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She’s Back! Iris Apfel in Newport

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Iris loves Newport! After her visit last summer she decided she wanted to return for the Flower Show (where she made an appearance at a tea in her honor).

She also debuted some of her exclusive jewelry pieces for Atelier Swarovski at Rib & Rhein.

Iris Apfel indeed gives new meaning to ageless; her wit is razor sharp and her quotable bon mots a lesson in “living well is the best revenge.” Here she is!!

“I think jewelry can change an outfit more than anything else. Transformation, punch, individuality: One or all of the above are why you should wear jewelry.”

Photo Credit: Nick Mele Photography

“My mother knew if you bought a couple of really good architectural outfits and put your money into accessories, you could create a million different looks. She taught that to me, which I think was invaluable.”


“If your hair is done properly and you’re wearing good shoes, you can get away with anything.”

Photo Credit: Nick Mele Photography

“These are things I love, things I’ve worn. I get more compliments on accessories than anything else. I think they’re kind of like herbs and spices. They give zest and zing to an outfit.”

And, of course, we had to celebrate her 96th birthday (a bit early) since we started this ritual at Parterre in 2016. Then, her cake was decorated with bracelets; this year it was flowers,  to recall the Newport Flower Show (and here I am, wearing one of her vintage necklaces that she donated to the Show).

Photo Credit: Nick Mele Photography
Photo Credit: Nick Mele Photography

“There’s no how-to road map to style. It’s about self-expression and, above all, attitude.”

Hear, Hear!!

Featured Image Credit, Nick Mele Photography.

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Bettie Bearden Pardee

About Bettie Bearden Pardee

Author of Private Newport and Living Newport, garden furniture designer (The Parterre Bench), national lecturer, and entertaining expert. An honoree for the second year on "The Salonniere 100 America's Best Party Hosts", she was also the host and creative producer of "The Presidential Palate: Entertaining at the White House".

10 thoughts on “She’s Back! Iris Apfel in Newport

  1. Love it, Bettie, thank you for continually demonstrating how following our passions enrich & enliven our lives. Congratulations to Iris Apfel as she celebrates another year !
    Best regards,

  2. Iris Appel is what we all aspire to. Love her list for loveliness. My friends that saw 90 in the dust also can capture a room. One has the most elegant dinner parties with her lifetime collections of LOVELY things, flowers and butler forever in training. Unforgettable evenings.

  3. Love this Bettie — combining cultural gems of Newport, inside and out– also appreciated the piece on Edith Wharton – brings history to now.

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