“Before There Was Daphne, Before There Was Tilda, Before There Was Lady Gaga, There Was Iris Apfel”
For some, fashion is about the conscientious work behind the gloss. Not so for Iris Apfel. “It only takes me a few minutes to throw something together,” the 89-year-old (pictured, with husband Carl) said before the inaugural WGSN Global Fashion Awards last night. “If it takes too much effort, then it wasn’t right.” Clad in feathered black Alberta Ferretti accessorized with a giant bejeweled parrot, Apfel was being honored as a Global Style Icon at the trend forecasting service’s inaugural awards ceremony.” “Before there was Daphne Guinness, Tilda Swinton, and before there was Lady Gaga, there was Iris Apfel,” Barneys’ Simon Doonan said from the stage. “How many of you have seen [the exhibition of selections from] her wardrobe at the Met not so long ago? For those who didn’t, you should just put rocks in your pockets and walk into the East River.” And Apfel, in accepting, matched the presenter deadpan for deadpan. “This first award, it’s all very virginal, so I shall be the Mary Magdalene of global fashion,” she joked.
The awards themselves, hefty Waterford Crystal trophies, were doled out in categories new (Asos.com won for Outstanding E-tailer) and more traditional (Most Influential Womenswear Designer went to Alber Elbaz, Most Influential Designer Footwear & Accessories to Nicholas Kirkwood, and, in a no-surprise-there moment, Outstanding Brand Mix to Opening Ceremony). Chris Benz took home the Pantone Special Color Award for Best Color Use by a Designer—his first award, he said.
Alexis Bittar, meanwhile, wasn’t in the running for the night’s honors, but was happy playing supporting cast. “She’s like my godmother,” the jewelry designer said of Apfel, whom he escorted to the CFDA Awards this year. The fairy kind? “Well, yes, and I’m lucky to have many [godmothers],” Bittar added. “I’m gay and I’m 40, so I seem to attract that!”
about this blog
- editor matthew schneier covers all the news in style, from high street to high fashion, with dispatches from new york, l.a., london, paris, milan, tokyo, beijing, and more