The following output was transcribed from our audio recording.
Although the transcription is largely accurate, it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
It is posted to aid in understanding the interview but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
Mindy Cohn 00:00
Hi gang. Welcome back to Monday's with Monday. This is Episode Two Christian oh my gosh I'm still still here virtually with my co host co producer and co pilot Christian Brescia.
Christian Brescia 00:10
Hi everybody. Welcome back.
Mindy Cohn 00:12
Well, I know my life has proven to be serendipitous. It's actually kind of the norm. I can't tell you how lucky we feel that this friend has said yes to being our guest this week. That would be my darling Isaac Mizrahi. Isaac Miss rally is an iconic and award winning American fashion designer, currently chief designer of the Isaac Mizrahi brand for XL brands based in New York City. He is best known for his infamous fashion lines my favorites include, remember this? No one is looking at your imperfections. They're too busy worrying about their own.
Christian Brescia 00:43
Such a good one.
Mindy Cohn 00:44
And yes, my tried and true. I'm only about exuberance. We only have one short life to live and we shouldn't waste it on being tasteful. I love it. Oh my gosh. He attended the LaGuardia high school of music, art and performing arts. The The fame school. Oh no kidding and then went on to yeah then went on to Parsons School of Design. I first fell in love with his clothes but then him in the behind the scenes documentary unzipped. Do you remember that Christian? I do. I do remember them?
Christian Brescia 01:13
Yeah, it was excellent.
Mindy Cohn 01:14
Yeah took a look at the fashion industry through the launch of his 1994 fall collection. The film explored his inspirations while revealing the harried reality of mounting a major fashion show. Every boldface fashion icon seemed to have made an appearance in that thing. He is currently selling his Uber successful collections on QVC. He's one of the most popular and beloved judges have Project Runway all stars. He's also the best selling book of the triumphant memoir. I am It's seriously one of the best reads I've read in a really really long time and his most recent transformation as it were a delicious cabaret singer who has all but a residency a permanent residency pre COVID at New York fame. cafe Carlyle. He's a lover of the arts and an unabashed artists on that and many other things. We agree. He is the epitome of a creative in all sense of the word, a remarkable talent that can't seem to just rest on his laurels. He must keep evolving and does so across all the artistic mediums, not for others, or reputation or even success, but for himself. I mean, if that doesn't define an artist for you, well, just write us and we'll send you a dictionary, right Christian?
Christian Brescia 02:27
Not literally. Right,
Mindy Cohn 02:30
right. A lot of postage simply, I adore him. Ladies and gentlemen, it is our pleasure to welcome the multi talented and exuberant personality. That is Mr. Isaac Mizrahi.
Issac Mizrahi 02:41
Hiiiiiiiii and, welcome. So delicious, so delicious.
Mindy Cohn 02:46
So we start each episode. This being drumroll, Episode Two.
Issac Mizrahi 02:53
Yeah, I like
Mindy Cohn 02:56
20 questions and put it of course in Johnny Adler's fabulous secret canister. So this is just to get us warmed up.
Issac Mizrahi 03:03
Okay, I like it.
Mindy Cohn 03:05
Okay, good. I hope you liked it. Okay. Oh, how did where you grew up or where you were raised? Develop your creative aesthetic. Go,
Issac Mizrahi 03:13
wow. Okay, Mindy It's a funny heavy question. I mean, that's like a weird fate that you picked that one out of the jar. Because like, I was kind of born into a kind of funny situation. I sometimes I say it was like the wrong family and the wrong community. It was this really Orthodox Jewish Sephardic Jewish community in Brooklyn. Right. And it was really, um, you know, my mom was kind of this fantastic influence, you know, she was really erudite and well read and chic, and kind of a Maven, you know, like a style Maven right. But the rest of it was really parochial and terrifying and I was like, on the outside hard I was like, a heart outside of the whole thing, you know? And, and I can, you know, I kind of wrote about this in my book a little bit. It's like bullying on a whole other level darling, like you cannot even understand not just bullying by my peers, but bullying by teachers and rabbis like really insane stuff, you know, like, and if I could take you back there, you might be sad and it's funny. When my mom read the book, she kept calling me and going, I'm really sad. I didn't know this was going on, you know, I had no idea. And you know, that's a little funny thing for her to say too, because I don't know how you don't notice this, you know? Like, how don't you notice this? Okay,
Mindy Cohn 04:41
but right. Also because you spent so much time together.
Issac Mizrahi 04:45
Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And I'll tell you like, wow, you didn't know you were picking this out of that damn jar. Did you you to get warm. I know we're going very deep here with the first question!
Mindy Cohn 05:02
Don't worry, we have a little fluff.
Issac Mizrahi 05:03
Well, but you know, but the point is that I think I learned through adversity I learned, you know how to first of all, defend myself which you know, I worry so much about kids today who don't know how to defend themselves who aren't you know buoyant and resilient. You know, I worry about them, right. But I was very buoyant and very resilient child I was and and i think i got my wits from that. I think I got my wits you know, if I if you think I have any width myself, now, you know what I I came up with some good one liners when I was a kid against nearly, you know, yeah, I learned how to do that. And um, anyway, and so like, and here's the thing, sympathy is not what I'm after here. It's just to tell the story about how you gain this kind of resilience and like how you kind of an adversity and being shut out. from everything and I was alone, I didn't have like any friends, no friends. I had one friend this guy Jackie who I love. It was like my first boyfriend, you know? But we didn't know it. I mean, like, we didn't really know it. You know it. I didn't know it even though of course I had the hots for him seven, you know? 11 But anyway, the point is that, like, I had no friends and I was on the outside and I spent a lot of time alone in my garage making puppets and puppet shows right now. And also, you know, later on I learned to sew to make puppets and puppet shows. And from then, I started making clothes for like, my mom and her friends and me and
Mindy Cohn 06:39
where did that Where did your taste level come in? Because, yes, your mom being the influence that she was, but even the puppets the way you describe? Yeah, how you created them. It was pretty impressive at a young age.
Issac Mizrahi 06:51
You know, I honestly I listened to your podcast with the fabulous goat boys who I love so much.
Mindy Cohn 06:57
Josh and Brandon. Thank you. The goat farm...
Issac Mizrahi 07:03
I was listening and at some point, they said something pretty smart, which was about how, you know, they came from this rural background and like lower middle class background and how they aspired and that's what created me
I grew up in kind of upper middle class.
Mindy Cohn 07:21
It was pretty tony.
Issac Mizrahi 07:22
Yeah, yeah, it was pretty it was it was pretty Tony. It wasn't you know, even because the community was really a strange and anomalous crazy community. It's like they're orthodox, but not exactly like they all cheat in bu siness. I mean, it's f*cked up. It's f*cked up. You know, they none of them pay the taxes they all end up going to jail. It's ridiculous.
Mindy Cohn 07:43
Okay, but now our viewership from Sephardic Jew. Okay.
Issac Mizrahi 07:56
Like, you know, like, it was it was religious but it was much more religious in Like the school I went to wasn't Safari that was like regular roll like ashkenazic Jewish. And the rabbi's looked like rabbis, they had the curls and the big hats and the giant papers in August and they smelled bad. And they were rabbis, you know, right. Whereas like the rabbis a tool we've had, like, you know, hairy chests with gold chains and big ears and they smelled like pocho ribbon. I mean, it was ridiculous. You know,
Mindy Cohn 08:25
so have a community in Los Angeles similar so I'm very familiar.
Issac Mizrahi 08:28
What about a bait and switch? You know, like, what is new? Tell me what is good about a sexy rabbi. Okay, for a 13 year old, that is not a good that is not good exposure for me. But anyway, the point is that, that, you know, the women in schull, which was this weird thing, it was like orthodox may because the lady sets out separately, but they didn't wear. It was a fashion show, and I'm not talking, you know, yes, it happened to be the 1970s so it was like that. It was like middies or many's with like, you know tights and big wedgies and hair decolletage and wrap dresses that were really tight. I mean, it was something I mean, it wasn't. That's why I'm saying it was like show but it wasn't sure because it was like a short skirt and heels. I mean, I don't know what that's about like it's a crazy thing. Whereas at school, the Robertson's the rabbi's wives or the ladies who all wore wigs to make themselves look worse, okay, you figure that out. All right.
Mindy Cohn 09:32
I get it.
Issac Mizrahi 09:33
Yeah. I love the wig, but not to make myself look worse. Okay, that that is a crazy crazy, like speaking of sacrilege, you know, that's a sacrilege unto itself, right? Ugly wig, excuse me.
Mindy Cohn 09:48
Pick up putting down yeah. Okay, next question.
Issac Mizrahi 09:53
Okay, that was number one.
Mindy Cohn 09:56
It's fun. I mean, it's just a semi colon for a second. Hello. Okay. Oh, among your friends. What are you best known for? I love this for you.
Issac Mizrahi 10:09
What am I best known for? Yeah, I think you're really good at a lot of things. I think. I think what I bring is like surprise. I think they don't know what the hell to expect. Is that a good answer for that question? like to know? I mean it I'm known for like never knowing really you don't know what you're gonna get from me that's a scary funny thing, but it's the truth.
Mindy Cohn 10:34
So it's also why I want to act with you because i'd love that about you. Not only in person but in in Yes, I just it's admirable. And I love that. Well, let's go. I mean, I'm working on it. You know, I'm working on it. Okay. Um, oh, what's your guilty pleasure?
Issac Mizrahi 10:51
My guilty pleasure. I have so many Guilty Pleasures right now. I say my guilty pleasure. You know, I have to tell you this about guilt. pleasures right now in the time of COBOL, which is like, No, I mean that you'd expect. You'd expect people to be really good at Guilty Pleasures like now's the time. If you're going to drink too much. Go ahead and drink. If you're going to miss your meeting, miss your meeting. Now, you know what I mean? Everybody will understand, you know, but I don't really drink too much. I eat a lot. I eat a lot of cheese guilty pleasures. I eat a lot of ice cream, dairy products. Guilty pleasure. How about that? Is that good enough?
Mindy Cohn 11:29
All right. Little relatable for me.
Issac Mizrahi 11:33
Wait a second. There's a second like I still can't like even I can't go to like guilty places because I'm such a guilty little sad Jewish boy that if I go to the guilty place, I have to then go on a bicycle for two hours and what you've been doing, which I have been doing, yes, but you see what I mean? Like even now under the COVID guilty pleasure like sort of loosening of the chains a bit. I'm still not able to do it which is a sick thing. I have to Learn how to take a little guilty serious. No kidding.
Mindy Cohn 12:04
I wouldn't mind for you. Yeah, I mean, you didn't, but I'm offering it.
Issac Mizrahi 12:09
I'm going to tell you this one story like Saturday, I go, okay, it's Saturday. It's Shabbat, right? I'm not gonna go bicycle riding and then I end up going back because I can't stand it. And then I'm just going to sit here and like, you know, because I'm on Friday nights, I'm on QVC. So I don't get to see RuPaul drag race first run. So I have to wait till Saturday to watch it. So I'm just going to sit here all day. I'm even going to watch the commercials. Okay. All day. And then I get like, and then I'm going to eat the ice gonna sit there and eat cheese and ice cream and watch RuPaul drag race and I can't bring myself it's a fun I get very like depressed when I do. It's like, what am I doing with my life? I'm sitting here watching RuPaul drag race in the middle of the day. Day drinking day eating cheese. I can't do it can't do I get very depressed on Saturdays when I'm supposed to do the opposite.
Mindy Cohn 12:57
Okay, I now know to call you Saturday afternoon. Yes. I will call you Saturday afternoons and get you out of that.
Issac Mizrahi 13:04
Get me out,
Mindy Cohn 13:04
I will always get you out. I'm okay this is also going to be incredibly hard for you and I won't I won't hold you to it. I'm sorry. I won't hold you to who you pick. Who's the most fascinating person you've met? And can I just I know it starts I mean for me like your your list of from from Liza to Audrey to like I don't even have to say last names. So I know this is insanely challenging for you Let alone Avadon, "Dick" as you call him, a God,
Issac Mizrahi 13:31
the most fascinating person I ever met the most
Mindy Cohn 13:35
In this moment...
Issac Mizrahi 13:36
What do you mean, in this moment? You mean now? Now?
Mindy Cohn 13:39
I'm just gonna you're not going to be held to your answer for the rest of your life. Just in this moment of this conversation like who's the most fascinating person you've ever met?
Issac Mizrahi 13:47
I mean, I think Faye Dunaway is the most fascinating person I ever met in my life because it was the crazy, crazy, crazy experience of the day she came in for a fitting and it was just like insane from beginning to end. She kept Doing this thing where she would like look in the mirror
Mindy Cohn 14:02
in your showroom on Queen Street?
Issac Mizrahi 14:04
Yes. A long, long time ago she had like, she was she had gotten the job and some sitcom is playing like a working lady working woman. And I should get like clothes that looked appropriate at work. You know what I used to do? Like a lot of suits and things, right?
Mindy Cohn 14:19
Yes, I know.
Issac Mizrahi 14:20
And I know here's what one really good thing that she did, which I think everybody should start doing with she would look in the mirror right? And she go this is very Faye very, very Faye. In the third person, you see?
Mindy Cohn 14:34
I want to give her an award for that.
Issac Mizrahi 14:39
Yeah, I know. Yeah.
Mindy Cohn 14:41
Okay, last question before we really get into it. Okay, knowing that you are a happily married man. Who is your celebrity pass?
Issac Mizrahi 14:48
Well, no, right now I have so you know, if I said Jon Hamm, you would understand right now it's it's Andy Cuomo. Okay. Yeah, he's Almost yes he is my celebrity path.
Mindy Cohn 15:02
Okay, yeah you You
Issac Mizrahi 15:05
Or darling or a coma sandwich. Andy and Chris. Both Oh, seriously. Okay. Okay.
Mindy Cohn 15:13
Now it's a great
Issac Mizrahi 15:17
To quote Randy rainbow I am a Cuomosexual.
Mindy Cohn 15:20
Oh my gosh Jill Kargman says the same thing of Cuomosexual
Issac Mizrahi 15:22
Cuomosexual Cuomosexual at the moment. Yes.
Mindy Cohn 15:26
Okay, so I put down the canister and then we get into it which is really why Christian and I decided to do this being creatives that we are in very separate mediums you are one of the most incredible creatives I know in that you from very early on did not limit yourself to be defined by just a fashion designer designer or a style expert or whatever. What is your process? What is your creative creative process as you define it, and and some of your inspirations do just come to they come from memories, people, experiences, like just talk about it. I just want to hear your process.
Issac Mizrahi 16:04
Okay. Well, you know, it's a hard thing to talk about process because it's not a regular thing. I don't process things. I don't process everything in the same way. Again, it's like the surprise element is what keeps me kind of interested in everything, you know, like, what is different about this, then, you know, then the other, and the other and the other and the other. But, you know, you said something that was pretty smart, which was that, like, I grew up not challenging the fact that I, because listen, every teacher I ever had every drama teacher ever had every music teacher ever had ever design to try ever had. They all said that I would have to sort of narrow it down and make a choice and not do everything, you know. I hated it so much because I couldn't stop doing everything, you know. And so Oh, there's about to be like This noise outside Okay, that's okay. Is it?
Mindy Cohn 17:03
I'm enraptured. So I don't care.
Issac Mizrahi 17:05
Right? Well, um, well, so I was gonna say that, you know, something in me knew a few things knew that I wasn't completely insane. Like the rabbi's were trying to tell me right? That I wasn't some kind of heretic that would be stoned to death right for being gay and for being an artist, right? Both of those things are not okay. In the Jewish religion. You're not supposed to be gay.
Mindy Cohn 17:28
Issac Mizrahi 17:29
You're not supposed to be an artist either. Like I'm sorry to tell you but if you make graven images, you're supposed to be stoned to death or something where
Mindy Cohn 17:37
My family called it monkey business.
Issac Mizrahi 17:38
Yeah, what they called it what?
Mindy Cohn 17:40
Issac Mizrahi 17:41
Monkey business. Right? Right. And if you're not stoned to death strongly rebuked for doing so. Okay, like really taken on the carpet and going what point is that something I'm not sure what knew that everybody was crazy and wrong about that and they were crazy and wrong. About Like, you know, stop taking stop taking piano lessons, or stop taking acting lessons or stop drawing or stop sewing. You know what I mean? Right? Yeah, I think that's a bad thing to say there was one teacher that I had it was great, called Frank Rizzo at Parsons. And he used to say that they will catch up. They will catch up.
Mindy Cohn 18:21
Bravo. Mr. Rizzo. I'd love that. And, how old were you then? 18? 19?
Issac Mizrahi 18:27
already. Yes, I know. I know. But, but but I do owe everything to this one teacher named Mrs Canowitz whose name I still do. I still don't know what her married name is. And I wrote about her in the book. And like, you know, we'll Miss Canowitz in like an eighth grade. You know, like, she was like you maybe you shouldn't go to yeshiva maybe you should go to like another school. Like, how about performing arts high school where they have an acting department and a music department and why don't you both and so I did and she like helped me and got my parents into it. and massaged the whole thing. I mean, thank god.
Mindy Cohn 19:02
yeah, well because you found you found your people whatever that means. I mean people are people change but I came very late in life to to finding a group of my peers, shall I say, people that made me feel comfortable and not self loathing for being, you know, the storyteller that I am.
Issac Mizrahi 19:18
You came to it so late in life, what were you eight or something that you started on tv?
Mindy Cohn 19:24
Issac Mizrahi 19:26
Hey, wait a minute. I have a question about Christian.
Christian Brescia 19:27
Issac Mizrahi 19:29
Are you gay? Are you straight?
Christian Brescia 19:31
I'm very gay. Yes. I live with my partner.
Issac Mizrahi 19:33
I can't tell anymore. I can't tell anymore.
Mindy Cohn 19:36
Oh, give it a few minutes of me talking and you'll probably catch on.
Issac Mizrahi 19:39
I was listening on the podcast. And you know, sometimes I can't tell and I can't tell in your case, which is like very interesting to me.
Mindy Cohn 19:48
well, it's something it's something we also talk about frequently with just among ourselves is that there is still believe it or not, in this day and age where you don't lead with that in business. In certain businesses, that it's still not as, and I, especially in theatrical world where you would think
Christian Brescia 20:09
you would think you would.
Issac Mizrahi 20:12
by the way, you probably can like sue me for asking you that question but sorry, I think like you can sue everybody for just saying like, Can I ask your name?
Christian Brescia 20:20
No, no, I don't mind the question. No, I'm not I'm not somebody that lives in the closet. I haven't been in the closet for 20 years. Coming out of the closet was the greatest decision that I ever made truthfully
Issac Mizrahi 20:30
Oh of course are you crazy?
Mindy Cohn 20:31
And, we aren't the litigious sort.
Issac Mizrahi 20:34
exactly. Somewhere I want Mindy to be a gay man but she's not it's very crazy.
Mindy Cohn 20:39
I'm honestly the next best thing I think it's so funny because I'm asked all the time are you are you gay? Straight? You know straight but I am a fat hag. I mean, I know the term now is Ally your fruit fly girl too old for that. I have earned my fag hag-dom. Proudly. I always have
Issac Mizrahi 20:56
And, there's something about words that rhyme monosyllabic words That rhyme is just gratifying. It's so fun to say, you know.
Mindy Cohn 21:03
I've earned it is my take on that. So getting back to this creative process that you talked about, talk about some of what are you inspired by this? I'm curious about because you are so multi interested and proficient in many mediums that I wonder what things inspire you for what for instance, in your cabaret, that I don't think the majority of people listening know that i i for one am just beyond the beyond measure how excited I am that you are stepping in where you have wanted to step into since you were young boy and it makes me so excited because you're you're quite good. Right. The people I grew up with in the 80s, who unfortunately are no longer with us, the people, the creatives that I first met in New York did not give just one thing. That was not what they were about. It was about just creating an art. And so having said that, you've been doing it though.
Issac Mizrahi 22:33
darling. I mean, I have to tell you like my best friend in the world, his mark Morris was like the greatest choreographer to ever live since George Balanchine. And he does now, that's what he does, you know, that is what he does. And so like, you know, to an extent Mark thinks I'm insane, you know, but he also likes what I do. I'm lucky that he likes what I do. Because he would tell me so yeah, so it's like, don't do don't do that. You're not good at that. But he really likes what I do enough. So that We actually like, did a show together we sang on stage together as a benefit for his company, it was amaing. Yeah, the next time we do you have to come, you know, with Mark as your kind of role model is something with this person who does that, you know, and for a long time, I was really good friends with Steven Sondheim, you know, Steven Sondheim and he does THAT. Like that what he does he whens those incredible shows like he makes that that is the genius of that person. And so it always made me feel a little bit like sort of less than inferior that I kind of jump around to different things, you know. And I remember when Steve used to say like, oh, you're a polymath. I'd say like, are you coming to me now? Like, are you like, Oh, yeah, you're a polymath. Yeah. What I mean, like, the greatest genius of all times who does this one thing is saying, Oh, yeah, you're so talented, because you're a polymath. You know, sometimes you don't know exactly how to hear these things...
Mindy Cohn 24:02
I have to say very similar to a lot of amazing filmmakers that I'm fans of really good directors are usually either very good actors, very good art directors, and have an aesthetic that is not just for camera. And so I seen that including I include myself as an actor. Listen, it's, it's how I want to storyteller. Most of all, it doesn't mean I am not a kick ass producer because I am or that I don't have good business acumen because I do but you know, to to have to pick a lane is so contrary to how I move in the world. So
Issac Mizrahi 24:34
what could I do something?
Mindy Cohn 24:36
I saw rehersals of one of them, that i loved...
Christian Brescia 24:36
Issac Mizrahi 24:36
Both of yous. If you're, you will never have a better director. Like if you got me in the room and said, please direct me in the scene or something. Girl. I'm telling you, you would not leave that room until you were literally. I am the best director. I'm not kidding. I can say that. Like honestly, I've directed like three shows in my whole life. Oh Yes, you did. You did. But that's a funny differ. That's a musical crazy, but it's mostly narration and dance. Now, you know what I mean? It's more direction. It's more staging than direction and it was pretty incredible.
Mindy Cohn 25:11
I saw that rehearsal. I saw Peter and the Wolf and it was, it was absolutely sublime, truly.
Issac Mizrahi 25:15
All right. Well, thank you. Thank you, darling. You're a dog anyway. But you know, I think director that's what I think I ultimately, you know, if you have to hone it into one thing, right, because as a director, you kind of go like, Oh, yeah, no, I don't like the shot. And you also go like, I don't like the dress. I don't like the actor. And she's not sure she's too little. Yeah, you know,
Mindy Cohn 25:37
Right...more than correct. Absolutely.
Issac Mizrahi 25:40
Everything. I don't like the music or I love the music or here's an idea about music. Yes, Seriously.
Mindy Cohn 25:45
I'm I'm actually going to take a minute give us a chance to catch our breath and take a little drink and just remind our users or listeners rather that they can head to our website MondayswithMindy.com. There, they'll find ways to subscribe to the podcast on all the different platforms. If you're watching us on YouTube, leave a comment. Give us a thumbs up if you like what you're hearing or seeing. You're also welcome to leave comments. We'd love reading them. We're happy to engage in any questions you guys might have. And lastly, if you're interested in learning more about our very special guest, Mr. Mizrahi today, head over to MondaysWithMindy.com, there'll be information about him links, Episode shownotes, all the good stuff so that you can catch up with everything he's tackling at the moment, which is quite a bit. And now a word from our sponsor, and seeing as we don't have one I've decided I've decided that this episode of Monday's with Mindy is brought to you by Isaac Mizrahi live available on QVC. Please check your local listings and tune in and buy buy buy!
Issac Mizrahi 26:44
but can it be, wait a minute. I wanted to know what can it be sponsored by the goat boys because they do some great things too. I love that you were sponsoring with the goat people. That was hilarious.
Mindy Cohn 26:54
Okay, thanks for that but i every week, I am writing ads regarding our person, our guest conversation and I thought you'd be charmed by what I just said, but apparently... Oh my gosh. Oh, you give me such a time and I wouldn't have it any other way. Um, Isaac, what are your current obsessions in regard to the arts and are people places things music? What? By the way? I just tell you your last post of Hello Isaac from Schoolhouse Rock. I want you to know that I played that eight to nine times over and over again. And, had a proper dance around my my house.
Issac Mizrahi 27:40
Did you? Of course you did. Oh, thank you so much. It's such a great song. And that's blossom, deary. Someone I'm obsessed with it and she recorded it and you can't get better. And so like I go Really?
Mindy Cohn 27:53
I wanted to make a biopic about blossom
Issac Mizrahi 27:56
you should that'd be a really good idea. so that's all I'll tell you what I'm kind of obsessed with. And I know it sounds a little extra. But it is extra, which is I've been reading the whole collection of seven books of Proust.
Yeah. You know, Marcel Proust?
Mindy Cohn 28:12
Do I know? Yes!
Issac Mizrahi 28:13
Amazing. And I'm up to book number four, which is called Sodom and Gomorrah. And it's, it's great. And I have to say, like, It's weird. I started about a year and a half ago, and it's very slow going because it's, it's it's incredibly dense, dense beyond words. Like a sentence is sometimes a page and a half long, like there isn't a period or even a comma, you know, the French are not into punctuation, you know. Um, but the point is that, like, under the corona thing, I can't concentrate that much. It takes me like, you know, like, I have to have a bath first bath. No, no, it's an obsession. It's a full on obsession. And plus, which like the first three volumes that I really Have these was incredible like the yale press addition. And they had all of the notes, you know, like, and there were so many notes. In these. In this edition, there was so many notes. So like every page had like tons and tons of like amazing notes. So you knew every Duchess and every marquees and every like, everybody was like, every reference to every like painter that he was like, that he was either referring to in somehow Romana clay or making up as a pastiche of like this painter in that paint. I mean, it was just, but then suddenly the fourth edition, they stopped publishing this edition the Yale press. Now I'm reading it without so many notes, and I don't like it as much, because I can stop and Google things like I'm just not going to do that. I'm in bed reading a book, I'm not going to stop and go like, oh, dah, dah dah, dah. Who is the Marquis de blah, blah, blah, right? I'm not gonna do that. It's not as good but it's still like that. It takes me it takes me longer now to read weirdly without the notes. And in the time of Corona the whole like concentration thing. Like it's like, oh, what is Mindy doing on Instagram? You know what I mean? My, my concentration? My, yeah, my attention span is even shorter than usual if possible.
Mindy Cohn 30:23
Have you been drawing? Do you draw regularly?
Issac Mizrahi 30:25
I used to draw a lot and I really I have this book that I want to do. There's a truck back up...
Mindy Cohn 30:31
I understand. It's fine. It's everything you've ordered online in your delirium. Your cheese delirium!
Issac Mizrahi 30:41
Yeah, no, but but you know, but I'll tell you what, like we're drawing is concerned. It's like, you know, playing the piano, I stopped playing the piano a good 20 years ago, like I used to play the piano all the time. I took lessons for years, I could sit down and play the piano like at a point and I couldn't Read, I could sight read I could never sight read like, you know, like Oscar Levant or something but I could play the piano, you know, and, and the point is that I stopped like because at some point you go nope you either have to do this for 10 hours a day or you can't do it. Oh, my god you're so you and by the way, it wasn't good It wasn't good enough, you know enjoyment is not why I do things I'm sorry. No I I mean I eat for enjoyment I rub my dogs because I enjoy that, you know, I rub my husband because I enjoy you know, it's like I love things but really work or something or art is not because of enjoyment. You know, if you get enjoyment out of it, like congrats to you, you know, I sometimes Yeah, I really enjoy it. But that's absolutely not why I do it, you know? But I'll tell you what, like, you know, like, I used to draw so much too, especially when I was making fashion sketches I had to draw all the time. And then like, you know, you get very proficient like you you then suddenly like You get lazy, you get lazy because drawing to me is painting actually with a paintbrush and gwash and water. Like that's how I like to draw the best and very little holding lines, every little line. I like to paint like I'm a painter, right? Not every oil painter but more of gwash and more watercolor kinda person. But point is that you know, after a while you just get so lazy and you don't feel like going out and getting the water and getting the brushes already and so you just sit down use colored pencils or crayons, and you get lazy. And it goes from that to like stopping and now I've just like stopped, but I'll tell you like, I think I think I think like my dog kitty is so exquisite and so like impossibly beautiful that I have to draw a lot. I can't resist drawing kidding. She's SO beautiful Oh, you have to get a drawing.
Mindy Cohn 32:57
Yeah, I need a drawing of Kitty in my life.
Issac Mizrahi 32:59
You will die , I don't know if they're good or bad, but they aren't. they satisfy some part of me like, Yeah, exactly. They do. And I'm thinking I might do a book of kitty like a book about kitty or something. I know I was gonna do it like I was thinking maybe of not doing it as a book, but maybe doing it as a series, you know, like a series of online posts or something?
Christian Brescia 33:23
I should do so. Yeah, exactly. Ohhhhhhhhh,
Mindy Cohn 33:27
Is it happening right now?
Issac Mizrahi 33:29
Christian Brescia 33:29
this is the creative process.
Mindy Cohn 33:31
Fantastic. So while you're totally inspired right now, let me tack and I'm just tacking. I want to know what you think having read your memoir and having a couple of conversations with you. I would like to talk to you again going back to a creative process and something I'm going through right now personally, you're answering me might be a little bit of a cheerlead what one or specific failure that You can remember, vicerally was one of the best lessons to learn.
Issac Mizrahi 34:06
Oh, this came to me very quickly. So, you know, about 20 years ago, I had a one man show on Off Broadway called Les Mis-Rahi. Did you ever know about the show? Les Mis-Rahi?
Mindy Cohn 34:19
Christian Brescia 34:19
I remember hearing about it. That's when I was living in New York City.
Issac Mizrahi 34:22
How old are you?
Christian Brescia 34:24
I'm gonna be 40 soon so.
Issac Mizrahi 34:27
Okay, well then, f*ck you!
Mindy Cohn 34:29
The love, the love here is almost immeasurable!
Issac Mizrahi 34:35
Just yesterday, I was working on and for and I was working on it with these producers that kind of liked it. And I was doing it in workshop and I had one director who I really liked and we kind of decided to call it quits, right? And then another director was brought in at that didn't work. Didn't work so great. And then they brought in this other director who I thought was so wrong for it and he and I Didn't really click and he's famous. This guy is like famous, you know. And I thought he had no sense of who I was no sense of music, no sense of anything. And he was just the wrong person for the job. You know, it was really frustrating. And he kind of set me up like, he put together this workshop showing way too soon in the process. Right? And, you know, because I've had workshop showings already several but what we were going for with something now completely is a departure. And so like, you know, two weeks later, we had this date for this thing, and it was just I never like I really prepare more I over prepare, you know, but something about the way he was working with me, it was just, it was impossible to even know what the content of the show was. And somehow we had this show to the audience like all of a sudden, and it was the wrong accompanist. And it was the wrong musical dude, it was just such a disaster. And and I knew it was a really bad thing. I knew it. And at the end of that show, the producers were like, Yeah, bye bye. See, we tried and it's over, you know, and it was like WOW and everybody just kind of left me for dead after this one show after this one show, except for this incredible friend of mine called Wendell Harrington. Do you know she is Wendell. You just love her when? Exactly. She's sort of the queen of the world of projections. Like you can't if you want a projection, you can't do better. But you know, except to call when she created she said, like the mother of she teaches at Yale, which is really something. Anyway, so Wendell liked it. She didn't hate the show. She liked it. And she introduced me to drama department, who at the time was this guy called Mike Rosenberg, who's a great producer who now works at the McCarter and his partner who's Douglas Carter, Beane who I adored, you know, Douglas Beane. He's a great playwright anyway, so they really liked it and they allowed me to take it and And from there it got made, it actually got made. Yeah, that ran for about a year, you know, and it probably could have run longer except I got a little bored. You may get a little bored doing the same exact show every night.
Mindy Cohn 37:12
I am so...we've talked about this. I am so ready for it to be a limited series, a production of some kind. I mean, it is so delicious, truly well, reason is is because I really think that not only your voice comes across but that you you tell a story you tell a story sis telling you.
Issac Mizrahi 37:32
Well, thank you. Well, thank you very much. Thank you. I mean, you know, I would love to work on that as limited series. I think it would be hilarious like sort of The Wonder Years with the payoff.
Mindy Cohn 37:44
For our listeners, I can't see Mindy had just held up Isaac's memoir, the incredible memoir "I. M." It's available in hardcover. It's on Kindle, you can get it as an audiobook. If you're looking for another sweet treat, I'd recommend picking up his paperback from 2008 called "How to Have Style" where he takes an innovative approach to looking terrific are using 12 real women and their real life wardrobe dilemmas. You can find links to all of his books as well as information about his cabaret tour on our website Mondays with monday.com check it out for more information but now back to the show. How is THAT for an ad!?
Issac Mizrahi 38:19
Wait a minute, Christian now I'm now not only do I know, I mean, now not to not only do I know that you're gay, but now I think I love you and I think we were born to be lovers. I'm just telling you.
Mindy Cohn 38:51
Let me say I'm his biggest fan. How was that for a plug tho, right You are the singular reason that I'm still obsessed with putting pink and red together.
Issac Mizrahi 39:02
Mindy Cohn 39:03
Yeah. Because it's so long and there's a whole generation now that didn't get to live first time through that period of when you designed for yourself and your clientele whoever that what you deemed it was it was me I was included in that but really if people don't know and they should it's called it's called really do some some research if you if you are remotely into fashion now that the what you could get in the stores was every kind of gorgeous shade of beige or Ecru you could ever want. Every designer, it was chic. It was fabulous. It was easy. But we didn't know we were missing color until you came on the scene in my humble opinion. And when you came on, there was no way you were ever going to get off.
Issac Mizrahi 39:48
Thank you very much. It's true. You know, that became a sort of a, like a trap. I'm not kidding. It sort of became a little bit of a trap like people expected color and when I didn't do it I didn't always. It's like, you don't want to give the people what they want, you know, it's like, Yeah, I don't want to dance right now, you know, I just want to do this. And sometimes I would walk for a long time for a long time...
Mindy Cohn 40:12
You're talking to an actor who played Natalie green. I know what you're saying. So that's what they want from you. You have more to offer, preach, go ahead and preach.
Issac Mizrahi 40:21
But can I tell you something? Like, when you ask that question about what people expect or something that was a question that you asked, and I was gonna say, you know, it has a lot to do with color. I think my life, my work, my my obsessions have what I am most obsessed with, I think our colors and the way light happens and makes colors happen. And I'm not kidding and like, you know, color in films. You know, Douglas Sirk, I think I love Douglas Sirk so much because the color in that film, right and you can't you can't recreate that trust me. I have tried to recreate it!
Mindy Cohn 40:59
I think Vincent Minelli, in an American in Paris and and the fact that he created these visions.
Issac Mizrahi 41:06
Oh I mean, by the way and that's like a layer and a layer and a layer with light behind it so there's no way that you're ever going to be able to recreate I remember there was you know the movie The King and I was King and I with I mean probably like hate speech right now but that whole little house of uncle Thomas I mean that is one of the most beautiful things when those beautiful dance and musical sequences ever filmed in the history of the world. And the colors in that right the color of Deborah Kerr's. ballgown that toupe that rose color I have tried for so many years to reproduce that toupe I mean toupe is impossible, right. There are certain blues and certain toupes that are literally impossible. You could just keep striving and striving and striving. So color is a very, very big important. You know Almodovar, there is no love are only Think solely. Well, I love I obviously love melodrama, but I love color and he is a great
Mindy Cohn 42:05
Absolutely. Well maybe it will appease your heart that I'm a true Soul Sister that the first Isaac Mizrahi garment I bought was black.
Issac Mizrahi 42:14
Oh, well, I only wear black, you know, like that scene and in funny face where they do this whole number about pink and then they say, Oh, you know, oh, what about you? There's a great editor. What's her name? Kay Thompson and she says, me I would be caught dead. Like, you know I I'm, I'm a synesthesiat. I see color when I hear music, and I have other dreams like you wouldn't believe. Like I talk about specific colors in therapy as I dream like I always I start by talking about... No, but this shrimp color this like color of the walls, you know?
Mindy Cohn 42:56
Yeah, I covet that. I think I covet that and wow, that's Remarkable it is,
Issac Mizrahi 43:01
you know when I think like I've designed costumes for people and i and i think reason, like, you know, for ballet and for opera, and I think the reason I can do it so easily is because the music makes me like see colors you know, like I see I go into these crazy reveries about colors and I always think if you get the color right you get the whole thing right.
Mindy Cohn 43:21
Wow. Well, most people don't feel that way. So that's why you're you thank God thank god you're on this planet. Can I just say I adore you. Thank you Your magic
Issac Mizrahi 43:31
Thank you, i adore YOU. And you know what? I love your bangs! Thank you, thank you.
Mindy Cohn 43:35
sometimes I think about our conversations. It makes me want a weap to be we found each other and I'm very grateful.
Issac Mizrahi 43:41
Horray! Isaac Mizrahi. Are we finished now?
Mindy Cohn 43:45
Is that amazing?
Issac Mizrahi 43:47
Mindy Cohn 43:48
Yeah, he later will FaceTime.
Issac Mizrahi 43:51
That's it? ok, bravo. And, you know, Christian, call me! Call me, I'm telling you.
Mindy Cohn 43:58
Thank you so much, Isaac.
Christian Brescia 44:00
It was lovely meeting you. Thanks for joining us.
Issac Mizrahi 44:04
Okay. Bye, everybody.
Mindy Cohn 44:07
And that is Isaac was right.
Christian Brescia 44:10
I mean, he's so amazing in general especially everything that I know about him over the years but to actually sit and have a conversation with him so to speak was really really kind of amazing. He is he checks all the boxes, you know, he's the real deal.
Mindy Cohn 44:23
Yeah, I truly like his a kindred spirit. But I also just like, I admire him.
Christian Brescia 44:28
Uou know, I don't know if our listeners are aware, but his Instagram is pretty amazing link will be on our website mondayswithmindy.com they can find out more information about his books and everything else. But check out his Instagram, they he's doing a lot of really incredible stuff with his cabaret, the music that he's putting up there is really, really fantastic. I think that's the one sweet spot that people don't maybe know about him yet.
Mindy Cohn 44:48
Oh, I agree.
Christian Brescia 44:49
Hopefully we can put a little light on that for him. So that information will be up on the website mondayswithmindy.com. This is another awesome episode. We thank everybody for joining us. We're looking forward to talking to you you again next week. Until then, bye guys.
Mindy Cohn 45:02