By Shani R. Friedman
To look at me, you wouldn’t think “fashion maven.” My style, if it can be called that, might be likened to a dressed-down Sporty Spice. While I don’t have much interest in putting on haute couture, I have a lot of fun looking at it. And to my mind, no designer can hold a candle to Isaac Mizrahi.
The Renaissance man comes to City Winery on Friday, August 10th, in his show, Isaac Mizrahi: Moderate to Severe. Part cabaret act, part storytelling and part all-around bon vivant, Mizrahi will be singing, backed by his band, sharing tales and giving away gifts that he’s accumulated over the years from fans, swag bags, and more.
For someone like me, who has followed Mizrahi’s evolution for decades, Moderate to Severe is a dream. Like many non-insiders, my awareness of him as an emerging talent and as a personality began with Unzipped, the 1995 documentary about his Fall 1994 show. Cut to just over 20 years later when I had the opportunity to see some of those creations and many others at the Jewish Museum’s fantastic “An Unruly History” in 2016. The exhibit featured 250 pieces as well as early sketches of theatre costumes and runway looks. That year I also had the chance to witness Mizrahi in an entirely different medium when I caught the 10th anniversary edition of Peter and the Wolf at the Guggenheim. Mizrahi created, directed and designed the holiday production, and also played the narrator.
It might seem strange to think of Mizrahi in the context of performer, but he actually studied drama in high school after his parents gave their blessing for him to leave his ultra-orthodox Yeshiva and attend The High School of Performing Arts. As artist and media personality, Mizrahi continues with his regular appearances on QVC, which he began partnering with in 2009. Given all this, Moderate to Severe is really not such a stretch. I can’t wait for the full “Mizrahi experience” – but if I walk out empty handed, there is something wrong in the world!
For more information about tickets for Friday night’s show (certain tickets include a meet and greet), visit https://citywinery.com/newyork/isaac-mizrahi-8-10.html/.
Watch this clip of Mizrahi singing his heart out at a previous City Winery show: