"It's madness!" said Chloż Sevigny of the event staged by Imitation of Christ at the Maurice Villency furniture showroom in midtown Manhattan. "Madness, in a good way." Inside the all-white space, models mingled with their boyfriends and art-world luminaries, and the audience struggled to avoid getting mangled by the swarming paparazzi hungry for shots of IOC designer Tara Subkoff (in painted dress, Erickson Beamon dangling earring and cheeky fedora) and current flame Jimmy Fallon (in green military jacket).

Like all IOC events, the spring show, billed as a "retrospective," was more about performance art and cultural theory than clothes. On the ground floor, topless models in very abbreviated shorts pranced around while pushing shiny vacuum cleaners (very David LaChapelle meets Vanessa Beecroft). They were flanked by vitrines filled with grass and live butterflies, and downstairs the Black Dice played cacophonous instrumental music as art videos and tapes of old IOC shows flickered on the walls.

A commentary on the hothouse worlds of art and fashion? A metaphor for the separation between viewer and viewed (a well-worn IOC theme)? Whatever the intention, the end result was that the label's pretty, wearable clothes were—once again—sacrificed to the spectacle.