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Isaac Mizrahi talks 'Project Runway: All Stars'
NUNN ON ONE: TELEVISION Extended for the online edition of Windy City Times
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times
2013-12-09

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Isaac Mizrahi has created fashion lines for decades and has become an icon in the process. He presented his first collection in 1987 and hasn't stopped since. He has worked for Chanel, Liz Claiborne and Xcel Brands as creative director.

The 1995 movie Unzipped was about his fall fashion line, and he has appeared on Sex in the City, Spin City and The Apprentice. After running two seasons of Bravo's The Fashion Show he moved to become the head judge for Project Runway: All Stars on Lifetime alongside Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman.

The spinoff of Project Runway is now in its third season and features 13 designers who were on the original show.

We gave a call to New York to catch up with the fashionista who always has a great line no matter what.

Windy City Times: Hi, Isaac. I read that you started fashion at a young age and studied at Parsons School of Design—where Project Runway is filmed.

Isaac Mizrahi: I did. It was such a long time ago. It was in the '80s. Things were so different then.

WCT: How does it feel to give designers advice at the school now?

Isaac Mizrahi: I have very mixed emotions about it. Being from a certain period, I am married to processes that are essential. Being on this panel puts a modern kind of approach to things. It is an eye-opening experience for me and a constant struggle.

I think creativity and design is nothing more than the struggle between the past and the future. That makes a present. I didn't just quote somebody. I just thought of that and said it because it is really true. I wonder how they don't know how to do this or that but then again they do need to learn all of these new thing that I don't know a damn thing about. That is what actually creates the present moment.

WCT: What do you think about the new season of All Stars as compared to past ones?

Isaac Mizrahi: The first two seasons that I worked on the show were so different than each other. The third season is even more different. I am not kidding you or trying to be hyperbolic and I am not sure if there will be a fourth season or not but I do think this is the most exciting season there has been. There is something about the cast and it is thrilling to see what they can do and on such a level.

Me and Georgina Chapman have been there since day one for the All Star Franchise. We have been blown away and can't believe what they are showing us week after week. It may sound like I am saying this is the best season ever because it is this season but that is not it. I am really saying there is something very dynamic about this group of designers.

Let's face it each season is kind of a collective in that room. They live, sleep, and eat together. They even create an aesthetic all together and each one individually. There is something about this particular group that is amazing. You won't believe the clothes you are about to see over the next seven weeks.

Also, Jerry, let me say there a surprise that takes place—you don't see it coming. Last time, I have to be perfectly honest with you, with Armando on last season I saw him from the first week. I knew he was someone to watch and he wound up winning. With this round I didn't see the final three at all. It is really interesting. You will see...

WCT: I was worried Viktor Luna might be voted off too soon.

Isaac Mizrahi: Oh, Victor. What about that dress? It was so beautiful and delicate.

WCT: There is a mention on the show this season about one of the designers copying your style. Is that flattering to you or not? What do you think about that?

Isaac Mizrahi: Well, you know, I don't think about it because I get accused of copying people and I accuse people of copying me sometimes. It is bullshit. Everybody does things and are visited by muses. They have styles that they have acquired from someplace. Certain people emerge and you can tell who they are and where their influences come from. It is too short a life to give that too much credence.

Everyone influences everybody else I am convinced. It is hard to trace what came from where. Who needs to do that anyways? Even the rights of fashion critics or scholars don't care.

WCT: What do you think of musicians and fashion? Lady Gaga just rode on a flying dress.

Isaac Mizrahi: I haven't seen Lady Gaga's dress but I bet it was fantastic.

WCT: How is it working with Alyssa Milano on the show?

Isaac Mizrahi: The reason we are friends is because we have a great deal of respect coming into this thing. Before I knew her I felt I did know her because she has been a part of the culture for so long. I have always admired her and I think it was mutual. I think her spirit is right. When she expresses herself she is always concise, loving, and caring. I recognize another kindred spirit.

If we don't agree it really doesn't matter. It is a source of amusement more than anything.

WCT: It has been fun to watch so far.

Isaac Mizrahi: Thank you. Keep watching, it will surprise you.

WCT: Come visit us in Chicago!

Isaac Mizrahi: It is my favorite city. I love Chicago.

WCT: Let me know. Nina Garcia was just here.

Isaac Mizrahi: You are kidding! I am there as much as possible so see you next time.

Watch full episodes of Project Runway All Stars at www.mylifetime.com or on TV every Thursday.


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