Dempsey & Carroll curator, Madeleine Garone, chatted with Isaac Mizrahi to hear about his inspiration and favorite things.
MG: You are an icon in the fashion industry. Where do you find your inspiration when you begin a new design?
IM: I am inspired by so many things. I love music, dance, art, film, my dogs, New York City! I find great inspiration in juxtaposition in this city – a gorgeous luxury building being built next to one that’s completely run down or condemned, or a completely manicured garden next to a lot that’s overgrown and unmaintained. There’s so much of that in New York. Also COLOR. Colors that I see in my everyday world and in nature.
MG: Do you think the artistic process for designing fashion differs from paper?
IM: Designing fashion and designing paper have a lot more in common than you would think. Because it’s about being inspired and creating something you love and can really stand behind – something that expresses your personal style no matter the product.
MG: Writing notes is as timeless as a crisp white blouse or a little black dress. If you could write to any person in history, who would it be?
I would love to write to Sergi Diaghilev or Elsa Schiaparelli.
MG: Colors play such a significant role in style. What’s your advice to those seeking to create or reinvent their own personal style?
IM: I think taking risks is really important. Especially in dressing oneself, taking a risk is FUN! Try a bold new color, or a long skirt if you like short skirts, a flat shoe if you love a big heel!
MG: As someone who loves to entertain, I have to ask – do you have a signature dish when company comes over?
IM: ICE CREAM! It’s so much fun to make and who doesn’t love ice cream?
MG: Throughout your career, you’ve managed to cross into several other outlets, including television and publishing. What is next for you?
IM: I’m presenting a mid-career survey at the Jewish Museum in New York City opening in March 2016, which I’m thrilled about! It will encompass my work in fashion, film, television, and the performing arts. It has been an incredibly fun process thus far, and I can’t wait to see it all come together.
MG: Every collection always has its own unique story. What inspired the prints in your Spring 2015 collection?
IM: I have always loved florals, stripes, and gingham- they’re classic, iconic prints that have been my signature to collection since the beginning. In these bright colors, they’re perfect for Spring, Summer, and beyond!
MG: Handwritten notes hold such a special place to each of us. Do you have a signature way to sign off the notes you send?
IM: I always sign “xIsaac” or “xxIsaac” and usually add a few hearts, too!