Something false that we hold true in this part of the world is that senior citizens are a drain on society and really of no worth. We tend to think of them as feeble and hide them away in homes. While it is inevitable that we humans will all get older and our bodies will give out at a certain point there are enough examples out there of seniors who are vibrant and contribute in one form or another that dispel that whole narrow minded way of thinking.
This documentary by veteran documentary director Albert Maysles (Grey Gardens – 1975, When We Were Kings) puts the spotlight on a woman who is ninety-three-years-old and still has passion and a flair for what she does. Iris Apfel is that woman and she has been a force in the New York fashion world for decades and continues to work in the industry. It is not only a film that celebrate the woman along with all that she has accomplished, it also beautifully demonstrates that as long as you are passionate about what you do it doesn’t matter what age you are that you can still contribute.
Brought up in a middle class family living in Queens during the Great Depression, Iris is the perfect example of someone who knows how hard you have to work in the fashion industry to make it and how lucky she has been to have had the opportunity to live her life doing what she loves. Her life has been a very glamour centered one and she still dresses with a flair that very few possess. Fashion has always been a part of who Iris Apfel is. We see her selecting clothes for a tour, speaking with models and negotiating with buyers. All at her age and all done with a vibrancy of someone many years younger.
The film really brings across the vibrancy and humour Iris possesses. Whether she is dressing others or selecting for herself what to wear there is always a delightful nature about the woman. Without being intrusive, the documentary gives us some insight into the woman and her very interesting life. We see that she persists on forging forward despite some health issues, which are not harped upon, and that she gave up having children due to the long hours and travel involved in her job.
Special Features: Deleted Scenes, Interview With Iris Apfel