Goth always seems to rear its gloomy head up from the graveyard every couple of years or so, and even though the abundance of the black nail polish and peg legs on every fashionista in town kinda prepared me for its resurrection about now, I had no idea it'd be so blatantly retro-vamp. At least that's where Imitation of Christ's Tara Subkoff's head is buried with her new collection.
Closing the first night of LA Fashion Week at Smashbox Studios last night, the NYC designer (known for her offbeat vintage inspired and reconstructed pieces – not to mention unconventional fashion shows) presented a full-on gloomy, doomy glamorama, complete with bones strewn about the catwalk, pasty dark lipped models and '80's era gothic music, climaxed by, what else? Bauhaus' "Bella Lagosi's Dead." Cliché? Yes. Campy? Yes. Intentionally so? Not sure.
Luckily, the clothes and the way they were put together were neither. This wasn't the frilly Victorian romantic goth or futuristic fetishy goth we've seen before. Tall black pumps -which none of the models seemed to be able to walk in- chunky cross necklaces, super-sparkly sequined dresses in champagne and jet, and body-hugging pants all brought to mind the decade of decadence and (s)excess. Very Dynasty meets Dinah Cancer.
Above, a more casual I.O.C. look. (Note, celly in hand and bones on the floor).
The strongest pieces melded '80's edginess with a flapper-esque sass. Some of the swingy, ornate frocks were truly gorgeous and wowed whether worn over pants or alone. I noticed the celeb-specked crowd –including Elisha Cuthbert, Ali Larter, Jenna Jameson and Jenny Shimizu- get noticeably excited for those pieces. Actually Shimizu (Angelina Jolie's ex) got most excited for a see-through lace number, as did the dudes in the audience.
Speaking of excess, a very "now" element of the show– cell phones which models punched text messages into as they strutted- came off straight up silly. We hoped they were just ironic props, but realized that wasn't the case when we saw Samsung listed on the show program.
I wasn't as bewitched by the I.O.C. black celebration as most in the audience seemed to be, but maybe that's just because I'm a jaded former ghouly girl who's cut it up on one too many death rock dance floors.
Still, I'd die to haunt 'em again in one of those sequined numbers.