Rare Bird of Fashion

Rare Bird of Fashion

The Irreverent Iris Apfel

  1. Eric Boman
  2. Introduction by Harold Koda
  • ISBN 9780500513446
  • 30.60 x 22.90 cm
  • Hardback
  • 160pp
  • 169 Illustrations, 149 in colour
  • First published 2007
‘A stunning visual record of how Apfel can combine fabrics, colours and accessories with breathtaking élan. A must for any clothes lover’ – The Irish Times
'When you don't dress like everybody else, you don't have to think like everybody else' – Iris Apfel


‘The “anything goes” bravura of style at its most imaginative’ – Harold Koda on Iris Apfel

See the article Iris Apfel: The Muse of New York in the Guardian.

This beautifully photographed book celebrates the style of fashion maverick Iris Apfel, who has cultivated a personal chic that is exuberantly idiosyncratic. Combining genres, colours, textures and patterns without regard to period, provenance or aesthetic convention, she is one of the few style icons of our time. As the art critic Roberta Smith commented in The New York Times, ‘Before multiculturalism was a word, Mrs Apfel was wearing it.’

More than ninety sumptuous colour plates, photographed by Eric Boman, show off a selection of extraordinary outfits on wittily posed mannequins, styled by Iris Apfel as she would wear them, while detailed captions describe all elements of the ensembles, including their designers, fabrics and accessories.

Whether the pieces come from Parisian maisons de couture, American antique fairs, North African souks, Middle Eastern bazaars or tiny ateliers where they have been made to Apfel’s own design, her highly original strategy of dressing constitutes a remarkable artistic exercise.

Complete with a perceptive preface by Eric Boman, an introduction deconstructing the Apfel allure by celebrated fashion authority Harold Koda, an autobiographical text by Iris Apfel herself and more than sixty vintage photographs from her personal collection, this book is a celebration of a way of dressing-up that is nothing less than inspiring, life-enhancing, theatrical spectacle.

This book is also available from our USA website.

Iris Apfel has spent some six decades in the world of fashion and textiles. As a leading interior designer, she co-founded the textile company Old World Weavers with her husband Carl. Her wardrobe and other collections have been subjects of many major museum exhibitions.
Eric Boman studied at London’s Royal College of Art and worked as an illustrator and designer in London and Paris. As a fashion photographer, his work has been published in Vogue, Vanity Fair, The World of Interiors and House & Garden, among many others. His publications also include Blahník by Boman.
Harold Koda is the curator of The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. He has published many books on the subject of fashion.

Also of interest
Blahník by Boman: A Photographic Conversation
Isabella Blow