Monday, November 14, 2016
Iris Apfel, Visual Gourmet
This is one blog post that you'll want to read with the aid of a pair of glasses, a magnifying glass, or the zoom function of your mouse, because the photos, like the interiors they depict, are jam-packed with so much to see. And you will want a good look at these rooms, for they belong to everyone's favorite fashion doyenne, Iris Apfel, and her late husband, Carl.
Photographed for the 1976 issue of Architectural Digest, the Apfels' Manhattan apartment is a treasure-trove of luscious fabrics, Continental furniture, and objects that run the gamut of Western culture, from singerie to Chinoiserie. Describing herself as a "visual gourmet", Iris Apfel described her home as a "multilevel experience. Almost everything I've ever acquired is still here somewhere." She also refers to her apartment as a "collage", a word that we should consider using in lieu of that tired term, "layered".
What really struck me- other than the visually-rich rooms, of course- was Apfel's lamentation about the diminished emphasis on quality and education: "So very little has the solidity of experience and the tangible benefits of knowledge slowly learned...Quality is under siege today, and I doubt whether it can survive the onslaught. Our only hope is that those of us who do care about standards will fight to keep them." Forty years later, and we're still grappling with these same issues.
The Master Bedroom:
The two-room Guest Apartment, which was located downstairs from the main residence:
Photos from Architectural Digest, March/April 1976, Richard Champion, photographer