An Afternoon In St. Louis With Iris Apfel

By Sarah Stallmann
In Style

St. Louis just may have outdone itself this year: 94-year-old fashion icon and legend Iris Apfel was in town for a few Saint Louis Fashion Week events, skyrocketing the city to a new level of “Fabulous.”

Last night Apfel was the honored guest of the Saint Louis Fashion Fund—STL’s fashion nonprofit—where she was celebrated at the gala for her role as an icon in the industry. In addition, Apfel sat front row at the Caleres Emerging Designer Award, where fans were able to catch a glimpse of her (wearing bright orange faux fur of course) right here in Union Station.

I had the honor and the pleasure of spending the afternoon with Apfel, her close friend and head of sales at Atelier Swarovski, Russell Pagliughi; and fashion icon in her own right, Susan Block. I have to say—the experience was truly humbling.

Apfel’s quick wit, matter-of-fact attitude and general love (and surprise) when people approach her as fans is awe-inspiring. We spent the day laughing at stories about the similar quick wit of her late husband, Carl, and trying our hardest to make the glam napkin rings at MaryAnn’s Tea Room—where she lunched on chicken pie and a cup French onion soup—fit perfectly on our fingers.

She saw the Arch for the very first time, as well as the riverfront (at her specific request!). Plus, in a very private moment between us two at Retro 101, she desperately expressed her desire for a pair of vintage cheerleading pom poms to have holes through the middle of them so she could make them into bracelets.

Her love for fashion is real. Her personality is real. And she was in St. Louis. Pretty amazing.

Special thanks to Janet and John at Retro 101, Jared and team at MaryAnn’s Tea Room and the staff of The Designing Block for helping to make her day so special.

All photos by Wesley Law for Saint Louis Fashion Fund.

Wesley Law Iris Apfel St. Louis Sarah Stallmann, Susan Block

Wesley Law Iris Apfel St. Louis

Wesley Law Iris Apfel St. Louis
Wesley Law Iris Apfel St. Louis

Wesley Law Iris Apfel St. Louis

Wesley Law Iris Apfel St. Louis
Wesley Law Iris Apfel St. Louis

Wesley Law Iris Apfel St. Louis

Wesley Law Iris Apfel St. Louis

Wesley Law Iris Apfel Mary Ann's Tea Room

Wesley Law Iris Apfel MaryAnn's Tea Room

Susan Block, Iris Apfel, Russell Pagliughi, Sarah Stallmann

Susan Block, Iris Apfel, Russell Pagliughi, Sarah Stallmann

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