Imitation of Christ
September 07, 2011 New York
The show was set up as a wedding processional, with models playing bridesmaids and groomsmen wearing IOC's suits and dresses. The prevailing look was dressed-up Depression-era, with lots of pastel lace bias-cut dresses and drop-waist chiffon florals, plus occasional forays into flapper silhouettes. On some items it was hard to discern what renovation had been done, while others, like a beaded flapper dress, looked made from scratch. Most of the legible work was embroidery, in particular flowers and birds that, depending on your mood, conjured either Miu Miu's Fall 2011 collection or the Portlandia skit "Put a Bird on It." (YouTube it.)
After the show, Subkoff said she was inspired to resurrect Imitation of Christ because she wanted to get back to handwork. "Hundreds of hours went into those dresses," Subkoff noted. "It's nice to work that way. And also, I feel like it's important that not every single thing that goes on at fashion week be about commerce. There should be some art, too." That's a sentiment a lot of designers would get behind. But what Subkoff is up to here isn't quite art for art's sake. It's more like craft for craft's sake, which is a perfectly noble pursuit, but one that didn't necessarily square with the pomp and circumstance of the presentation. At any rate, we wish the happy couple well.