I discovered Iris Apfel in the glossy pages of Vogue magazine a few years ago and have been drawn to the eccentric style of the 92-year-old ever since.
In every sense of the word, she is a fashion icon. Her captivating style has been the subject of museum exhibitions, coffee-table books and fashion advertising campaigns. She also has a line of jewelry sold on HSN -- all this while in her 80s and 90s.
In fashion, finding inspiration can be the difference between being plain and fabulous. My inspiration is the audacious Apfel. Signature round black glasses, red lips, lots of color and bold jewelry evoke originality from an effortlessly curated wardrobe, which she has stored in a warehouse near her New York City apartment. Can you imagine a warehouse for your wardrobe? Sounds like heaven to me.
Apfel says "that when you don't dress like everybody else, you don't have to think like everybody else." One look at her and you can see how comfortable she is in her own skin. She exudes confidence.
Coco Chanel once said that you should take off one item before leaving the house. This fashion rule has long been followed by many fashionistas, but in the case of Apfel, this is one rule to break. She wears bangles from her wrists to her elbows, showing that piling on the bling can be fabulous.
She says: "For me, the key to personal style lies in accessories. My friends tell me that my oversized glasses and my pairs of bracelets have become my unwritten signature. I have amassed an enormous collection of bags, belts, bangles and beads, without which I would be lost. One can change the entire look of an outfit by substituting one accessory for another. I love objects from different worlds, different eras, combined my way. Never uptight, achieving (hopefully) a kind of throwaway chic."
It's never too late to develop your own style, and what better way than through beautiful one-of-a-kind baubles?
The Key West Jewelry Bar, at 510 Fleming St., has been stocked by local artist Barb Grob with her unique creations as well as handmade jewelry by other artists found in her travels around the world. Thus far, she offers jewelry from more than 25 countries. Each original piece is offered at various price points, providing a little something for everyone.
Earrings start at $30 and go up to $700 for the serious bling that includes fine stones such as sapphires and diamonds. Necklaces range from about $60 to $600, with an average of around $150. The Key West Jewelry Bar is open 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
So ladies, pile on the baubles and create your own bold look. Because according to Apfel, "More is more and less is a bore."
Leah Maki is a fashion-obsessed style blogger. More of her fashion advice can be found on her blog, LeahsFabulousFinds.com.