Iconoclastically Iconic

DAVID and IRIS: the iconoclasts of the icons
Photo credits: By The Blog
December 1, 2023

In a world of trends, hype, Insta-excess and copycats, these two OGs are among the few true greats.

Behold David Bowie and Iris Apfel.

What is it that makes these fashion icons stand out among other icons? Is it their intrepid sartorial prowess? Their innate ability to visually translate how they wholly define themselves? Could it be their fierce zeal for aesthetic play and exploration?

David Bowie oooozed of otherworldly glam, confidence, and inexplicable sex appeal, a chameleon who never tired of metamorphosis. Iris Apfel at 101 years of age still expands like a rare bird flaunting her bold and eye-catching feathers. I can’t think of two examples who better light up a space, flick their finger at the damn banality of trends, and sprinkle more marvel, wonder and glitter than anyone else around, and humbly I might add. So, what IS the secret sauce to their knack for style?

Dressing oneself can be a transformative refuge for all the cooped-up or displaced energy, colors and facets of our being. Perhaps these two icons well understood/stand that style is a powerfully effective way to satiate our curiosity and need for exploration and communication.

Fashion-devotees far and wide, I’m here to present you with the bonafide tenets of what it means to be stylistically authentic and brave, and iconoclastically iconic:

1. Never ask someone how an item of clothing makes you look. Only ask yourself how it makes you feel. (David)

2. Color can raise the dead. (Iris)

3. They (people) mistake fashion for style (David)

4. Great personal style is an extreme curiosity about yourself. (Iris)

5. If it works, it’s out of date (David)

6. Wear bold patterns and huge shapes- anything that allows you to take up space. And maybe then you can relax into the quiet, before you make a lot of NOISE. (David)

7. More is more, and less is a bore. (Iris)

8. In order to look special wearing the chancy unique, it must be worn with your persona, and if the two don’t blend, then the look becomes pear-shaped. (David)

9. Oooh, fashion, we are the goon squad and we’re coming to town, beep, beep. (David)

10. When you don’t dress like everyone else, you don’t have to think like everyone else. (Iris)

11. Embrace color, especially those outside your comfort zone. (David)

12. It’s very tiring to make things happen, to learn how to master a skill, to push fears aside. Most people would rather just go with the flow: it’s much easier. But it’s not very interesting. (Iris)

13. I only find freedom in the realms of eccentricity. (David)

14. When we were small children we all played dress-up and everybody had a good time. So why stop? (Iris)

15. Turn and face the strange. (David)

16. You have to be interested. If you’re not interested, you can’t be interesting. (Iris)

17. The moment you know you know, you know. (David)

18. To me, the worst fashion faux-pas is to look in the mirror and not see yourself. (Iris)

19. I’m an instant star. Just add water and stir. (David)

Now go be a unicorn🦄

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