Isaac Mizrahi will soon be having a moment — well, actually a few.
Aside from The Jewish Museum’s March 18 opening of “Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History,” the first exhibition dedicated to the designer, Mizrahi has a new book due out in April showcasing backstage runway show photos taken by Nick Waplington over a four-year stretch. “The Isaac Mizrahi Pictures: New York City 1989-1993” will focus on the vérité-style images of Mizrahi in fittings with Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell and others. The British lensman juxtaposes those snapshots with the decidedly more adventurous ones worn by club kids whom he shot at Save the Robots, the Pyramid Club and other downtown haunts that have since closed. Damiani is publishing his tome. Last year Waplington became the first living photographer to have a solo show at Tate Britain, “Nick Waplington/Alexander McQueen: Working Process.”
As a lead-up to the Mizrahi exhibition opening, The Jewish Museum has named the designer as its 2016 cultural honoree. One thousand guests are expected to be on hand Feb. 24, when he picks up his award at the Park Avenue Armory. Mizrahi has also wrangled his friend Sandra Bernhard to read the story of Purim, an annual tradition, at the museum’s upcoming Purim Ball. This year’s co-chairs are Andy Cohen, Veronica Webb Del Gatto and Betty Halbreich.
Mizrahi’s exhibition will explore his fashion career, and some of his experiences acting, directing, designing sets and costumes, writing and cabaret performance. The Brooklyn, N.Y.-born designer launched his signature label with Bergdorf Goodman before becoming one of the first designers to embrace the high-low trend. In 2003, he became the first apparel designer to partner with Target for a diffusion line of affordable apparel. Still a regular on QVC and a guest judge on “Project Runway: All Stars,” Mizrahi has the support of another celluloid star — Natalie Portman. The actress is on board as a co-chair for the Friends of Isaac, who are helping to raise funds for the exhibition. The pair go way back — Portman played an Audrey Hepburn-inspired role in a 1996 Isaac commercial.