Iris DVD Review

DVD  Review by Jarred Tito

The Premise
IRIS pairs the 87-year-old Maysles with Iris Apfel, the quick-witted, flamboyantly dressed 93-year-old style maven who has had an outsized presence on the New York fashion scene for decades. More than a fashion film, the documentary is a story about creativity and how, even at Iris' advanced age, a soaring free spirit continues to inspire. IRIS portrays a singular woman whose enthusiasm for fashion, art and people are life's sustenance and reminds us that dressing, and indeed life, is nothing but an experiment. Despite the abundance of glamour in her current life, she continues to embrace the values and work ethic established during a middle-class Queens upbringing during the Great Depression. I feel lucky to be working. If you're lucky enough to do something you love, everything else follows.

The Review
An enjoyable watch that was both entertaining and educational. If you are into fashion and like the idea of being in a new and creative yet stylish outfit with every new day, but don't necessarily have the budget to satisfy your creative style...? Well think again. Iris is the living and breathing fashion legend of how to buy smart, look good and more importantly, 'accessorize'.
'What Elvis was to Rock'n Roll, and Bach is to Classical music, Iris is to fashion'  were my thoughts when I began to learn about this incredible woman. She must be somewhere in her late eighties or even late nineties and is married to a man who has just turned one hundred but believe me, Iris has probably forgotten more about fashion than your average person will have ever know. She is one of the most knowledgeable people that I have ever encountered on the screen. She's not a fashion designer, but then most of us are not, but she has an incredible eye for what goes with what and with whom and how, and 'Oh the how...' For me, I had always thought that fashion gurus were all about making clothes and designing. I thought that you had to be a seamstress from Paris or a dress maker from Rome... but evidently, that is not the case. It's more to do with what to wear with what and what to wear it with such as, what and how to wear your accessories.
This film, Iris, cleverly documents the many achievements of Iris Apfel the 'Business Woman', Interior Decorator, Fashion Guru and Art Collector in a very entertaining way. But let's be real about the film, Iris is such an entertaining person that the real genius from the film maker and director, Albert Maysles, is not how to direct the movie as such, but in how to get the most out of Iris, who is absolutely entertaining throughout the whole picture. The film makers must have had a hard time picking what to take out of this documentary and what to leave in because there must have been so many moments which would have been golden. I am not talking about the marvels of fashion here but rather, the low key, down to earth wisdom from a true master who at her very tender years is still on the move at a speed that most will only dream about.
We follow Iris as she spends time shopping in both local markets and high profile fashion centers. We also take a look into her colourful history of interior design and then into her private art collections which include one of the largest private dress-up jewelry collections and an incredible collection of amazing clothes from all over the world.

The Verdict
I thoroughly enjoyed watching this film. I felt somewhat relieved to know that a good eye and a determined mind will get you just about as far as you would ever want to go in this world.
I would thoroughly recommend this movie as both light and humorous, educational and inspirational to all who have not just an interest in fashion but to anyone who has an interest in anything. Life is the time that we get to spend fulfilling our dreams and Iris and her husband are a living testament to that. I highly recommend.

The Trailer

The Info
DVD Releases: 13th January 2016
Rating: M – Contains offensive language
Duration: 83 minutes 
Genre:  Documentary
Starring: Iris Apfel, Carl Apfel
Director: Albert Maysles (The Gates)