After his recent Fall 2007 show in New York, we chatted backstage with the maestro - a mere ten days after a brutal car accident."The minute that they determined I didn't need surgery, I confirmed the fittings! I was happy to have a diversion," exclaims Isaac Mizrahi in diehard fashionista style. His Frozen Spring collection of gorgous knits, slouchy/sexy dresses, exuberant prints & a delightful trapeze coat in a hue dubbed Psychopeach (a crowd fave) was a fresh take on facing today's version of the "cold" season in style. "I call it Frozen Spring because I couldn't bring myself to do heavy coats and heavy sweaters. Even though there are sweaters and coats in the collection that will keep you warm, I feel like they're year round and seasonless; the way I made these big springtime-looking prints fall'ish was by giving them these fur petticoats," he explains. "There was a lightness to it, there was a brevity to it, and they're some of my favorite fantasy clothes of all time - ever. They ride this fine line of being witty, but not goofy; not serious, but you take them seriously." (CLICK HERE for the Fashiontribes review of the collection.)
In a business which tends to emphasize dollar signs and conformity at the expense of artistic expression, Mizrahi remains true to his internal compass. "I don't watch trends," he explains (although he did admit to loving the trend of flats which he has been showing for seasons, and expressing concern about skinny jeans on the wrong person). "I try to stay original and fresh, so I don't really look at anything...I don't." Along with selling his own couture line at commensurately lofty prices, he was a pioneer in bringing high design to the mass market through his collaboration with Target. "It was strange doing anything else but that," he explains about the balancing act of high & low, "and now it feels right. Now I feel like I can really choose my customer, and I feel like they can choose me. I feel like everything I make is worth the money, and if you feel like something is too expensive at Target, don't buy it. If you think something is too expensive at Bergdorf, don't buy it, it's not for you."
- Lesley Scott