For the first time, Tara Subkoff headed for the tents to show her Imitation and Imitation of Christ collections. While the venue was way more traditional than her usual offbeat locales, those who came for the spectacle were treated to as offbeat a show as ever: It opened with men in military garb and Arab tunics walking double file in the dark, while footage from the Iraq war played on a screen behind. Four American flags hung over the audience. Antony, from Antony and the Johnsons, played piano and sang, wearing half drag. A child recited the Pledge of Allegiance. And a disturbingly accurate George W. Bush impersonator sat in the front row. Asked what her message was, Subkoff answered: "I think it's pretty obvious."
It says a lot about the clothes that they were able to withstand such loaded packaging. Subkoff's collections are more and more about wearable separates, with no vintage in sight. This season her simple Capris, hoodies, pompom cover-ups, and spangle-trimmed dresses were as appealing as ever, worn with the insouciant slouch of the disenfranchised hipsterand the gladiator sandals Subkoff designed for Easy Spirit.
The second half of the show featured the Imitation of Christ line, handmade garments that will be available through Jeanne Greenberg Rohaytn's Upper East Side gallery. These exotic goddess looks were stately and pretty at once: Of particular interest were a simple silver pleated dress worn by Ujjwala, and an elegant draped, embroidered shawl. With their intricate pleats and folds, these pieces were clearly related to Subkoff's participation in the PREMAculTURE exhibition on the island of Hydra, Greece.
Whatever antics Subkoff indulges in, she also adheres to her visiona strong modern woman, not unlike her friend Chloë Sevigny, who sat front row. "I'm very excited to see Tara evolve," said the actress post-show. She's not alone.