Doco Review: IRIS

This post follows on from a post I did a couple of weeks ago on finding your own unique style for your personal brand. Check it out!

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of watching the documentary IRIS. The documentary looks at the life and history of the style icon Iris Apfel who at ninety-five is still as busy as ever shopping for pieces to add to her extensive wardrobe, attending fashion events and grabbing business opportunities when they come knocking. If you are a creative person or a creativepreneur this movie is an absolute feast for the eyes. It showcases her incredible costume clothing collection which has been sourced and collected from all over the world! Iris herself is a colourful fixture throughout the documentary with many insightful, witty quotes around fashion, personal style and life. Here is the trailer:

Here are some of my absolute favourite quotes:

Apparently, Frieda Loehmann came up to her when she was younger and said;

“Young lady, I’ve been watching you. You’re not pretty, and you’ll never be pretty. But, it doesn’t matter. You have something much better. You have style.”

“I don’t have any rules, because I’d only be breaking them.”

“Life is grey and dull and you might as well have a little fun when you dress and amuse people.”

“You have to keep your eyes open for anything and everything.”

“That is what life is all about if you are just going to sit there and do the same damn thing all of the time you may as well jump into the box.”

“Downtown, they think they’re stylish, but they all wear black. That’s not really style, that is a uniform.”

“I like being active, I like being in the world and of the world.”

“I never felt pretty, I don’t feel pretty now; I’m not a pretty person. I don’t like pretty so I don’t feel badly. And I think it worked out well, because…when you’re somebody like myself, in order to get around and to be attractive, you have to develop something, you have to learn something, and have to do something, so you become a bit more interesting. And when you get older, you get by on that. Anyway, I don’t happen to like pretty. Most of the world is not with me but I don’t care.”

She said this hilarious quote at her late husband’s 100th birthday. Their loving, supportive, and endearing relationship was also a fixture throughout the film.

“Women are as old as they look and men never stop looking!”

For me, a common theme in this documentary was around following your heart and doing what you love. Which I have blogged about a bit in the past! When you are following your heart you are excited to get out of bed everyday and it fuels you. You will have endless energy much like Iris who seems unstoppable even at ninety-five! I think it is important to stay active as you age and continue to contribute to something much bigger outside of yourself than to be dwelling on your own problems.

Iris is also a fabulous example of using her outward appearance to create her own unique style and personal brand. She is an absolute icon and is unforgettable. She stands out from the sea of same-ness! We seem to live in a culture where everyone wants to be the same, do the same things, dress the same, and even decorate their houses the same. This film definitely explores individuality and Iris talks a lot about having adventures, finding different things to excite and inspire you and truly getting to know yourself! I love this quote from her I found on a fashion site:

“There is really no substitute for experience. You must have experience and be open to experience – that helps. That helps a lot. Most importantly, you have to be yourself, be who you are and take time to be open and honest with yourself. That is what it’s all about. If you don’t know yourself, you’ll never have great style. You’ll never really live. To me, the worst fashion faux pas is to look in the mirror, and not see yourself.”

The other day I was watching this interview that Marie Forleo did with Bryce Dallas Howard and they were also talking about finding your unique personal brand and she brought up this quote from Bryce (starts at 40.00, Bryce is an actor and director).

“My feeling with movies or any kind of entertainment is that the goal is to be un-ignorable’.

That has really stuck with me and I think when you are working on your branding and your content it is really important to keep that in mind. You need to be unforgettable and your work needs to un-ignorable! Some of this will come in time as you discover more about yourself and become more confident in your work. Quite often to be un-ignorable you might have to go against the grain of what everyone else is doing! You might also have to face some harsh criticism! I think that it is important that we always create content and present ourselves in a way that is true to ourselves rather than to try and be mass-marketable.

You have to find your own truth and that might take some searching!

Have you seen IRIS? What did you think?

Beth xxoo

(Photo: Jakon Owens)

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