Guests at this afternoon’s Isaac Mizrahi show at Exit Art were treated to a confection of a fall collection, complete with the most mouthwatering and memorable accessories of fashion week: elaborate cakes, whipped up by Cake Boss Buddy Valastro and his team at Carlo’s Bakery, and color-coordinated poodles (fresh from Westminster, perhaps?). Emerging from this living Maira Kalman illustration—and with Kalman herself sketching from the front row—were 26 looks that distilled Mizrahi’s dazzling mixed-media collage of a spring collection into a luxe, bold, and energizing vision for fall.
The parade of poodle-poufed models began with macaroon hues—a plush lavender ensemble, a pistachio coatdress—accented with jumbo bows. Long-sleeved dresses in intensifying shades of rose and circus-peanut orange were sent out with crowd-pleasing canine escorts. And if a tea-length charcoal number wasn’t enough of a palette cleanser, there were the delicious pauses afforded by gentlemen dressed in chefs’ whites and balancing cakes on silver platters. One covered in tiny fondant flowers heralded the arrival of a matching nubby knit jacket and skirt. For those who prefer their blooms big, Mizrahi reprised his favorite floral photo prints with a stunning topper covered in outsized purple pansies and a shoulder-skimming poppy-print organza gown. Rounding out the collection were bubblegum pink cocktail dresses, bias-cut gowns that appeared to be dusted in glittering sugar, and a strapless, floor-length lace creation in a fizzy shade of thistle.
The whimsical show delighted an eclectic crowd that ranged from fashionable front-row staples (Harper’s Bazaar editor-in-chief Glenda Bailey, Bergdorf Goodman’s Linda Fargo) and a cross-section of TV types (eminently huggable Bravo exec Andy Cohen, QVC host Shawn Killinger) to art world figures (the lovely Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn and artist Laurie Simmons, who was graciously accepting praise for daughter Lena Dunham’s Tiny Furniture). As for the cake on offer, many audience members were content to admire it from afar. Figure skater and fashion lover Johnny Weir, dressed in a mint green fur chubby and toting a matching Balenciaga satchel, eyed our seatmates’ barely touched slices longingly. “Is the icing soft and fluffy?” He asked, wide-eyed. “Maybe I’ll take a piece to go.”