Thursday, April 9, 2009

Isaac's Liz

Isaac Mizrahi and D. Graham Kostic
Photo by Fig Media

Last Friday, April 3rd, designer Isaac Mizrahi came to Chicago for not one, but two personal appearances to kick-off his new spring collection with Liz Claiborne. CS Magazine threw a bash with Carson Pirie Scott that was held at the swank Ivy Room at Tree Studios that night for about 300 socialites, media and fashion lovers. Guests sipped on YES vodka specialty cocktails and passed hors d'oeuvres from Limelight Catering while listening to a 15-minute Oprah-style Q & A between Mizrahi and Kostic. Models lined the room in fresh spring floral dresses paired with bright cardigan sweaters and dainty flats and slim jeans punched up with bright jackets. Isaac took some time to talk with us before the party about the new image of Liz, his best memories of Chicago, how he's really a slob and so over India (to his boyfriend's dismay!). The next day, Mizrahi headed to Yorktown Shopping Center in the suburbs to meet his fashion fans for an appearance at Carson's before heading back to New York.

Model in Liz Claiborne by Isaac Mizrahi
Photo by Fig Media

RUNWAY TO RETAIL: Tell us how you are redefining the new image of
Liz Claiborne.

ISAAC MIZRAHI: I think I'm making it much fresher and younger. But I don't want people to be afraid of the word young. It's just snappy, it's not granny is what it is. It's ageless. It's for this perfect 35-year-old woman in her prime and that could be a 60-year-old. She's still to me 35 and that is what I'm inventing is this perpetual 35-year-old who never ages. That's who I am, even though I'm not 35, I still dress as though I am because that is my spirit. The most important thing for women to remember is to wear things that they love.

Model in Liz Claiborne by Isaac Mizrahi
Photo by Fig Media

RTR: What is one of your favorite memories from your career?
IM: Well, one of my favorite memories is the first time I came to Chicago. I know that sounds like I'm just making that up. Maybe it's suggested because here I am. But I have very glamorous memories of the first time I came to Chicago. I came here for the opening of a store and I stayed at that fabulous hotel at the time - the Mayfair Regent, which was right on Lake Shore Drive and it was the most fabulous place. They had this place where you'd go for breakfast called "Ciel Bleu" which I guess means Blue Sky or something. It was so glamorous, with the beautiful view of the lake (which I thought was an ocean, since it's so huge) and we sold a lot of clothes here which is a great thing for a designer at 26, or however old I was, to come with a collection and actually sell a great deal of them. It does a lot for repeat visits and I will always come to Chicago happily. It's one of my favorite places.

RTR: What is one thing that people are surprised to know about you?
IM: One of the most surprising things is that I am really a slob. It takes a lot of effort for me to look this put together. If I had my way, I would sit on the couch all day and eat ice cream and go to pieces with my dogs because that is the ultimate luxury to sit and watch TV with ones dogs. I don't get time enough to do that. My boyfriend thinks I'm a little nuts because that's all I want to do on my time off and he's bored with that. He wants to go to India or something, but I'm not doing that, it's too late for India (laughs).

Here's a look at the spring collection

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