"I've been watching a lot of old movies," said Tara Subkoff after her spring show, a love letter to the glamour and supposed innocence of black-and-white cinema.
The production was preceded by a tap routine with a Shirley Temple look-alike, who danced to a recording of Miss Temple's You Gotta Eat Your Spinach, Baby; paused for an interlude during which two ballroom dancers performed to Fred Astaire's rendition of Puttin' on the Ritz; and finally closed out with a kiss between models.
And so to the clothes, which were shown in a series of vignettes, beginning with black-and-white pieces and eventually incorporating some pastel colors. The first half of the presentation featured looks designed, rather than reclaimed, by Subkoff, and included printed T-shirt dresses, mini-togas, and twenties-inspired tennis outfits, mostly in knit fabrics—all in all, a successful sequel to the all-gray collection she launched last season. The second half was authentic vintage, with that signature Imitation of Christ twist. With Marlene Dietrich on the big screen behind them, the models, accompanied by tuxedoed swells, frolicked in satiny dresses, many with lingerie details, some with beading, and some with a Grecian/goddess feel. The result? Full-on glamour inspired by old Hollywood, but motivated by the new—specifically, said the Los Angeles-based Subkoff, by "sweet, good, beautiful" girls like Renée Zellweger and Scarlett Johansson, who have opportunities galore for steppin' out in style.