This month NPT brings you the annual Independence Day broadcast of A Capitol Fourth, live from Washington, D.C., on July 4 at 7 p.m. and another season of The Great British Baking Show (Fridays at 8 p.m.).
IF IT’S NOT SCOTTISH
If re-immersing yourself in Downton Abbey this summer has whetted your appetite for fine estates, be sure to watch Great Estates of Scotland, Fridays in July at 7 p.m. Among the stops are Kincardine (July 8), a 3,000-acre, 70-room estate near Aberdeen. Grand estates may show well on TV and may be fantastic to visit, but modern life and castles don’t always mix. In this episode the owners work hard to hold on to their home, which like many such places now is also a venue for weddings and corporate events.
Inveraray (July 22) is the ancestral home of Clan Campbell, whose blue-and-green family tartan is one of the most recognizable of plaid patterns. Inveraray Castle will also be familiar to Downton fans as it stood in for Duneagle, home of the Crawleys’ young cousin, Lady Rose. The real castle was inspired by a drawing by the architect of two other British architectural treasures: Blenheim Palace (Winston Churchill’s ancestral home) and Castle Howard.
We’ll close out July with a quick trip to Ireland for Ballyfin: Portrait of an Irish Country House, Friday, July 29, at 7 p.m. For half of its nearly 200-year history, Ballyfin was home to a family of Anglo-Irish aristocrats, then a Catholic school. A Chicago businessman and art collector later funded an extensive restoration to transform the property into a world-class hotel.
Iris Apfel refers to herself as a “geriatric starlet,” but to everyone else she’s simply a fashion icon. The nonagenarian style maven took Paris Fashion Week by storm this spring, and it’s easy to see why in Albert Maysles’ documentary Iris airing Monday, August 1, at 9 p.m. on POV. The film shows off its namesake’s enviable energy, quick wit and—of course—her extraordinary collection of costume jewelry and unusual clothing. Apfel was already a fixture in the design world thanks to her interior design business and Old World Weavers, the fabric company she founded with Carl Apfel, her husband of 67 years. However, she gained far more attention after a 2005 Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition drawn from her wardrobe.
Apfel then became known for her sculptural layering of beads and bracelets, her fearless mixing of patterns and textures, her signature oversized eyewear, and perhaps most inspiring, her redefinition of age-appropriate clothing. Photographer Bruce Weber, fashion designers and industry insiders, museum curators and others are among those helping to tell Iris’s story in Maysles’ final film. Be sure to look for cameos by photographer Bill Cunningham, longtime New York Times chronicler of street fashion and society and a legend in his own right (and subject of a 2010 documentary).
Don’t take a vacation from supporting NPT this summer. Go to www.wnpt.org and click the donate button to keep the shows and specials you love available on public television. Don’t forget, encore presentations of many of our programs and other favorite shows air on NPT2, our secondary channel.