Isaac Mizrahi, 2011

Confectioner’s cakes, colored poodles, giant bows? Mizrahi cheerfully digs into American upper class cliché, activating his signature sarcastic wit, given life through his unique vision of classicism and kitsch. It’s a frightful and delightful amalgam of camp and couture and despite the show dogs and pastry chefs there are some really exquisite clothes, some of his best in years. Transforming his oxymoronic themes into an exploration of subdued turbid color, discreetly ostentatious form, and quietly loud prints, the result is far more complex than a quick gander might perceive. It’s about Mizrahi’s humor; his ability to bastardize the magnificently mundane and make from it wearable, elegant and strange clothes. It’s also Mizrahi’s sophistication, beginning with his initial experiments at subverting couture fantasy and American ease over two decades ago; when he first brought American fashion up to speed with the post-modern currents that would define the 90s. And now 20 years later and in a much quieter spot, far removed fron the roar and din that had greeted his debut, the crowned prince of American fashion still doesn’t have a thing to prove.

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