Isaac Mirzrahi’s figurative language…

Reading time: Just over 1 minute

I like to share interesting pieces of figurative language I encounter in my reading. I write today about a series of similes from Isaac Mizrahi…

I can’t remember who suggested that I read the memoir of designer Isaac Mizrahi. Odds were less than 9/1 that I’d like it because I have almost no interest in fashion.

But it turns out that I loved the book and am very grateful for the recommendation. I’m a sucker for a good memoir and Isaac Mizrahi (pictured above) certainly knows how to write. An enjoyable and easy read, this book — titled I.M. — also gives the gift of some spectacular figurative language.

Here are my favourite examples:

  • I now understand why old people are so obsessed with food. I know people in their eighties who talk about their preference for a certain brand of cottage cheese the way JFK talked about Cuba.
  • My mother told me stories of her childhood. She described her obsession with books and talked about her library card the way others talk about their passports.
  • She caused such a huge ruckus at 3:00 AM that my mother was awakened from a deep sleep and bare into my room — a zombie arisen from the dead, ecru-colored tricot-and-lace nightgown flung behind her like the exhaust from a broomstick.
  • Being sequestered at yeshiva for the first eight years of my school life then rushing head-on into this exposed, modern, libertine environment [Performing Arts public high school] was like eating a main course of culture shock with a large side order of guilt.
  • I caught a glimpse of a lady who, in the middle of July, was dressed in dove-grey flannel, the tightest midcalf-length skirt I’d yet seen, seamed stockings, high-heeled grey sued shoes, and a small pigeon-colored hat with a pom-pom.
  • Perry Ellis had straight, shoulder-length brown hair and features that seemed too big for his head, including almond-shaped eyes and huge, horsey white teeth. His physique as sylphlike, as though he would fall over if you exhaled on him.
  • Behind him on a console were the most beautiful flowers I had ever seen a massive bundle of marled pink peonies, his favorite flower, which were always kept around the studio, perfuming the days and looking like they were about to shed their petals in ecstasy.
  • Making clothes for Liza [Minnelli] wasn’t exactly easy. For one thing, she was really fidgety in fittings. I use to say fitting Liza was like fitting a goldfish.

Isaac Mizrahi’s book I.M. would be a great Christmas gift for anyone interested in fashion. Or in fine writing.

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