500 Days Of Film Reviews Iris And Finds A Wonderful Documentary About A True Individual

Iris Apfel is a fashion icon and interior designer.  Now in her nineties, Iris has lived a colourful and fascinating life.

After a successful career in interior design (she and husband Carl consulted on the interiors for The White House), Iris decided to retire.

However, she could never retire from the fashion world and continued to build an impressive collection of clothes, trinkets and costume jewelry.

In her early eighties, Iris got a call from Harold Koda, a curator at the New York Metropolitan Museum Of Art. Koda wanted to know if she would help him design a show based on her comprehensive collection of costume jewelry.

The show would bring Iris new-found fame - she would become, in her own fabulous words, a geriatric starlet.

Is It Any Good?

Okay, so just why should we watch a film about a privileged white woman from New York? 

Why should we care about someone whose life has been devoted to fashion and interior design? 

Quite simply, we should be interested in Iris Apfel because she is a true individual in a world where daring to be different is rare and actually pretty brave.

Director Albert Maysles allows Iris to be herself and tell the story of her own amazing life. However, Maysles is not just interested in the past. He is also fascinated by Iris’ present and future. She is now busier than she ever, she always has a project on the go and her phone never stops ringing.


I thoroughly enjoyed this film. I didn't expect to love it as much as I did.


Iris made me look at fashion as art. She avoids the pitfalls of pretentiousness with absolute ease and I love the inspirational way that she praises the individual.

I also enjoyed her whip smart retorts - she is just so funny. I even love the sound Iris' bangles make as she walks along. But most of all, I was enchanted by the wonderful relationship that she had with her husband, Carl.  

We should also be interested in this wonderful documentary because Iris has lived a long and full life and she has a lot to say about what is truly important. 

And, through her stories, anecdotes and interactions with others, we learn that what Iris has to say is well worth hearing. 

Random Observations


Director, Albert Maysles, had the fabulous nickname -  the Dean Of Documentaries. Sadly, Maysles died in March this year. 

Iris’ husband, Carl, whose presence in this film lights up the screen, also sadly died this year.

Have you seen Iris? If not, I would highly recommend this film.


If you have watched this documentary, what did you think? I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments section below!


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Jane Douglas-Jones
Jane Douglas-Jones



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