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May 24, 2012

Iris Apfel

Our favorite nonagenarian style icon, Iris Apfel is making headlines again. The Boston Globe reports that she’s donating over 600 articles of clothing and accessories (we’re talking the likes of Lagerfeld, Dior, McQueen) to the Peabody Essex Museum in Massachusetts.

All 600 enviable pieces were already lent to the museum during its 2009 exhibition, “Rare Bird of Fashion: The Irreverent Iris Apfel.” After reading the news of her collection’s permanent return to the museum, we thought it a perfect time to open our treasure chest and relive our interview with Apfel—shot as she as she marked the exhibition’s opening by styling our Nordstrom Northshore windows.

“If you can have one good little black dress and have a lot of accessories, you can change the look of the dress, and you can have umpteen outfits and always look good.”—Iris Apfel

This rare bird of fashion is sheer delight.

Take a look inside the incredible closet of fashion powerhouse Ann Bonfoey Taylor, now on display at the Phoenix Art Museum.

Ann Bonfoey Taylor, Photography by Toni Frissell

A one-woman show is a rarity for fashion exhibitions, if only because few women own wardrobes vast and intriguing enough. But Ann Bonfoey Taylor’s closets fit the bill, and, lucky for us, the entire contents of that closet were given to the Phoenix Art Museum by Bonfoey Taylor’s family. “Fashion Independendent: The Original Style of Ann Bonfoey Taylor” is showing now through May 29, featuring the incredible stockpile of iconic pieces and haute couture of just one woman.

The exhibition displays names like Givenchy, Charles James and Madame Grès, as well as an unparalleled selection of pieces from the leading designers of the ‘40s through the ’60s. The show’s 60 full ensembles (including an astounding 13 Balenciaga originals) showcase the unique style of a woman who skied for the United States in the Olympics, taught pilots to fly in WWII and hosted an endless line of impeccable parties—all while looking completely elegant and perfectly herself.

Click the thumbnails to view larger images:

Madame Grès, Courtesy of the Phoenix Art Museum

Hermès, Courtesy of the Phoenix Art Museum

Givenchy, Courtesy of the Phoenix Art Museum