Connect with us

Iris Apfel

Iris Apfel, 94, is more than a fashion and design icon. She’s the embodiment of ageless grace, enthusiasm and candor — with a sense of humor to match.

Iris Apfel

The film is the result of collaboration among cultural royalty. Iris, a born and bred New Yorker, is one of the world’s best-known fashion and design innovators and educators, while The New York Times called Albert “the dean of documentary filmmakers.”

Albert Maysles, Iris Apfel

Albert Maysles and Iris Apfel

Filmmaker and subject were also united by advancing age. Iris, born in Queens in 1921, worked for Women’s Wear Daily before opening her own interior design business. She became an international sensation after a 2005 Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibit of her work took the fashion and design world by storm. She would later quip that the show had made her a “geriatric starlet.”

Albert was born in 1926 and made his first documentary, Psychiatry in Russia, in 1955. He went on to captivate the world with SalesmanGimme Shelter and Grey Gardens, part of a body of work composed of more than 40 films. He died on March 5, 2015, at age 88.

Iris ApfelWhile Iris is a petite woman (with signature oversized round glasses), her personality and energy are large in scale. She describes her approach to fashion in musical terms: “I like to improvise. It’s like playing jazz.” Among those improvisations: combining a Chinese shaman’s coat with “skinny” pants for cocktail wear, or matching haute couture tops with pants fashioned from church vestments and tribal jewelry.

And she is the undisputed queen of the accessory.

Her fascination with accessories, she explains, is the result of growing up during the Great Depression, when her mother taught her that all she needed was a simple black dress. Accessories could “dress it up or dress it down.” Albert follows her on a shopping trip to Harlem, where she displays another talent: haggling. She includes a cultural lesson: In some countries merchants are insulted if you don’t try for a better price. “You ruin their day if you pay what they initially ask. They think they should have asked more.”

Iris has a knack for happy, long-lasting matrimony. In 1948 she married Carl Apfel, an advertising executive, and together they founded Old World Weavers, which manufactured fabrics. From 1948 until 1992, the couple helped restore the fabrics of major museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Flagler Museum in Palm Beach, as well as those in the White House collection. (“Oh, we had a problem with Jackie,” Carl says impishly, referring to the Kennedys, before being poked by his wife. “Stop!” she tells the camera. “We’re not supposed to talk about the White House too much.”) Carl, who passed away in 2015 just before turning 101, is also a central figure in the film, which captures the duo travelling between their homes in Manhattan and Palm Beach.

Iris shows off photos from her “small” wedding — 125 guests — and brags that she still has the shoes she wore that day, which, she adds, have come back into style. The couple never had children because she wanted a career and travel. “I didn’t want my child raised by a nanny,” she explains. “You can’t do everything. Something has to give.”

The film leaves no doubt that theirs was a profound romance. They continuously hold hands, laugh together when Carl is talked into donning wild and colorful clothes and hats and enthusiastically celebrate his 100th birthday. “It’s very good,” Carl says. “It’s not a dull marriage. I have a very talented wife! I think I’ll keep her.”

Iris includes interviews with leading fashion industry figures, including Margaret Russell, then editor-in-chief of Architectural Digest, who says Iris stands at the “intersection of fashion, interior design and art.” Other admirers include Harold Koda, former head of the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Jenna Lyons of J. Crew, designers Dries Van Noten and Alexis Bittar and photographer Bruce Weber.

Some unexpected celebrities show up as well, including Kanye West. He greets Iris backstage at the CFDA Fashion Awards at Lincoln Center in New York, where she admits to being “a big fan.” Kanye compliments her youthful look — “in yellow, you look so good tonight” — and Iris doesn’t miss a beat. “My goodness! Coming from such a handsome young fellow? Wow!”

The film also highlights her work as a visiting professor at the School of Human Ecology (Division of Textiles and Apparel) at the University of Texas at Austin. A select group of students in her class are treated to a weeklong tour of the New York fashion industry. They get not only a close look at every aspect of the business, but a good dose of Iris’ wisdom.

“It’s better to be happy than well dressed,” she insists.

And while glamour is good, “I never feel pretty,” Iris says. “I’m not a pretty person. All the girls who got by on their looks, when they faded they were nothing. I don’t happen to like pretty. Most of the world is not with me, but I don’t care!” And has she ever considered plastic surgery? “I think unless God gave you a nose like Pinocchio or you were in a fire or some terrible thing, why mess? Some very important people I know . . . come out looking like [a] Picasso.”

She also denounces conformity within the industry. “Individuality is so lost these days,” she says. “Downtown there’s no style. It’s all black. It’s a uniform. I like big and bold and lots of pizazz. Color can raise the dead.”

Iris’ energy is almost dizzying. “I like being active. I like being in the world and of the world.” She also loves being Iris. During a back-and-forth with the audience at her Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibit, she reveals that her nephew, Billy Apfel, overheard a patron wondering whether Iris Apfel was deceased. “So I told him the next time you hear that, tap the lady on the shoulder and say, ‘My auntie is very much alive. She’s just walking around to save funeral expenses.’”

Yet she acknowledges that the years are taking their toll. “Everything I have two of, one hurts. But unless it’s something really serious, you have to push yourself. Forget about yourself.” When she needs a boost she goes shopping, which makes her feel “nineteen and a half.”

Iris, which was an Official Selection at the 2014 New York Film Festival, includes an observation that is the perfect marriage of the style maven’s individuality, confidence and style: “I didn’t give a damn about going to the party or being at the party. It was getting dressed for the party.”

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com

Events

March Baby Madness

Published

on

Six March Baby birthdays were celebrated together on St Patrick’s Day Eve.

The celebrants included actress, singer, dancer, Quinn Lemley, Health and Wellness entrepreneur, Women’s Health and Veterans Advocate, Anne Akers, Good Will Ambassador, Errol Rappaport, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Judy Gilbert, entrepreneur, politician and philanthropist, DeCosta Headley and executive director, psychotherapist and columnist, Lorraine Silvetz, MSW.

Robert Silvetz and Lorraine Silvetz Photo by Jeff Smith

Cherie Corso and Lorraine Silvetz Photo by Jeff Smith

A large circle of dear friends joined them for complimentary hors d’oeuvres at the beautiful Sandbar Rooftop at the Chelsea Hilton and then all attendees were gifted tickets to attend Randy Edelman’s performance at the Chelsea Table and Stage. Randy’s show was sold out being one of the most accomplished and world renowned musicians and composers of our times with over 100 film and television soundtracks, a Golden Globe nomination (Last of the Mohicans), and a multitude of awards. He is also recognized for writing some of the most popular songs covered by some of the most popular artists (Barry Manilow, Dionne Warwick, Patty Labelle, Olivia Newton John, among others. His music enchanted the crowd.

Liza Pllumaj, Nicota Hawkeye, Lorraine Silvetz and Flora Pllumaj Photo by Jeff Smith

Photo by Jeff Smith

The 6 March Babies don’t just share birthdays in March but a passion and commitment to philanthropy.

Lorraine Silvetz, David Sexta, and Flora Pllumaj Photo by Jeff Smith

Ralph DePalo, PhD, Lorraine Silvetz, MSW and Robert Silvetz, MD Photo by Jeff Smith

Dear friend and spokesperson for Global Stress Initiative (GSI), 3 Time Emmy Award Winning Anchor and 2 Time NY Times Best Selling Author, Rita Cosby has served as spokesperson for Lorraine Silvetz, MSW’s GSI since she founded it in 2010. GSI focuses on research and treatment of veterans, domestic violence and human trafficking survivors with PTSD.

March Babies and friends Photo by Jeff Smith

Anne Akers, Lorraine Silvetz and Jane Pontarelli Photo by Jeff Smith

The Six March Babies are a very accomplished group of entrepreneurs, writers, actors, dancers and philanthropists. As a group they support and serve as Board embers on several foundations including Lou Gehrig ALS NYC, Ronald MacDonald House, St Francis Food Pantry and Shelter, The DREAM Foundation, Career Bridges, Daisy Jopling Music Mentoring Foundation, Portrait of Freedom, Mommy’s Heart, The Veterans Association of NY, National Meningitis Association, The Skin Cancer Foundation, Ovarian Cancer at Mt Sinai, Tournesol Wellness, David Lynch Foundation, Operation Warrior Wellness, among others.

Corina Cortenescu, Rose Billings, Lorraine Silvetz and Guiseppe Signorinni Photo by Jeff Smith

Cherie Corso, Sara Johnson Kaplan, Flora Pllumaj, Abe Shainberg and Liza Pllumaj
Photo by Jeff Smith

Several notable guests were in attendance including PEP real estate owner and Tribeca Records founder, Johnny Pasquale aka “Soho Johnny”; fashion designers, Guiseppe Singorinni, Daniela Reginato and Diana Mahrach; clinical scientist, Robert Silvetz, MD; psychotherapist and professor, Ralph DePalo, PhD; brain upgrade expert, Paul Oleska; comedian and author, Jeffrey Gurian; former opera singers and Career Bridges’ founders, Barbara and David Bender; celebrity photographer, Rose Billings; artist and Portrait of Freedom co-founders, Tatyana Horoshko Gegera and Alexandr Sasha Gegera; best selling author, Tom Avitabile; PR Guru, Eileen Shapiro; artist, Cherie Corso; oil painting artist and tech innovator, actress/model, Sara Johnson Kaplan, actress/not for profit founder, Julianne Michelle; Purple Runway founder, Gigi McMillan; Rosalind Panda; entertainment correspondent, Jan Mercer Dahms; politician, Jude Elie; artist/actor; Nicole Leigh Morris; inventor/scientist, Nicota Hawkeye; author, Robin Lieberman; entrepreneur, Jessy Moya; Luce Foundation founder, Jim Luce; musician and filmmaker, David Sexta; artist, Tony Silber-Delerieve; President Actors Temple, Carol Ostrow; creative director and founder, makeup artistry, Donna Sousa; health/wellness expert, Judi Hellman, MD; author, Gay Rosen; real estate expert, Marcia Minassian; health wellness expert, Deborah Farkash; publisher and journalist, Suzanna Bowling; entrepreneur, Margarita Parlionas; psychologist, artist, actor, Nicole Leigh Morris; health/ wellness expert, Barbara Bartlik, MD; psychotherapist, Beatty Cohan, LCSW, author; cabaret singer, Carol Sue Gershman; and author Magda Katz.

Sasha Gegera, Tatyana Horoshko Gegera, Danielle ? and Soho Johnny Photo by Jeff Smith

Marcia Minassian and Gay Rose Photo by Jeff Smith

Amazing artist and friend, Tatyana Horoshko Gegera, along with her husband, Alexandr Sasha Gegera, gifted her amazing drawings to several of the March Babies in her signature style. The portrait artist has donated her art to many foundation heads and their honorees including Southampton Animal Shelter, Operation Warrior Shield, Global Stress Initiative, Mommy’s Heart, Doodles for Hunger Drive among others.

Rosalind Panda, Jane Pontarelli, Gay Rosen, Marcia Minassian, Judy Gilbert, Susan Anderson, Joe Pontarelli and guest Photo by Jeff Smith

The March Babies birthday wish was to have as many of their beloved friends, old and new, celebrate their birthdays together since life is too short. It seems they got their wish and then some!

#globalstressinitiative #ritacosby #errolrappaport #mommysheartfoundation #careerbridges #judychristygilbert #tatydesignstudio #saintfrancis #ronaldmacdonaldhouse #lougehrigsdisease #davidlynchfoundation #sashagegera #tatyanahoroshko #avadoramimouniofficial #daisyjopling #quiethero #theveteransassociationofnewyork
#timessquarechronicles #thedreamfoundation

Continue Reading

Fashion

Looking Your Best With Morphe

Published

on

For awhile now I have been looking for a make-up brand I could count on. The bases I tried were thick, heavy, never the right color and didn’t make my skin glow. Then I was introduced to Morphe. First I tried their Lightform Extended Hydration Foundation ($20), weightless, long lasting and corrects imperfections instantly with undetectable coverage. My skin also stayed hydrated and radiant.
I also use the Jumbo Bake & Set Soft Focus Setting Powder ($19). This sets my makeup with a soft, natural finish, that lasts.

Their makeup brushes apply everything with a smooth texture and the base. I love the Lightform Dual Ended Complexion Brush ($15) which just makes my life a lot easier. Also the Three-In-One Brow Sculpting Brush ($9)

Another great item is the Continuous Prep & Set Mist+ ($19) and Continuous Setting Mist ($17). What these products do is prime and keep your make-up lasting all day. Infused with vitamin E, vitamin B5, and fruit extracts—sets liquid and powder makeup, enhancing its look and performance all day.

If you are looking for great make-up that doesn’t cost a fortune Morphe is the one to try.

Continue Reading

Events

And Oh What A Party It Was As Randy Edelman Sang Out

Published

on

The March Babies Birthday Party on St. Patty’s Eve was held at Sandbar Rooftop and Chelsea Table + Stage celebrating hostess Lorraine Silvetz and her March baby frends; Anne Akers, Judy Gilbert, DeCosta Headley, Quinn Lemley and Errol Rappaport. Drinks, hors d’oeuvres and a good time were had by all before heading down to Chelsea Table & Stage.

Birthday babies Judy Gilbert, Errol Rappaport and Quinn Lemley Photo by Jeff Smith

Birthday baby Lorriane Silvetz and Rita Cosby Photo by Jeff Smith

Birthday girl Quinn Lemley with painting by Taty Photo by Jeff Smith

Margarita Parlionas, Rita Cosby, Suzanna Bowling

Sandbar Rooftop is a truly magical place for a party and hostess Lorraine Silvetz made sure that everyone was in the mood for this joint celebration.

Photo by Jeff Smith

Photo by Jeff Smith

Ask for the fabulous manager Kea Chan, who is a performer in her on rights. She served me a Pina Colada that was really unique and rimmed with toasted coconut.

At Chelsea Table & Stage guests were treated to a concert by Randy Edelman, who gave an amazing performance.

Randy Edelman Photo by Jeff Smith

You can hear him play here.

Randy’s magical melodies can be heard in films that transport such as Twins, Ghostbusters II, Kindergarten Cop, Drop Dead Fred, Beethoven, The Distinguished Gentleman, Gettysburg, Angels in the Outfield, The Mask, Dragonheart, and more.

Guests dined on the fare by Chef Kimberley Vega , which was really well done. My Table had the sliders which were plump juicy and plentiful. 

The sliders

We also had the baby spinach and artichoke pinsa with mozzarella.

Both were delightful and easily shared.

Designer Daniela Z. Reginato and Jessy S. Moya Photo by Jeff Smith

Artist Taty and her photographer husband Sasha Photo by Jeff Smith

Photo by Jeff Smith

Here is a toast to all the March Birthday babies. Here’s to life!

 

Continue Reading

Fashion

Fashion icon Iris Apfel Brings Her Style To Heaven

Published

on

Portrait of Iris by tatydesignstudio.com

Iris Apfel was born August 29, 1921 in Astoria, Queens. I had the pleasure of meeting Iris, through Errol Rappaport. His mother Francesca had been one of the first people to bring Iris to recognition and had at one time had a lot of her work in her houses. The two of them had been friends for over 70 years.

Francesca Rappaport and Iris Apfel

Francesca Rappaport and Iris Apfal friends for over 70 years

Iris started her career as a copywriter for Women’s Wear Daily and interior designer Elinor Johnson.

Carl, Errol Rappaport and Iris

Errol Rappaport and Iris

In 1948, she married husband Carl Apfel, and the duo owned a textile firm until they retired 44 years later.  Over the years the pair worked on many restoration projects, including the White House.

Errol and Iris

Carl died at the age of 100 in 2015.

Iris Apfel

Iris Apfel

Iris at 90, she began teaching at the University of Texas at Austin. At 94, she was the subject of a documentary by Albert Maysles, simply titled “Iris”. At 97, she became a model and modeled for Vogue Italia, Kate Spade, M.A.C. and many others.  Iris was also the oldest person to have had a Barbie doll made by Mattel in her image. In addition to modeling, she also designed her own clothing and accessories line for HSN and published a book in 2018. It was then she became a fashion icon and self-proclaimed “geriatric starlet”, at the age of 102. Sadly she passed away on Friday in her Palm Beach, Florida, home.

Iris Apfel

Iris Apfel

Apfel was known for chunky bracelets, layers of necklaces, and those iconic heavy-framed glasses – she nicknamed eyebobs. She came to worldwide attention in 2005 when the Metropolitan Museum of Art showed an exhibition focusing on her fashion sense titled Rara Avis (Rare Bird).

Albert Maysles, Iris Apfel

Albert Maysles and Iris Apfel

Iris’s style, creativity and joy of life will be missed.

 

Continue Reading

Fashion

Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents Shani Grosz, Dee Rivera, Shani Grosz, Daniela Reginato and Jane Elissa

Published

on

“Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents”, is a new show that is filmed live every Wednesday from 5 – 6 in the lobby of the iconic Hotel Edison, before a live audience. We will run the video on our site every Thursday and then it moves onto the podcast networks.

In this episode T2C’s publisher and owner Suzanna Bowling talks with Dee Rivera, Shani Grosz, Daniela Reginato and Jane Elissa. This show was all about women entrepreneurs and empowering women. 
We were so proud because the show and our guests are now featured on the TV screens in the lobby and the hotel rooms.

I am so grateful to my guests Dee, Shani, Daniela and Jane for joining me. Thank-you Magda Katz for videoing and creating the content to go live, the audience who showed up to support us, Rommel Gopez and The Hotel Edison  for their kindness and hospitality.

We hope to see you there on February 28th. We will announce our guests shortly.

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2023 Times Square Chronicles

Times Square Chronicles