At this year's Landscape Pleasures Symposium at the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton, Charlotte sat down with fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi for a little Tete-a-Tete of their own...on COLOR. Obviously, neither of these two have any trouble when it comes to color, its use, or how to get inspired. Here are some highlights...
Questions and Answers...
Like many talented, creative people there is never just one answer, there are often many...so we've tried to capture as many as we could from Isaac's inimitable, rapid-fire style...
Charlotte: "What is inspiration, to you? What gets you fired up?"
Isaac: “Inspiration is something that pleases me...and there's always something pleasing to me to distract me from the work in front of me.... I think that procrastination is the road to inspiration!"
Charlotte: "How do you get inspired, Isaac?"
Isaac: "Well, I love to cook and I LOVE to eat, so that is where I sometimes start. It's very amorphous, you must devote yourself entirely to it, so that you don't even know you're being inspired."
Charlotte: "Does it come to you, or do you have to go after it?"
Isaac: "It starts to happen to me, like watching TCM late at night. I should pay them a royalty! Like the other night I was watching 'Oklahoma' and I could have literally wept at the color, just the amount of color in that movie."
Charlotte: "It's interesting you mention dance also. I know you draw inspiration from the ballet. George Balanchine was famous for saying 'There is only now, do it now. Right now!' This sounds a lot like you, too, Isaac."
Isaac: "Yes, be spontaneous! Trust your instincts." And even if you're wrong, "Sometimes mistakes can be the most inspiring things."
Charlotte: "In your book you say that the only way to have style is to be inspired, but number two is to know yourself, to honor yourself, to like yourself. Which is true. How are you going to get dressed in the morning if you don 't know what you like, or who you are?"
Isaac: "So true! I always think of myself as this bratty little child, saying "That one! That's the one I want! I want it, I want it, I want it! But in the end, that is who you have to listen to, that is who must run your life! That way, in the end, at least I'm pleased. Somebody has to be pleased. I live to please my inner brat."
Some more wisdom, that surfaced in our notes:
Advice to a younger designer: "Drop everything, go to Europe!"
On Designing a collection: "Every single thing is related. [Our lives are layered.] If a collection is not cross-referential then I am bored."
"You must be able to visualize your ideas, a garden, a room, a dress."
"Mine your sketchbooks! Ask yourself, 'what was I thinking then?' A lot of my ideas are stored, not knowing when I am going to use them, in my head or in my sketchbooks."
"Fashion, style, the moment that we are living now - is predicated on the last moment and directed toward the next."
Isaac connected to our gardening symposium when we realized his description of the creative process was totally aligned with that of Russel Paige, the great garden designer. For Isaac, gratification is not just in the concept or the end result, it is in the process every stitch of the way! Isaac has a greener thumb than he gave himself credit for.
To keep up with Isaac (Good luck!), check out www.isaacmizrahiny.com.
Thank you, Isaac!