ISAAC MIZRAHI’S UNRULY HISTORY
By Naomi Barling
Influential American fashion designer, artist, and entrepreneur Isaac Mizrahi will have his first museum exhibition titled Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History at The Jewish Museum from March 18, to August 7, 2016.
Mizrahi was born in 1961 in Brooklyn. He was raised in a Jewish family, he attended the Yeshiva of Flatbush before transferring to New York City’s High School for the Performing Arts and then Parsons School of Design.
He first started to get involved with the New York fashion scene in the late 1980s and nameskae clothing line debuted at Bergdorf Goodman in 1986.
In 1989, he received the Perry Ellis Award for emerging talent and was named Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) womenswear designer of the year, which he won again in 1991. An insightful documentary about the making of his fall 1994 collection title Unzipped, got Mizrahi and the director, Douglas Keeve, the 1995, Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival.
In 1998, Mizrahi’s fashion house closed its doors but the creative mind decided to follow other passions in theater and dance as well as designing costumes and sets.
Today, he stars in Isaac Mizrahi Live!, a call-in home-shopping TV show that airs weekly on the QVC network. He also appears as a judge on Project Runway All Stars.
Beginning with his first ever collection in 1987, and taking us through to his present day work, this exhibition intends to explore Mizrahi’s unique position in the merging of high style and popular culture. While he may be best known for his clothing design, Mizrahi’s creative career has covered over three decades and he has worked not just within fashion but acting, directing, set and costume design, writing, and cabaret performance. Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History combines all the facets of Mizrahi’s work juxtaposing fashion, film, television, and the performing arts.
The show will be curated thematically, exploring key trends in Mizrahi’s work-from the use of color and prints to his witty designs that touch on issues of race, religion, class, and politics.
The core of the exhibition will feature iconic designs from the Isaac Mizrahi New York clothing label ranging from 1987-98 and also the semi-couture collections presented from 2003-11. As well as his hugely successful lines for Target. All together approximately 50 high end and commercial looks including clothing, hats, jewelry, shoes, accessories, and costumes for theater, opera, and the Mark Morris Dance Group will be showcased.
The designer’s original drawings, performance stills, and behind-the-scenes photographs will give us a more personal look at the artists mind and thought process. A specially produced multi-screen video installation will showcase content drawn from runway shows, Unzipped, the television program The Isaac Mizrahi Show and scenes from his cabaret, LES MIZrahi, numerous film and television cameos, appearances on Project Runway and his current show on the QVC network.
Located on Museum Mile at Fifth Avenue and 92nd Street, The Jewish Museum will house this exhibition about the life and works of Isaac Mizrahi from March 18, to August 7, 2016.