on August 04, 1995 by Christine James
   "It's '50s cheesecake meets Eskimo fake fur," enthuses a nasal, lisping fashion designer about his latest idea. While watching "Nanook of the North" on TV, he has been inspired to create a collection based on Inuit designs, but using synthetic fibers instead of animal pelts for fear of being "stoned like a wanton heretic." Seeming to be an over-the-top parody of the fashion industry, this is actually a documentary, which follows designer Isaac Mizrahi for one year and chronicles the the trials and tribulations of making his latest collection. To watch the creative process in motion as one of the key players of this boggling industry gears up for action is potentially a fascinating study, anthropologically speaking. But the frivolousness of it all is overwhelming, and there's only enough activity and drama to have made an entertaining 30-minute short. The saving grace of this slow-paced look at a preposterous profession is Mizrahi's clever one-liners. But Mizrahi's high-strung, vain and insecure character does make for an audience-unfriendly protagonist. A few supermodels Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss and Linda Evangelista make appearances, but only Evangelista conveys the sense of humanity (even if the dark side) you'd hope to see in a behind-the-scenes expose. Mizrahi's fashion show itself half climax, half coup de grace is the usual catwalk of beautiful women wearing bizarre get-ups. But, early next morning, Mizrahi's trek to the newsstand proves fruitful: A critic sings his praises! It's a happy ending, but happier still for audiences, who get to go home to normal lives.    Starring Isaac Mizrahi. Directed by Douglas Keeve. Produced by Michael Alden. A Miramax release. Documentary. Rated R for some language. Running time: 73 min.
Tags: Isaac Mizrahi, fashion, fascinating, behing-the-scenes, bizarre, Douglas Keeve, Michael Alden, documentary

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