Classic Fashion Corner: Iris Apfel

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The grande dame of accessorizing, Iris Apfel

When it comes to fashion, Iris and I couldn’t be more opposite. I hardly wear jewelry, I’m not big into furs or bold southwestern patterns and I can count the number of colors featured in my wardrobe on one hand. I find her fascinating because of our sartorial differences, not in spite of them. In a world where so many people give up on fashion once they reach middle age, Iris shows us age is no excuse to look dowdy.

Fast facts about Iris Apfel:

  • Iris has a fashion mentorship program at the University of Texas.
  • Although Iris has her own documentary and has been featured Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s and Bill Cunningham New York, getting her in the public eye took some convincing. “I was not a public person.”
  • A lady after my own heart, Iris is vocally anti-Botox.
  • Her trademark large framed glasses have been her signature look ever since she was a little kid and she is a self-described “flea-market freak.”
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Classic Fashion Corner: Audrey Hepburn

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Audrey Hepburn, sophisticated humanitarian.

Fast facts about Audrey Hepburn:

  • Hepburn wasn’t always the style icon extraordinaire we’ve come to know and love, before acting, she was a dental assistant.
  • Even glamour queens are self-conscious about something, for Hepburn, it was her size 10 feet.
  • Like all of us, she was a fan of Meryl Streep.
  • She was not only pretty, she was also a polyglot who was fluent in English, Spanish, Dutch, Flemish, French and Italian which came handy since she was a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF. She went to Ethiopia for her first field mission.

Classic Fashion Corner: Bridget Bardot

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Fashionwise, I pretty much live in the 50/early 60s. I’ve always loved gingham print. It’s sexy with a dash of innocence and purity and not worn nearly as much as it should be. Few people rocked gingham (or headbands, another fashion staple of mine) like Bridget Bardot.

Fast facts about Bridget Bardot:

  • Bardot was a ballerina before she was an actress, landing her big-break role in And God Created Woman and instantly creating her sex kitten persona.
  • In 1969, she became the official face of Marianne (previously depicted as anonymous), France’s symbol of liberty.
  • After she retired, she dedicated herself to animal rights activism, she became a vegetarian and established the Brigitte Bardot Foundation for the Welfare and Protection of Animals.
  • Bardot was a friend to the animals, Muslims, not so much. She made some controversial statements about Islam and France and has been fined about five times for inciting racial hatred. She once referred to Muslims in France as “this population which leads us by the nose and destroys us and our country.”

Classic Fashion Corner: Katherine Hepburn

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Grace Kelly may be my style icon but Katherine Hepburn is my spirit animal.

Fast facts about Katherine Hepburn:

  • She won an Oscar for Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, a film that depicted a positive depiction of an interracial marriage, which was illegal in 17 states at the time.
  • A nice girl from a good liberal family: Hepburn’s father, Dr. Thomas Norval Hepburn, was a urologist who sought to educate the public about the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.
  • As opposite from the Kardashians as you can get: Hepburn refused to play the traditional offscreen role of the Hollywood starlet, she wore little to no makeup and avoided media attention.
  • Hepburn developed a progressive neurological disease, but still managed to keep up an active lifestyle in her Connecticut hometown and even act in select roles.

Classic Fashion Corner: Grace Kelly

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If I could pick one person to dress like every day, it would be Grace Kelly.  Kelly kept it simple yet unquestionably elegant. Her style was grand without being over-the-top. Her name was so synomyous with style she had a Hermes bag (The Kelly bag) named after her.

Fast facts about Grace Kelly:

  • Behind the glamour, there was sadness: Although Grace was born into an affluent family, she suffered from depression.
  • She was the first actress to appear on a U.S. postage stamp in 1993.
  • She’s rumored to have had many affairs: beautiful ice queen in the streets, accomplished lover in the sheets!