Isabel Toledo and Ruben Toledo, 2007
I’ve been a fan of designer Isabel Toledo since passing her racks at Barney’s years ago. But I became actively impressed in 2007, when as Creative Director of Anne Klein, she and her husband, the illustrator Ruben Toledo, managed to transform the mind-numbing line into an editorially-acclaimed collection imbued with her signature tailoring, draping and nuanced use of color. Of course, as often befalls the best (think Olivier Theyskens at Nina Ricci and Marc Jacobs at Perry Ellis), Toledo and the brand soon parted, and it took Michelle Obama to bring her back into the limelight.
The, now, First Lady wore the designer’s work throughout her husband’s campaign, culminating in her choice of Toledo’s champagne yellow dress and overcoat for the presidential inauguration. Consequently, Toledo’s finally getting the love she deserves, both editorially and academically. Notably, FIT’s “Isabel Toledo: Fashion from the Inside Out” opens today and runs through September 26th. The school, which Toledo attended as a student, displays designs from throughout her nearly 25-year career, a worthy study for not only aspiring designers but all creatives.
Click “Read More” for additional images.
Illustrations of Isabel Toledo designs by Ruben Toledo
Isabel Toledo designs
Isabel Toledo by Ruben Toledo.
Lead image courtesy of Vogue, September 2007.