Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History at The Jewish Museum, March 18 – August 7, 2016

Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History is the first exhibition focused on the influential American fashion designer, artist, and entrepreneur. The exhibition starts with his first collection in 1987 and runs through the present day with over 250 works, including clothing and costume designs, sketches, photographs, and an immersive video installation. It explores Mizrahi’s unique position at the intersection of high style and popular culture. While best known for his work in fashion, Mizrahi’s creativity has expanded over a three decade career to embrace acting, directing, set and costume design, writing, and cabaret performance.

Isaac Mizrahi, 2015.

Isaac Mizrahi, 2015. Photograph © Jason Frank Rothenberg

“Color is the biggest luxury there is. It affects you on a deep, emotional level that most people don’t think about. It you get the color right, you have the whole thing. If you get it wrong, it becomes a big distraction.” — Isaac Mizrahi

Installation view of the exhibition Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History, March 18-August 7, 2016.

Installation view of the exhibition Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History

Installation view of the exhibition Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History, March 18-August 7, 2016.

Installation view of the exhibition Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History

Installation view of the exhibition Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History, March 18-August 7, 2016.

Installation view of the exhibition Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History

Installation view of the exhibition Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History, March 18-August 7, 2016.

Installation view of the exhibition Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History

“I love sketching. That was my favorite part of making clothes—and it was also the most horrible part. But once I got into it, I was gone. You couldn’t talk to me. I was just lost in the bliss of making drawings.” — Isaac Mizrahi

Installation view of sketches for the first Isaac Mizrahi New York collection show, fall 1988. On view in the exhibition Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History, March 18-August 7, 2016.

Installation view of sketches for the first Isaac Mizrahi New York collection show, fall 1988

Isaac Mizrahi, sketch for Extreme Kilt, fall 1989.

Isaac Mizrahi, sketch for Extreme Kilt, fall 1989. Photograph by Richard Goodbody, the Jewish Museum, New York

Isaac Mizrahi, sketch for Totem Pole, fall 1991.

Isaac Mizrahi, sketch for Totem Pole, fall 1991. Photograph by Richard Goodbody, the Jewish Museum, New York

Isaac Mizrahi, sketch for Elevator Pad Gown, spring 2005.

Isaac Mizrahi, sketch for Elevator Pad Gown, spring 2005. Photograph by Richard Goodbody, the Jewish Museum, New York

Installation view of assorted sketches from the exhibition Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History, March 18-August 7, 2016.

Installation view of assorted sketches from the exhibition Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History

“The most fun thing in the world is to design costumes, because their only function is to create a fantasy and tell a story.” — Isaac Mizrahi

Isaac Mizrahi, sketch for the frog attendants from Platée.

Isaac Mizrahi, sketch for the frog attendants from Platée. Image provided by the Jewish Museum, New York

An ensemble scene from Mark Morris's production of Rameau's Platée, Royal Opera, 1997.

An ensemble scene from Mark Morris’s production of Rameau’s Platée, Royal Opera, 1997. Photograph by Henrietta Butler, image provided by ArenaPAL

“I think that the ability to laugh at myself sets me apart. I don’t understand people without humor, and I just don’t like certain things because they have no humor. Like when you walk into some boutiques and they feel like mausoleums, with rows of rigid black handbags.” — Isaac Mizrahi

Installation view of the exhibition Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History, March 18-August 7, 2016.

Installation view of the exhibition Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History

Installation view of the exhibition Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History, March 18-August 7, 2016.

Installation view of the exhibition Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History

Installation view of the exhibition Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History, March 18-August 7, 2016.

Installation view of the exhibition Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History

Installation view of the exhibition Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History, March 18-August 7, 2016.

Installation view of the exhibition Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History

TG-0210

Installation view of the exhibition Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History

Isaac Mizrahi with models at the showing of his 1997 spring collection.

Isaac Mizrahi with models at the showing of his 1997 spring collection. Photograph by Bebeto Matthews, image provided by AP Images

“As I shift into the middle of my career and as my neurosis about my work deepens, so do the pleasures I take in it.” — Isaac Mizrahi

Installation photos by Will Ragozzino/SocialShutterbug.com. All images courtesy The Jewish Museum.