and furniture from all over the world, Iris also starts collecting clothes and accessories and cultivate her own personal style though pairing Couture items with flea market finds.

“I don’t know why people like to dress so much alike. I don’t know whether it’s peer pressure, or it’s the fact that they don’t want to make a mistake, and clothes are so expensive that they want to feel safe,” she once said in an interview.

Her upcoming campaigns include Citroën and Australian fashion brand Blue Illusion.

▽ The window displays


▽ The exhibit

Eric Giriat, French illustrator has taken upon himself to draw Iris in Paris. You can find his work at the Entrance of Contemporary Art on the first floor and in the window displays,  on rue de Sèvres. You can also buy it on postcards at Le Bon Marché.


▽ The capsule collection

Among the items on sale will be a bag designed by Apfel, made of red or black Mongolian wool; oversize sunglasses from Selima Optique; a men’s bow tie by Cinabre Paris; bracelets from Luc Kieffer; necklaces by Marion Vidal, as well as limited-edition items including notebooks, a scarf, an umbrella and a mug.


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