“Rare Bird of Fashion”- Iris Barrel Apfel

Iris Barrel Apfel- "Rare Bird of Fashion"

Irreverent, exuberant, bold, joyful and flamboyant are only a few of the attributes that have been used to describe the self proclaimed “geriatric starlet” Iris Barrel Apfel. Going full-blast at 89 the “rare bird” fashion icon is famous for her trademark colorful charismatic design style, oversize glasses and creative expression. Iris has a clothing line, jewelry line and manages the exhibition of her clothing and accessory collection, conceived for the metropolitan Museum of Art, to name a few. Design and décor touches every aspect of her life as is apparent in her 3 bedroom NYC apartment she shares with her husband Carl.


This month’s Architectural Digest featured her fabulously dizzying home, packed with furniture, paintings, textiles and collections of accessories and antiques from around the world. AD adequately describes Iris’s home as “a little as if the Collier brothers had moved in with Madame de Pompadour”.  It’s exciting and fun- a real adventure to check out this home.

View the amazing home tour of Iris Barrel Apfel, courtesy of AD
  • Italian Console
  • English chinoiserie mirror
  • Louis XVI daybed
  • Dutch Painting
Living Room
  • Early 18th-century painted Genoese corner cabinet
  • English needlepoint carpet
Living Room
  • 18th-century Venetian bombé chest
Dog Jewelry Display
  • Bakelite jewelry in hand-carved French mountain dog
  • Maison Jansen table
  • Italian tole chandelier
Infanta Margarita Painting
  • Iris’s first painting from Florence
  • 19th-century English bookcases
Spare Clothing Room
Iris at Home
  • -Iris Wearing her own jewelry collection
  • -Left chair, a 17th-century Sicilian, is covered in old World Weavers Tapestry
  • – French screen

It may not be your style but you can’t help being memorized. It’s literally a museum of items from different eras, different continents and different styles all combined to create Iris’s distinct personal style. As Iris says “I don’t do minimalist”. Well, that is quite obvious!


1 thought on ““Rare Bird of Fashion”- Iris Barrel Apfel”

  1. This is a really interesting one. What an expression of color in all areas of life. I can’t say I’d design or wear that sort of stuff but it definitely can keep things looking bright!

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