Iris Apfel and Sandra Marsh have a lot of things in common: a joyous marriage with no kids, a lifetime of travel, a career centered around decor and antiques, a huge collection of objects, a certain age, and a keen eye for fashion. But they don’t share the same town, and therefore have their differences as well: while Iris is known for her exuberance and “more is more” aesthetic, Sandra prefers to keep it somewhat simple, echoing the streamlined architecture of the city she grew up in; Chicago might not have as many highrises as New York City, but the overall visual impact of our skyline is second to none. Like Iris, Sandra loves whimsical statement pieces such as the Mickey Mouse watch zealously kept in her safe, but she won’t be piling it up with anything else. When I last saw her, on a chilly spring day, she was sporting a flowy Ralph Lauren silk skirt, a Lanvin fur coat, edgy ankle boots and a bright pair of neon orange sunglasses that evoked the sun itself. Crowning it all in a charming side ponytail was her long silver hair, at a youthful length that’s surprisingly uncommon in her age bracket. Sandra creates a balanced yet unexpected mix of textures, hues and eras, resulting in a look that’s both timeless and contemporary—just like the buildings of her beloved Michigan Avenue. (Isa Giallorenzo)
The film “Iris” opens May 15 at the Music Box Theatre.