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Unfiltered with Isaac Mizrahi

The famously eccentric, world-renown designer, Isaac Mizrahi, dished on this season’s ever-so-addictive Project Runway All Stars, giving Marie Claire a true insider’s scoop.



Marie ClaireProject Runway All Stars Season 3—every year it’s bigger and better. Honestly what’s the secret?

Isaac Mizrahi: It’s real. [The show is] invested in the creative process as opposed to invested in making a show that’s going to rate well. And I’ve been involved with those shows a little bit and I’ve watched them—the ones that are really just there for TV sake you—and I don’t agree with that. I think that’s mean-spirited. I think that’s bad. 

MC: Is that what keeps you coming back each season, as a judge?

IM: This tradition of getting involved in a critical kind of dialogue, like where you had Mark Twain writing about literature that he read, it’s kind of a tradition for artists to be involved in a critical dialogue and to be able to somehow influence and/or teach people. It affects the future in that way. So that’s why I do it.

MC: Have you ever regretted a decision of who was sent home?

IM: Absolutely. Yes. But I will say as a collaborator on a panel with incredibly respectful, wonderful people like Georgina, like Alyssa, like our guest judges; at some point you have to trust that collectively you’re doing the right thing. And don’t think Georgina and I don’t call each other from week to week and go, 'Oh shit did we do the wrong thing?’' But in the end, it is always right.

MC: Speaking of guest judges was there anyone this season who surprised you with his or her fashion sense?

IM: Yes, yes, yes. Anya [Ayoung Chee]. She was on Project Runway [Season 9 winner!]. She’s really beautiful. She was the judge of the avant-garde challenge. And I agreed with almost everything that came out of her mouth. And then I go, 'Well now I love her, because not only is she pretty but she’s smart.'

MC: That’s so awesome. Any others?

IM: The other person I thought was really smart: Elisabeth Moss. She had so much to say. And she looked amazing. She looked so fresh that day. She was wearing this little white eyelet dress. And her hair was all done. She looked great! And may I say one more thing about this?

MCUm, of course!

IM: Alyssa Milano. Alyssa Milano. Exclamation point! She is so smart. And we don’t necessarily always agree, I mean we disagree a lot, but she is someone who really cares and really wants to help. And who has such an incredible perspective on clothes having been in the clothing industry herself. It was fascinating to listen to what she said week after week.

MC: Very cool. So let’s talk designers. Elena somehow keeps ending up with these killer designs…?

IM: And yet she keeps talking about herself like she’s one of the 100 neediest cases. And it’s like, 'Alright already we know you’re great, OK? Stop downplaying it.'

Tune in to tonight's episode for the unconventional challenge where the designers have to create a look using only school supplies from a New York City elementary school. Check out a sneak peak below!


Project Runway All Stars airs at 9 p.m. Thursdays on Lifetime.


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