Iris Apfel, the iconic fashion maven,Fashion Icon Iris Apfel Dies Aged 102

Life is grey and dull, you may as well have fun dressing up’: Iris Apfel in 2014. Photograph: Wendell Teodoro/WireImage

Iris Apfel, the legendary fashion maven, defied conventions and broke all the rules with her impeccable taste and vivid flair. Her garments were more than just that; they were living pieces of art, each one a monument to joy and inventiveness. Apfel's outfit, whether she was wearing a coat of gold-tipped duck feathers or fuchsia satin boots with a banana-yellow tulle cape, was a kaleidoscope of hues and textures that expressed her love for life.

In a documentary on her life, Apfel underlined the significance of dressing up to add some joy to life, rejecting the idea of dullness and embracing fashion's transformative potential. Despite her extravagant dress, Apfel's style was pure, thanks to her exceptional taste and lack of snobbery. She believed in the transformational power of accessories, which she learnt from her mother, who showed her how to make multiple outfits from a single basic piece by changing the accessories.

Apfel's dress choices went beyond labels and price tags, as she seamlessly combined high-end couture with flea-market bargains and vintage treasures. Her love of beauty was inclusive and democratic, motivated not by position or fortune, but by the simple pleasure of self-expression. As a designer and consultant, she worked with a wide spectrum of clients, including H&M and the White House, demonstrating her view that style should be accessible to everyone.

Despite her unorthodox approach to fashion, Apfel exuded elegance and grace. She had a strong sense of style, knowing the rules well enough to break them with sophistication and comedy. Her playful demeanor belied her knowledge and insight, which she imparted through memorable soundbites and timeless counsel.

Apfel's influence goes beyond her exceptional fashion sense; her 102-year existence exemplifies fashion's enduring ability to excite and inspire. Her demise during Paris Fashion Week was a fitting homage to her lifelong passion for style and innovation. As she once famously stated, "You only have one journey. You might as well enjoy it," sums up her concept of living life to the fullest via fashion and self-expression.

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