I saw the movie “Iris” today at the Doris Duke Theatre at the Honolulu Museum of Art. It will be showing tomorrow (Thursday, June 25) at 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and if you love style, art, creativity and fashion, please make every effort to see it.
It was the last film of director Albert Maysles, who also directed the brilliant “Grey Gardens.”
Iris has filled many professional roles during her 93 years of life. As owner of Old World Weavers, a textile firm, she traveled the world. As an interior designer, art and design were always part of her life and collecting became de rigeur. She collected everything from stuffed animals to Native American turquoise.
It wasn’t until she was in her ’80s that Iris really caught on as an international style icon.
“I don’t have any rules, because I would only be breaking them so it’s a waste of time,” Iris says. Indeed. For this free spirit, it’s all about how she sees things. She makes dressing herself like child’s play.
For Iris, style trumps beauty any day. In fact, she says at one point, “I don’t like beauty.”
The film has interviews with many of the important voices in fashion: Harold Koda, Alexander Wang, Bruce Weber, Kanye West and Dries van Noten, to name a few.
One of my favorite scenes is when Iris goes shopping in Harlem, bargaining all the way. “Everything I have, I go out and find,” she said with pride. And she values her big bold plastic bangles more than any Harry Winston jewels her beloved husband, Carl, may find for her.
Like my dear friend Doug Jago, Iris loves glasses. Doug had 100 pairs and she may have even more than that. Iris reminds me a lot of Doug. Doug had amazing personal style and he was unabashed in his approach to getting dressed every day. Both of them layer clothing and accessories that may look as though there’s no way they will work – but they do. People with true style, like these two style icons, just know how to “make it work.”
– Paula Rath