Monday, October 12, 2015

On Susannah Hunter, Stella McCartney, and Irises (Apfel and Flowers)

Last night I watched Iris, the documentary about Iris Apfel, who not only has an extraordinary collection of clothing and jewelry, but an extensive background in designing and manufacturing textiles. She specialized in seventeenth-century reproductions (swoon!).

This now 93-year old "geriatric ingenue," as she calls herself, has a line of accessories with HSN, based on her own vintage pieces. A couple of years ago Iris (unwittingly, I believe) made a bejeweled toucan brooch based on one she'd purchased at a flea market without realizing that its creator was Hanna Bernhard, a contemporary jewelry designer living in Paris. Iris promptly withdrew the toucan from her HSN collection.

But the Apfel doesn't fall far from the tree.

If the tree is used to make the glossy pages of Vogue, that it.

The night that I watched Iris, I paged through the new Vogue (USA) magazine, the one with lovely Lupita Nyong'o on the cover. In the back Index section (always a favourite for its collages), I saw a black bag with appliqued poppies on it. "Oh, good," I thought--"Susannah Hunter's made it into American Vogue."

Susannah Hunter, as gentle readers probably know, makes bags that are embellished with leather appliqued flowers. I bought one, many years back, when Saks sold them. (I actually returned it, because the leather on that model, anyway, was the crackly kind, and not to my taste.) Here are some of her poppy bags:

But when I looked at the Index credits, I saw that the bag was not by Susannah Hunter but by Stella McCartney for her pre-Spring/Summer 2016 collection. Here it is in context:

Is Stella's an homage? Does Susannah have TM rights for being the only designer to applique poppies and other flowers on leather bags? I don't know. 

But I do have a suggestion to round out Iris Apfel's bag collection:

By Susannah Hunter, of course.

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