What would Iris say? Wise words from an icon.

Last night, I spent an enjoyable hour or so in the presence of fashion icon, art collector, quintessential New Yorker and 93-year-old “It Girl,” Iris Apfel. No, it wasn’t at a TED talk or even face-to-face (alas). It was at a showing of “IRIS,” one of the last films directed by Albert Maysles (he died in March) and it is a tribute both to the documentarian’s art and his subject’s singular personality, taste and vision.

The sheer richness of Apfel’s fashion and home furnishings collections and her unerring combinations of couture and kitsch are remarkable enough but the lessons here go way beyond aesthetics. What gives meaning to her life (and depth to this film) is her old-fashioned work ethic (she grew up during the Great Depression), love for her husband (a centenarian) and a self-renewing desire to share her knowledge with new generations of students and acolytes of art and style.

Four “Iris-isms” to live by:

"If you’re lucky enough to do something you love, everything else follows.

"I don’t have any rules because I would always be breaking them so it would be a waste of time…I like to improvise. It’s like jazz.

"It’s better to be happy than well-dressed.

"People say that I inspire them. That I give them courage to do things they’ve never done before."

See IRIS and be inspired. Be inspiring in your turn. Most importantly, have the courage to be your best, most authentic { self }.