Iris Apfel, the nonagenerian fashion icon, recently introduced a collaboration with Nude Glass. The ‘Inspired by Iris’ Collection includes paperweights and re-interpretations of designs by Ayse Birsel and Tomas Kral.
Apfel, whose star just seems to grow brighter and brighter, was the subject of Iris, a documentary by Albert Maysles (Gimme Shelter, Grey Gardens; both with brother David) and designed/modeled a series of Barbie dolls for Mattel. Don’t let the glasses fool you- Apfel was the founder of Old World Weavers, an important bridge between antique fabric design/manufacturing and the present. The collection for Nude places emphasis on bright Iris coloration with pattern and style.
Nude Glass is an extension of Istanbul’s Paşabahçe, manufacturers of household and restaurant glassware. The Nude Glass collections are a foray into the art of industrial design and feature works by noted designers such as Ron Arad, Joe Doucet, Inga Sempe, Nigel Coates, and Markku Salo.
A good example of the collection is the Monobox, originally designed by Ayşe Birsel and Bibi Seck (whose firm is notable for work with Herman Miller and others), whose decor looks like the bright baubles that are some of Apfel’s signature accessories. “I don’t have any rules,” fashion industry icon Iris Apfel once said, “because I would only be breaking them and that would be a waste of time.” Birsel and Seck have long been inspired by Apfel’s independence of mind, strength of character and sense of style, likening her ability to improvise to that of a jazz musician. To them, Apfel is a hero. Monobox showcases the simplicity that Apfel loves, but is now layered with oversize polka dots that stand out against a deep liquid-looking pool of clear glass. “It’s as if Monobox is wearing one of Iris’
necklaces,” Birsel says.
The Collection also includes a paperweight in Apfel’s likeness in three versions.
The third introduction is an adaptation of the Beak Collection by Tomas Kral. For Kral, Iris Apfel is a fashion icon with a vividly colorful, feminine style. The re-design uses a combination of traditional techniques (glass blowing, hand-painting and cutting) in a refined and playful way- with graphical “necklaces” –simple vertical cuts – and color “as if it were lipstick” to emphasize the interior of each glass incision and to give a flicker of color to the rims.