My mind’s eye keeps returning to the scene at the Boom Boom Room, on top of The Standard Hotel in New York City’s Meatpacking District – now more than six weeks old. We’d arrived at 7 or 8pm and the place was heaving. Unfurling around the red lighting centrepiece: band in full swing; punters who weren’t eating, drinking or admiring the view were taking photos of themselves against the floor-to-ceiling windows through which the lights of the city glittered in its full 360-degree glory; pipecleaner-shaped waitresses in flimsy yet curiously unflattering dresses flitted.

A place like this is made for people-watching, and I was watching on person in particular. Sitting at the curved bar, seemingly oblivious to the band and the buzz around her was… – “Ohmigod, it’s Iris Apfel!” I shouted into my friend’s ear. “Who?” was the reply. “Iris, Iris Apfel!” I proceeded to try to explain just who Ms Apfel was.

There she was, just metres away from me – her distinctive round ‘Eyebobs‘ spectacles the giveaway. Iris also had on a hat and a veil and an amazing high-collared outfit which she rearranged around her neck from time to time, between sips of her cocktail. (At least I think it was a cocktail – in truth, I wasn’t paying any attention to what the lady was drinking. Nor can I provide details about necklaces or other accessories because I was too star-struck, but being Iris Apfel, I’m sure she was decked out in something suitably chunky, bold and bright.)

I know this is old [news], and it’s not even interesting; the fact that I’m still reminiscing about the fact that I didn’t go up to Iris Apfel and ask if I could have my photograph taken with her. Because I was too shy. Because I specialise in admiring from afar.

Now as I come to the end of my daily-five-minutes-of-thinking-about-Iris-Apfel, I’m reminded that it’s Sunday – a day away from the office – so there’s no need to go back to black. Hot pink or orange or animal print, perhaps. I wonder if anywhere in Sydney sells Eyebobs.


Post-script: It’s more about fashion and style. It really more like being confident about who you are, and just doing it. That’s my reason for loving Iris so much, I guess.


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