IRIS – such a fashion icon of beauty, bling and giving the finger to old age. I love this woman! Sadly since we wrote this article back in August Iris’s husband, Carl Apfel, has passed away – thoughts with Iris and vale Carl. Thanks to our friends at Madman Entertainment we have three copies of IRIS to giveaway on DVD, you lucky duckies. If you miss out on winning IRIS, have no fear as it is out on DVD and Digital from December 11th 2015. Find out how to win at the bottom of Kernel Emma’s fine review – and have a fantastic day……..JK.

Original Article from August 10, 2015 in full.

IRIS APFEL is a powerhouse of design and fashion and is still setting standards at 93. A bold fashionista and a witty tongue have made her huge enough to get her own docco that is out this week from Madman Films. IRIS appears to be in the same vain as ADVANCED STYLE but while those ladies were not wealthy and found most of their items in op shops, Iris, does have money, power, sway and a voice of fashion that is quirky, eccentric and much respected. IRIS releases this Thursday, 13th August, in Australia on art-house release. It is rated M and runs for 75mins. Enjoy Kernel Emma’s review……..all the best……….JK.


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At 93 years old, Iris Apfel, who is nothing less than an institution in New York’s fashion world, is every bit as vibrant and eccentric as one would imagine. While her bold and experimental outfits have earned her a name in the fashion world, it is Iris’ frank and quirky persona, which has captured the hearts of her adoring fans. At 87 years old himself, director Albert Maysles delivers IRIS in a thoroughly enjoyable fashion, the pair proving old age can be just as fabulous as young! At just over an hour, IRIS is as much an inspirational human-interest story, as it is a film that celebrates fashion. Her creative and colourful demeanor is contagious and one cannot help but smile at this delightful documentary film. Apfel and Maysles successfully restore all my reservations about old age and I’m even inspired to head home and dust off the patterned shirts I had once been concerned were frumpy!


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There is no hiding the fact that Apfel is an absolute icon, it only takes a simple google search to gain an understanding of why. For me, what makes Iris so damn admirable is the way in which she has made experimental fashion, affordable and widely accessible. Once told by a shopkeeper that she was not and will never be pretty, fashion for Iris has instead been an outward way of building confidence and expressing herself, pretention free. We observe Iris in a fashion retailer giving women advice on how to look and feel beautiful in various outfits. A central learning is to buy bright statement jewellery and wear lots of it. Iris reminds us it isn’t easy looking fab and piecing together the right outfit takes time and dedication. Later observed chatting with young fashion students, Iris argues the importance of creating your own beautiful fabrics instead of simply buying someone else’s. Stepping on to the red carpet is somewhat overwhelming as Iris is approached left, right and center. While in moments she complains about the attention, it is clear Iris loves the camera as much as it loves her. This is no more evident, than in the photoshoots Iris features in, the best of these for Dazed and Confused magazine. For a woman in her early 90, Iris sure has a lot of energy and she doesn’t look to be slowing down.


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Stepping into Iris’ house and meeting her husband Carl is undoubtedly the very best moment of the entire film. Carl is every bit as frank and witty as Iris and looks the part in his Matt Preston-esque patterned pants. Even in old age, the dynamic between the pair is so sweet and hilarious; Carl admits there is never a dull moment when married to Iris. When asked to describe meeting Carl, Iris duly notes he was “cool, cuddly and cooked Chinese, I couldn’t do any better”. The elderly duo’s house is something else, filled head to toe with vintage furniture, plush toys in costume and ornaments from various parts of the world. The interior is reminiscent of a hoarder’s home, possibly Santa being that hoarder and possibly after taking a few too many tabs of acid. With three rooms full of clothes, Iris’ collection is an incredible mix of high-end labels and unique cultural pieces. Always in search of a bargain, we observe her out and about New York City as she barters her way to the best price. In addition to the kooky ambiance that is her house, Iris also owns a huge warehouse full of bizarre household items. What to audiences may look like a dumping ground, to Iris are memories of adventures from her earlier life and every bizarre item has a story of its own.


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As Maysles departing piece from the documentary world, IRIS’ execution shines with the same bold eccentricity as she does herself. From well-crafted interviews and red carpet footage, to moments of relief where Iris and Carl share a cup of tea, the film is equal parts interesting and light. The pace of the film mirrors the life of its subjects, colourful and full of personality but never moving too fast. There are several moments when the whole film stands still and we watch the subjects gaze off into the distance. The combination of such moments only adds to the documentaries personable and kooky tone. An inspiring and light-hearted film, IRIS has wide-appeal and wont leave you with post consumption depression like many of its solemn documentary counterparts.


3 and a Half Pops



Kernel Emma is documentary mad and also loves foreign and arthouse movies! She is Salty’s honorary NZ writer. 


With special thanks to Madman Entertainment to win one of the three copies of IRIS you need to either like and share/ retweet this post on Facebook/Twitter/ Google+/ Pinterest/ LinkedIn/ Flipboard or Instagram (all the links to follow us are on the top right of homepage), you then need to leave a comment below stating the answer/s to the following questions:

What is your favourite fashion movie and why? Mine is so predictable, THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA for me but remember the most original answers who have given through to their answers tend to win.

If you do not have social media you can still enter, leave your entry below and email me at telling me you don’t have social media (you still need to enter the actual competition on the website).

Prizes will be selected purely on the thoughts of the judges, said judges being the Salty Kernels.

The prizes will be sent on or after December 30 when the competition closes! Good luck! Oh, and minor housekeeping – huge apologies for overseas readers, this competition is only available to Australian residents.


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