Tara Subkoff is famous for being a theatrical provocateur, and she definitely delivered the goods this season with the launch of the IOC denim line. Subkoff cast herself as Gidget (replete with blond bangs, wide-leg jeans, and striped tee) and Scarlett Johansson as a Misfits-era Marilyn Monroe (high-waist dark denim and bright red lipstick) to kick off this typically frenzied but stunning show.
At the Surrogate's Court in lower Manhattan, the first grouping of models, bewigged and handcuffed (and sentenced to some slightly overwrought choreography), descended two majestic staircases in pairs, to the strains of Nancy Sinatra's "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)." The dark denim piecesjeans, shorts, and dresses both formfitting and free-flowingall had the word "imitation" embroidered over three crosses on the back pocket.
Things lightened up, literally, as the show progressed and "Let the Sunshine In" from Hair replaced wolf cries on the soundtrack. The denim was as bleached as a California blonde, and styled like one, too. Mixed in with the Western looks were eyelet and gingham minidresses with a pixie quality befitting Mary Quant, some worn with modish white boots Subkoff designed for Easy Spirit. (There were also one-of-a-kind hand-painted pieces by Rita Ackermann and Ben Cho, among others, which will be sold to benefit Habitat for Humanity.) This being an IOC show, the amused front row, an art-world who's who that included Cecily Brown, Rachel Feinstein, and Mother Inc., had plenty to gawk at. One model in a trenchcoat flashed a denim penis, followed by dancers en pointe wearing hand-painted dresses Subkoff showed during the Paris couture.