"I’m starting to get freaked out — I don’t know if I can do [interviews] for much longer. All of a sudden you go ‘wait, there’s a show happening," Isaac Mizrahi told us when it was our turn to talk to him half an hour before his show in Bryant Park this morning. "I worked very late and then I took a Xanax, which is my favorite," he revealed. "My pre-show ritual is a sleeping pill for sure, or a sort of de-stress pill." Backstage, the buzz was about the colorful sequined clothes; the almost bare-faced models; and the runway, which was decked out to resemble Central Park. "The inspiration is this idea of a kind of urbane fairy tale, like a Central Park storybook. It’s this idea of fairies and witches in Central Park," he explained. "It’s got a big sort of vagrant part to it as well, a big wanderer part to it. But it’s glamorous in this way — the juxtaposition of things is interesting. You know, very glittery, Vegas-y things next to very plain, weird, like, elevator padding or something."
And who, in plainer terms, is this showgirl-meets-woodland-fairy Mizrahi sees wearing his collection? "I think it’s about a person who’s somewhat smart and somewhat urbane, yes, and also kind of this perfect age: 35. Whether she’s 65 or 25, I think it’s smart to look kind of like prime, as opposed to too girlish. I try to stay away from girlish things, I really do. I don’t mean girly things. I mean, I don’t like girls to look tweenish. I don’t like a tween. Even though, of course, I love a tween, I have the soul of a Japanese tween, I do."
Even after spending time in a judge’s seat on Bravo’s The Fashion Show, Mizrahi says, "I think I prefer being on the designers’ side of the runway — unless I’m being hired as a judge on a fashion competition show, I never do judge. I never care what anybody wears. And everybody always goes, 'Oh, if I’d known I was going to see you, I would have dressed up,’ you know? I remember when I was dating, people would go, 'What do you wear on a date with Isaac Mizrahi?' and I was like, 'Well, what do I wear on a date?' Well, I wear black because I want to look thin, for one thing, right?"
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