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Iris Apfel hard to miss at PEM party

Michael Blanchard

Even at 91, there’s nothing shy and retiring about Iris Apfel , who was hard to miss at the Peabody Essex Museum’s annual gala this weekend. Apfel, who escaped her soggy New York digs to attend Saturday’s shindig, showed again why she was the star of the PEM’s recent “Rare Bird of Fashion” exhibition. The subject of a forthcoming documentary by the Maysels, the style icon made the scene with her 98-year-old husband, Carl. A brigade of MassArt fashion students showed off their boundary-pushing wearable art creations and Apfel donated a vintage fur coat from her personal collection as part of the evening’s auction.

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