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Mizrahi Debuts Fabrics Infused with Color

Carole Sloan -- Home Textiles Today, May 7, 2007

Apparel fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi has always wanted to create a collection of fabrics.

And his first decorative fabric collection, now making its debut at S. Harris, clearly reflects this. "It's caused an explosion in my brain," said this unconventional designer, whose reach spreads from apparel that is featured both in Bergdorf Goodman and Target, to a home collection exclusively for Target.

"The project has been such a dream for me after all these years of amassing ideas. I've now been let loose in creating and it's deeply gratifying," Mizrahi related. Over the 20 years of his career, he also has designed costumes for movies, theater and dance, and this season is creating costumes for New York's Metropolitan Opera.

As far as designing fabric for the home vs. clothing, Mizrahi explained, "It's not very different. I've been very involved in the fabrics for the apparel collections and I've always thought of textiles in a broad way. It's the first thing you think about in apparel."

He added, "I had memories of the shows I attended at Interstoff and the Villa d'Este. When I had this opportunity "I created fabrics as splendid as I remembered them from all those years of longing."

For S. Harris, a division of Tulsa, Okla.-based Fabricut, "We have kind of learned about him while working with him," explained David Finer, company ceo. "His work is considered avant-garde and edgy. It's a great match for S. Harris. And Isaac's color sense expanded our color palette and reach. It's classically Isaac."

Finer added, "Mindy [Derketsch, one of the company's key designers] did a great job in translating his thoughts and designs."

Discussing his approach to decorative fabrics, Mizrahi, the three-time Council of Fashion Designers of America award winner, emphasized, "I'm very into splendor and color — both in clothes and home. The only difference between the two is technical."

The collection "is all about color first," Mizrahi emphasized. "It's for people who think about color a lot. Like there's a great chintz floral [Mega Chintz] — I pored over that one for color and design. I finally will be able to have a floral pink chair." Important in the collection are not-so-bashful colors as fluorescent pink and electric yellow, and vibrant orange as well as taupe and gray.

Chorus Silk is a big plaid — "nothing but color on taffeta. And Extra Silk is a plain silk canvas that I've been waiting to do for years." While the fabrics range from upholstery weights to multi-purpose to sheers, Mizrahi noted, "I have done different textures for sheers at the window. Cloud is barely there with just a bit of sparkle." Other fabrics mix his signature dots and plaids, with Mylar accents and overscaled designs.

The collection of 44 patterns and 119 skus will be featured in all S. Harris showrooms worldwide.

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