The late director Albert Maysles’ Iris follows the vivacious 93-year-old colour-holic Iris Apfel as she shakes up the fashion world with a little bit of fun. A Queens-raised style maven who found fortune as an interior designer in the latter half of the 20th century, Apfel was propelled into the spotlight after the runaway success of her 2005 Met museum show – featuring the couture-meets-thrift-store collection that makes up her unique fashion sense.
Chaotic and frank, these 78 minutes are a rush of runway shows, QVC appearances and photoshoots intermixed with the realities of old age – worry, frailty – made ever the more poignant by the passing of Maysles in March 2015. Iris herself is loveable enough to carry the film’s more mundane moments. And much to her director’s delight, she is truly herself throughout – possessor of a razor sharp wit and ferocious haggler – even decked to the nines for a trip to the doctor. In a grey world succumbing to the values of ‘norm core’, Iris is a welcome shock of eccentricity, proving age is nothing but a number.
Iris is available on DVD, Dogwoof Pictures. For more, visit www.dogwoof.com.
See more film reviews in the current issue of Aesthetica. Pick up a copy at www.aestheticamagazine.com.
Follow us on Twitter @asffest for the latest news in film in the UK and internationally.