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Body & Soul
Style Icons: Naty Abascal and Iris Apfel,
two Grande Dames of Fashion
In exclusive interviews, international fashion icons, Naty Abascal and Iris Apfel, talk to azureazure.com about elegance, luxury and the purest definition of style.
"Fashions fade, style is eternal".
Yves Saint Laurent
I was fortunate to be in the company of two of the most distinguished style icons of our time—within the same week!
-- women of ‘certain age' yet ageless, who exude a wide-ranging spectrum of pure glamour and style.
has always exemplified refinement, sophistication and a feminine Spanish elegance while
is the epitome of a global personal style—colorful, vibrant and imaginative. Their commonality? Although both are world-famous style icons, they have always dressed for themselves; they have not ever been considered “trendy” nor do they dress to be considered “stylish”. And no surprise--
are both celebrated authors on the subject they know best—their own style.
(I) Iris Apfel wearing Moschino / (D) Naty Abascal in Valentino
traveled to Miami recently to celebrate the launch of her new book,
--her fan base was evident in the throngs of fabulously dressed women who came to meet her at Saks Fifth Avenue in Dadeland, as she has long been recognized as one of the most elegant women in the world. It came as no surprise to all guests that
, a Spanish socialite, and former fashion model known around the world as a muse to
would arrive at her soiree radiating effortless glamour in a crème
jacket and a crème
Oscar de la Renta
“My style has always been the same, simple, elegant, I buy what I like. The
s now are like a circus, before it was so simple, so elegant--now if you dress simply elegant, you do not get your photo taken. Luxury has changed a lot--it is no longer just for the privileged few." commented
. She has penned a manual of style whose directive is to create style fans and to instill an understanding of what luxury in fashion actually means fundamentally.
includes tips on style—“Try to buy the best leather accessories as good quality lasts forever” and “Bet on garments that combine with almost all the looks you have." The prologue of her book
was written by none other than the distinguished fashion designer
Oscar de la Renta
(I) Iris Apfel dressed in Versace / (D) Naty Abascal with Elysze Held at Saks Fifth Avenue Dadeland
Iris Apfel, the "Rare Bird of Fashion"
With her celebrated ‘Midas touch’,
, known as the “Rare Bird of Fashion,” brings visionary talents to everything she is connected to. It would then make perfect sense that London’s Tate Modern, in producing their landmark
, would call upon the prolific and colorful
for her viewpoint on the artist’s final chapter –the
series of spectacular cut-outs. The creative team from Tate Modern descended upon the visually stunning Palm Beach home of
sharing her understanding of
’s final artistic triumph, his process of “carving into colour”.
"I was never aware until now how
has influenced me unconsciously and how much of him I had soaked up. I seem to learn everything from osmosis and feel like a great big sponge when it comes to
. Color is one of the most important things in the wide world. I cannot live without color… We have so much gray in the world today, we all need a little color. The tonality of all the colors of
blends completely --what fashion people call color block. And
certainly knows how to carve thru color," says
As a fashion stylist, I was privileged to be invited to style
for the Tate Modern shoot. Pulling from her vintage wardrobe (
!) and her collection of statement-worthy accessories was a trip to a museum in itself. Her visionary genius is evident in her wardrobe: each piece is an item or inspired by an item she has collected from around the world for over 75 years.
are in agreement that fashion is not about age--it is about how you wear it. So I asked about their favorite designers.
“The real challenge for a woman is to find clothes and accessories that will endure the trends of fashion, so I do love
Mr. De la Renta
, I met him when I first came to the States, he is fantastic, he is so elegant, his clothes last forever. If you got something from
in the 60’s, you can still wear it today!“ says
: “I love to mix up everything and then hopefully my love binds it all together and it comes out right. I love especially what they all are now calling ‘vintage’. Clothes used to be made extraordinarily well, but now so many people are manufacturing in China-- everyone except
. They continue to work one hundred percent in luxurious fabrics, and their collections are exquisitely made”.
These two remarkable and inexhaustible women have certainly earned the honor of the moniker “ Style Icon”.
More on this topic
Katharine Hepburn: Fashion Iconoclast
Katharine Hepburn was always ahead of her time when it came to fashion.
Fiona Ferrer: Madrid’s Fashion Girl
She knows everyone and is deeply loved by those who know her.
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