Friday, July 29, 2011

Dorothy Draper, Off the Collar.

The Draper Necklace at Mizrahi's F/W 2011
show.  I'm also smitten with the dyed to match
pooch.  No need to dig out the lint roller!
I eagerly anticipated the departure of Isaac Mizrahi from the realm of Target.  He was far too good for the likes of mass marketing.  True, it gave him the opportunity to dress a broad spectrum of women and give style to any income bracket, but it was heartbreaking to see a wonderful design executed in a lack luster fashion via poor craftsmanship and sleazy fabric.

Since departing the land of the red bulls eye, Isaac has returned stronger than ever over the past few seasons with incredible designs that are undeniably fresh, making the traumatic plug pulling by parent company Chanel so many years ago seem like a case of drastic short sighted decision making.  Case in point his witty, irreverent, and inspired homage to decorator Dorothy Draper, rendered in white enamel and rhodium. 

Part of his Fall 2011 collection, the Baroque collar (which also has matching earrings that I haven't found yet but they can be seen on the last photo of this entry), provides a graphic and delicate foil to his bold swaths of exuberant intense color, a Mizrahi signature, and his sculptural and voluminous silhouettes of the season.  

The Draper Necklace is available at Saks
and for $880.00.
The Draper necklace, as it is called, looks to be inspired by Drapers work in the 1940's for the Palace Quitandinha, in Brazil.  At least it does to me.  The dangling shell, the central lattice cartouche, and the scrolling volutes all appear in her designs executed in white plaster and wrought iron and carved stone throughout the resort.  The necklace is also done in bright white, another Draper hallmark. 

These calling cards are not found solely in her work in Brazil; Drapers penchant for the Baroque and her desire to render everything over scale (I often refer to it as 'bombastic') can be seen in every installation she has ever done.  Subtle and nuanced were not in her vocabulary.  Draper was a full on assault of the most decorative kind. 

I am sure this piece will fly off the shelves, especially with so many decorators out their (many of whom I went to school with) pledging their allegiance to the United States of Draper.  While this trinket won't give them any more talent or skill, it will at least help them keep Draper close to their hearts.  And as for Isaac, I can do nothing but commend him for his tongue in cheek salute to one of America's most notable decorators.  

- Ian 

The trellis cartouche above the doors is very similar to
the one seen on the necklace.  Also note the stark
white trim.

One of th  many fountains at the Quitandinha, the
scrolling volutes and the shell motif echo those found
on Mizrahi's design.
The leafy acanthus scroll arms of this wall sconce recall
the scrolling leaf forms seen at the neck of the piece.

The matching earrings shown with a pink dress.
I think it's smart to keep the necklace and earrings
apart.  No one wants to look like a Showgirl.


  1. um...dear friend, that leafy acanthus scroll is straight up Syrie.

  2. It's called the Draper necklace, for the sake of arguements, I'm identifying Draper elements. Yes, it looks a little Syrie, but the majority is still attributed to Draper.