What do a 16-year-old midwestern internet sensation and a 90-year-old style icon from Queens have in common? In the case of Tavi Gevinson and Iris Apfel, style. The pair came together yesterday to talk in honor of the Costume Institute's Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations exhibit at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. Titled “Good Taste/Bad Taste: The Evolution of Contemporary Chic” and moderated by New Yorker journalist Judith Thurman, both ends of the generational divide had their own opinions on a woman's personal style, how wearing what you love can affect your life, and what style means to them. See some of our favorite quotes from the panel (thanks to Racked), ranging from the allure of fantasy to the art of confidence, and get inspired for your personal style blogging:
Tavi Gevinson: “In middle school it was weird because I probably had stranger style then and I was ostracized more for it, but I found a similar group of weirdos[…] I look back at some of the things that I wore and I don't really like them now but I like that I wore them and I think it's kind of cool that a bunch of adults, you know, appreciate it that a young person was trying to make a really bleak day in middle school more interesting.”
Iris Apfel: “To find out who you are is like putting yourself on a psychiatric couch, but you have nobody to help you. Really it isn't easy. I was talking with my nephew this morning and he gave me one of the best quotes I've heard in years… ‘Personal style is curiosity about oneself.'”
Tavi Gevinson: “[…] personal style is an opportunity to kind of create your own fantasy. And that can be—and this word is so overused—but empowering in a way, especially when you feel like you have to have a certain force field around you to the outside world.”
Iris Apfel: “I think you have to have self-confidence, or you just can't pull it off. And fantasy is something that is so, so lacking in this world today. I think that's the reason that all of my museum shows were so successful. I mean, it just showed people that there was something other than just encasing yourself in fabric. Fantasy is powerful, powerful, powerful. And everybody can't handle it in big doses but you can try little bits at a time.”
Iris Apfel: “If you put something together and it doesn’t look so good, the fashion police are not going to come a take you away. And if they do, you might have some fun in jail.”
Apparently good (and bad!) style isn't limited to an age range. How do you feel about conveying personal style?
[Image credit: Titina Penzini]