Geoffrey L.L. Bean. Buffalo Bill Blass. Irving Penn Station. Avedon meets “Avatar.” Parka Avenue. Nobody serves up fashion with kitschy wit quite like Isaac Mizrahi, and, as his show notes indicated, he can still work a charmingly campy angle. Make that just plain camp, because the designer’s latest destination is the Great Outdoors, done tony Gotham-style. “It’s an Upper East Side camping trip,” Mizrahi explained, pre-show. “Sort of Field and Stream at The Carlyle.” Which made the perfect mash-up for the maestro of high-low foils.
Mizrahi’s boondocks glances were subtle at first: a sturdy cashmere coat partially encased in plastic or a Polarfleece dress. But soon enough, he let loose with outdoorsy, wood-trekking motifs, with plenty of quilting (jackets and strapless dresses) and floral camo prints (fur-trimmed snoods and pants). And, though accessories skewed to the gimmicky side — the handbag-turned-backpack was amusing; those strap-happy heels less so — Mizrahi kept the clothes sportif, aside from the toilet-cozy coat in pumpkin orange. Among the hits: A posh-looking sequined cable knit paired with a brocade skirt and jacket. By night, the designer folded in yet another inspiration, the recent “Art of the Samurai” exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which accounted for the dazzling (and, many times, dizzying) array of armorlike crystal work. Bejeweled toggle closures on an LBD were a nice touch, while a sheer sequin- and gemstone-encrusted top flaunted Mizrahi’s Manhattan mania; the sparkly embellishments mimicked the city skyline. And if a few looks worked a downtown glam-rock vibe, in Mizrahi’s free-associated mind, they were camping-connected, too. “Manhattan is made of rock,” he quipped.