Isaac Mizrahi Breaks Down The Fashion Show with Movieline: 'It was Almost Morbid'


Now that Lifetime's Project Runway is over, Bravo's reclaiming its fashionista flair with the stellar The Fashion Show: Ultimate Collection. Legendary fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi sits on a distinguished and fearsome judging panel on the design competition series, bandying opinions with no-nonsense supermodel Iman and the shrewd Laura Brown. He even mentors the competing designers at the top of each episode. Now, Movieline will catch up with Mizrahi each week about what we don't get to hear on The Fashion Show -- his full arguments for and against the fashions that end up walking the runway. Join us as the enlightening Mizrahi talks about House of Nami's "creepy" collection and Emerald Syx's "crowd-pleasing" melange.

House of Nami beat House of Emerald Syx soundly. In the end, did their color story help secure them the win?

In the end, I think that's what I think made the collection look great on the runway. That's such a big part of design -- palette. If you get the whole thing right, it's just sets the whole thing in motion. I think color equals emotional tone, you know what I mean? At least for me, if you get the color right, then you can start envisioning what the collection is going to look like. I know those guys went to that exhibit and absorbed that idea of these kind of fleshy, ecru-ish, kind of putty-ish tones. And those layers that were kind of pink and red on top? Somehow they digested it properly and they brought it out in the right way. I thought that in the case of House of Emerald Syx, they fell back on this crowd-pleasing idea of red. In the end, the only cohesive thing about that collection was that everything sort of red.


The pale colors were definitely a wittier play on the human sinew element.

Absolutely. In a way, it's funny that it was darker to go that way. It was creepier, you know what I mean?

Yeah, almost morbid.

It was almost morbid, exactly. It's funny, you notice at the beginning of the show, I go, "Don't be afraid of the darker context of this challenge. Don't be afraid of it."

Let's talk about reversible clothes. Are they salable? Are they a real part of the fashion industry?

It's not really. No, I have to say. It's really kind of niche, but I always think it's kind of interesting. The reason we thought of that -- I mean the collective "we," as in the producers, Laura Brown, Iman, all of us -- we thought of it because it's kind of not around. It's a surprise to everyone. I think I would never ask a girl now to reverse something on the runway, but that means that it's coming! If it's the last thing you think about, it's probably coming. It was this fun kind of idea we had. I have to say, even Eduardo, who won -- no one got the reversible thing because none of the looks changed that drastically. The one who I think got it best was Calvin. Definitely not the knapsack part, but that skirt that turned into a kind of cape dress. I thought that was really a fabulous transformation. It wasn't really reversible, but it was a transformation. I mean, when I go "reversible," I want something to be, I don't know -- a raincoat on one side and fur on the other side, you know? Plaid on one side and Day-Glo on the other. I want something to completely transform. None of them really got that, frankly.

The judges agreed to give Eduardo the win quite quickly.

Yeah. One thing I thought was great about Eduardo's look was, in a way, he kind of went outside his safety zone for that look. I wouldn't have known that by episode two, but I'd have known it by episode four or five. That said, I think what secured him the win was the invention of it. To me, it did look like something I'd never seen before. Just the elements together; the crazy collar looked new to me. That was hearkening back to the way muscles wrap around a bone, you know? It really was very easy to see how the inspiration manifested itself, you know what I mean? More than that, I thought it was a super-looking dress. I would love to wear that dress! I loved the idea of the skirt reversing and making it slightly dressier or slighty less dressy. In general, it was so damn good-looking. Sometimes that's the luck of the draw, the psychology of where it falls in a fashion show. Like you watch and go, "Ooh! Ooh. OH!" Like, the third thing out sometimes really goes well. Or the first thing that goes out really goes well. Every show is different, the way you present it. That dress made the most visual impact, however you want to interpret that. That's always what fashion is about. It starts with a great idea, a visceral response to something -- such an inside-the-body quality -- but in the end, it's what's outside the body that counts. It's what it looks like, you know?

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