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Take a fashion cruise with Iris Apfel!

Warning: this post contains fan-girling.

I LOVE 95-year old Iris Apfel and when I found out she was joining the line up of fashionistas on board Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 on a trans-Atlantic voyage from Southampton to New York I thought I need to let you know while there’s still time to book yourself on board and hope to glean a bit of this eccentric elderly lady’s style.

Iris Apfel fashion cruise

The fabulous Iris Apfel

Who is Iris Apfel?

In case you missed the documentary about her, Iris is a jet-setting celebrity known for her individual style and joyful flair. She has been responsible for several interior makeovers of the White House under various presidents. She used to design fabrics and traveled with world with her husband picking up fabric and ideas – and her legendary wardrobe of eclectic clothing and jewellery. And at 95 she is still going strong, featuring in cutting-edge style campaigns for Macy’s, MAC, Kate Spade, Swarovski and other big-name brands.

Iris is renowned for her signature look of bold round glasses, oversized bangles and necklaces, and rich, flamboyant, colourful garments. I bought three huge plastic bangles straight after watching the film about her, but I just can’t pull off the look like she can!

Over the course of Transatlantic Fashion Week, Iris will be presenting a Q&A session and will introduce a showing of ‘Iris’, that documentary featuring fashion, creativity and her soaring free spirit.

“I’ve lived quite a life of fashion and can’t wait to experience style at sea,” Ms Apfel said. “I look forward to being inspired by the elegance and glamour of the occasion and life on board, especially the formal nights on my voyage across the Atlantic.”

Who else is on the fashion cruise?

Transatlantic Fashion Week 2017 will also feature designer Julien Macdonald OBE, fashion historian Colin McDowell MBE and consultant to the international fashion industry Gail Sackloff OBE as well as top models from Storm Model Management.

The unique fashion voyage invites guests to enjoy the glamour of Queen Mary 2, while being treated to seven days of runway shows, dinners and exclusive unveilings before sailing into New York for Fashion Week.

What is the Queen Mary 2 like?

The elegant flagship of the Cunard line has undergone a £90 million refit – a remastering, they call it. Expect lavish decor and restaurants serving stunning dishes with artistic flair. The staff service is attentive but not intrusive and there’s plenty of on board entertainment. Each day you’ll be treated to an English afternoon tea and there is no lido deck buffet. For some this is a ‘con’ but I reckon it’s a huge ‘pro’ because the whole experience is far more elegant and you don’t have people lining up morning till night with plates of nachos!

Whether you have a balcony stateroom or an internal room, the level of service will be the same. Exceptional.

You’ll finder cheaper cruises around, but if you want a luxury experience on one of the oldest cruise lines, you can’t go past the Queen Mary 2.

Cunard Queen Mary 2

Queen Mary 2 sails into New York


The fashion week cruise departs Southampton August 31 and arrives in New York September 7, 2017.

Fares start from NZ$2029* per person twin share. Visit or your local travel agent and tell them you want to be inspired by Iris!




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Hi, I'm Megan Singleton and I'm the word slinger of this travel blog as well as on radio in NZ every Sunday. Former Travel Editor at Yahoo NZ and current freelance writer for a few newspapers and mags from time to time, I set off on this travel writing journey 20 years ago and I've pretty much always got a suitcase half packed (or half un-packed!) I'd love you to join me on Facebook or Twitter and sign up for my newsletters if you want loads of travel tips, advice and deals!