The Jewish Museum’s Isaac Mizrahi: an unruly history

When you think of American designers names like Tommy Hilfiger, Levi, and Isaac Mizrahi come to mind. All have imprinted a piece of Americana in their clothes and therefore in us when we wear them. Mizrahi has had immense success through couture, ready to wear and fast fashion with Target and QVC. His ability to translate what is happening in the world has given him relenvacy throughout the years. His mixing of high-low fashion through his fabrics, styling and use of color intrigues both the urban and couture dresser. Mizrahi’s rise in the late 80’s and early 90’s changed the fashion rules as they were. The fashion set was use to a largely neutral toned and non dimensional ready to wear runway show. Isaac shook the fundamentals of what was appropriate in ready to wear by mixing cashmere with t-shirts and bringing religion, politics, street wear, pop culture and high fashion into his designs. His constant study and respect of other art forms have allowed him to collaborate  both on and off the runway with artists, dancers, and choreographers.

Double-silk gazar jacket with ruffle collar, silk crepe pants spring 1991.  

  Exploded Tulip and Poppy 1992, exploded pictures on silk crepe and cotton.Homage to photographer Irving Pen.  

Jupiter: Spring 91, silk crepe drawstring dress with silk gazar ruffle, duchess satin drawstring opera coat.

Elevator Pad Gown Grosgrain- ribbon bodice, quilted silk and lambs wool skirt. Spring 2005. 

Harlequin suit Linen printed collaboration with artist Maira Kalman. Spring 1990.


Orange Coat wool Melton w/ Jersey striped jumpsuit, wool crepe scarf Fall 1998.

Satin ball gown Spring 1998.


Camel Hair Jump Coat Fall 1989

LumberJack ball gown. Lumberjack plaid impermeable-silk-down-filled jacket, silk taffeta skirt. Fall 1994.


Spring ’16
 After originally studying acting and crossing over to fashion he continued to reinvent himself. Isaac has directed plays while costuming them, had a talk show and was the first designer to have a documentary (UnZipped).  Through inspiration from a ballerina changing clothes he was the first designer to invent the “Rabbit Ears”dress which looks as if it might fall off at any moment. He also invented the “Sack Pant”, a pant with a tunnel in which a drawstring is pulled through allowing the wearer to adjust the waist how ever tightly they want.

Isaac is an American designer not influenced by Europe but by all things American. The mix of different influences in Isaac Mizrahi’s designs is ultimately the mix that makes the American culture.

 Sack Pants Sring 1989, Canvas.  

Coca-Cola can paillete dress. Spring 1994 a collaboration with NYC charity “We Can” and Parisian sequin maker Langlois- Martin.
The exhibition is on display through Aug 7, 2016 at the Jewish Museum on 5th ave and 92nd St.NY,NY.

Previous Story
Next Story

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: