I discovered Imitation of Christ a year ago, and when I’ve shared some archive images from Tara Subkoff‘s early 2000s shows on my Instagram stories, many replied to me that they’ve never heard of the brand and that it’s just so, so amazing. I was in awe, too. Each of the label’s collections was presented as a sort of ironic performance: a funeral show; a red carpet line-up opened by Chloe Sevigny; a collection solely dedicated to denim, with Scarlett Johansson as a Marilyn-Monroe-look-alike model. Then, the brand seemed to go into a hiatus, then it came back for a moment and disappeared again. And then, to my surprise, somebody posted on Instagram that Imitation of Christ is back this summer with a guerilla couture performance in Los Angeles. And now, here we are with Subkoff’s spring-summer 2021 collection – in a moment that one might never suggest for a brand that’s planning its “big” come-back. But Imitation of Christ isn’t a regular brand, so the circumstances just couldn’t be more exciting. Twenty years after the brand’s first show on the escalators in a subway station, this season’s performances (there were two, one in Los Angeles, one in New York, not identical, but each consisting of a capella singers accompanied) are equally inventive. And, while all of this is going on, The RealReal, from which Subkoff sourced some of her pieces, will offer the spring collection for sale in see-now, buy-now fashion, with part of the proceeds going to Greta Thunberg’s nonprofit Fridays for Future. Upcycling or “resurrecting” existing pieces is the central tenet of Imitation of Christ, and it means that every piece is unique. Collection themes do emerge, however, and are crystallized by the way they are presented. Skateboarding is the organizing principle this time around, and Subkoff describes the clothes as “glamorous activewear” – say, a vintage slip attached to the front of a sports jersey. Some of it could have been hand-sewn by the bored, home-imprisoned Lisbon sisters from Sofia Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides, by the way. Subkoff became acquainted with skateboarding girls when she was feeling a bit blue. Struggling to find inspiration, the designer started visiting local skateboard parks, which she found to be “heavy on the dude feeling” until she noticed the young female skaters trying to master tricks, falling down, and starting over again. In their determination Subkoff says she found a “good metaphor for what it feels like, to me, to be female in this world in some capacity. Like you just have to keep doing it, until you do it better than the men. And then you have respect in some way.” Looking forward to more of Imitation of Christ, as it’s one of the most enigmatic and intriguing labels in New York.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
Say what you want about social media, but its power of connecting people is forever fascinating to me – especially during times like these. One day I received a message from Aimee Song, and the other we started our collaboration for her Los Angeles-based label, Song of Style. Just like that! Here are the collage-visuals I created for her, starring Aimee herself and her new, spring-summer capsule collection of gorgeous, vintage-y mini-dresses, timeless apparel and charming sandals.
Collages by Edward Kanarecki.
Here we are again: the fashion month has started. But it actually kicked off in Los Angeles, not New York, for a brief Tom Ford moment. The Oscars night is this Sunday, so Ford just couldn’t split between the two coasts – dressing the actors is his domain. And he has always mentioned LA as the city that reasonates more with his brand’s identity than the Big Apple. Rene Zellweger, Miley Crus, John Hamm, Jennifer Lopez and Demi Moore all took a rest in the front row last evening, and saw what you can always expect from Tom: sublime eveningwear, for both men and women. Will any of these lace dresses hit the red carpet tomorrow? Big hopes for the crystalline numer with double velvet bows. While the after dark part was great (or actually properly classic), the ready-to-wear definitely didn’t impress this much. Backstage, Ford was speaking about the Los Angeles way of life, which surely is all about Chateau Marmont, yoga and palo santo, but I’m still not sure if jersey sweat-pants, sweat-skirts and sweat-tops (with merch-like logos…) aren’t too lazy for a fashion show (and it’s not 2014 outside!). The floor-sweeping tie-dye caftans styled with all that athleisure-wear didn’t help either.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
100 ml of pure heaven. I’m talking about Little Flower, the perfume made in collaboration between Régime des Fleurs, the fragrance label founded in Los Angeles by Alia Raza and Ezra Woods, and Chloë Sevigny, the film and fashion icon. Little Flower is Régime des Fleurs’ provocative take on Sevigny’s favorite bloom – the rose. Dewy, romantic and fleshy, with a woody musk finish. With black tea, bleeding heart (it’s actually a flower name, but then… who knows?), blackcurrant bud, peony, palo santo incense, pomelo, honeysuckle and a precious Ottoman rose absolute. I love Chloë Sevigny, I love Régime des Fleurs, I love roses – so I’m dying to try this perfume out.
Chloë Sevigny photographed by Inez & Vinoodh and styled by Haley Wollens.
There’s quite a lot of The Row on the journal this week. Blame it on Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen‘s universe, which is so, so… perfect. Their Los Angeles and New York stores aren’t any news, but posting about them is pure pleasure. Getting the details right is pretty much a full-time occupation for the Olsens. You know that from seeing their collections, for both, women and men. You realize it even more once you see (or are lucky enough to visit) their store interiors. In Los Angeles, the space unfolds at ground level in a personal, quiet way, where one minute you can’t tear your eyes away from a cashmere robe, only to have some exquisite chair begging for your attention the next. As Ashley put it in her own words for Vogue, “in Los Angeles, it’s all about mid-century homes and growing up, it was glass and water and trees.” They opened their second store in New York, the city where the designers are based. Having lived in New York now for 12 years, the Olsens wanted the store to very much feel like a home. Located in a townhouse, with a Jean Michel Basquiat canvas on the wall for instance, it’s a sort of dream-house filled with the finest garments. Induldge yourself in all this The Row goodness by scrolling down to the stores’ images…
8440 Melrose Place / Los Angeles
17 East 71st Street / New York
All photos courtesy of The Row.
Greg Chait continues to evolve creatively with The Elder Statesman, expanding the brand with new additions. While the softest cashmere sweater is a forever signature of this L.A. brand, Chait lets in even more of eclectic, charming craftsmanship. Adam Shrewsbury’s talismanic doodles illustrate the jackets and knits, while North Carolinian denim is washed in tie-dye (just like all the robes that are made from, yes, silk and cashmere). The collection is distinctly laid-back: the styling feels intuitive , while the model’s ecstatically comforted look says it all. I’m always in awe of The Elder Statesman and it’s impressive attention to quality. And it’s even more exciting to see Chait taking his brand even further, for a journey that isn’t over any time soon.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
Mondo Mondo is a jewelry and fragrance label based in Los Angeles. The brand provides a visual and sensual world inspired by archaic wonders and baroque ornamentation – there’s nothing simple about it, that’s for sure. Mondo Mondo, a name chosen for its cinematic undertones, utilizes the ancient art of storytelling to guide the designs. Intrinsically archetypal, Natasha Ghosn’s pieces become both personal and universal. Whether it’s a heart pendant, ‘Soleil’ earrings with rhinestone chains or (my favourite) ‘Friend’ ring in sterling, there’s something magical about those made to order goodies. The fragrance line by Ghosn is equally elusive, yet appealing. The descriptions of the six perfumes make you dream. I Like You In Velvet is summed in the following way: “in an iridescent cloud of iris and carrots I found my expression. Silk gloves, lipstick wax, silver like the movies. Ballet, jazz, and modern dance, too.” Then, we’ve got the greenish Cowboy. “Here the spirit of the Cowboy is represented as The Fool in this unisex fragrance. He is free, naive, and fearless. You can find him sleeping peacefully under the stars.” Tobacco, leather and grass combined with honeysuckle and coffee must be some sort of nasal ecstasy. Would love to try each of them, but the brand sadly doesn’t ship alcohol-based products to Europe. Still, whether you’re in USA or not, check out Mondo Mondo’s site for more!
The fashion month has just finished, and one can’t forget about the brands that usually stay off-the-radar during those four weeks of runway marathon. They need their spotlight, too! Re-seeing The Elder Statesman‘s look-book few days after all that Paris fashion week fuss is a true pleasure. The Los Angeles-based label, found and designed by Greg Chait, is known for its incredible cashmere goods and love for everything that’s artisanal. But lately, Chait seems to enjoy introducing new additions to his extremely luxurious, yet niche brand. While the Swiss silk, the designer’s discovery from the last season, appears in the form of a gorgeous tie-dye dress, it’s linen that’s lately on Chait’s mind. Sourced and produced in India, the pieces made out of that often underrated material stun with summer-ish colour gradiations. What else is new to The Elder Statesman? Corduroy pants. They look so, so good with a matching yellow sweater. Love.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
Reading about perfumes is a bad idea, especially when you want to try them out so badly. So, beware. Goest Perfumes is a fragrance house coming from Los Angeles. Jacqueline Steele‘s offerings are unisex fragrances with a so-called ‘intuitive aesthetic’. You might have just thought: what?! Shortly, each scent is uniquely composed to work with, not against, the scent of the human body, with internal structures that mimic the effect of living things, and real scenes. So, it’s not a mistake if you think of Goest’s creations as of ‘living’ perfumes.
When you browse their site, you will find the How to choose a perfume tab. Prepare yourelf for the next dose of surprises. Each of the scents is absolutely different – and not just on such grounds like whether they’re based on floral or smokey notes. Depending on your habits, grooming products and even the weather, your daily smell will have specific characteristics. To suit all those lifestyle variables, Goest created the seven fragrances. For the users of fresh-scented laundry detergents, there’s Lartigue. Realism and Grand Tour “grab” into the human sweat and dress it in additional cleanliness and sensuality. Also, Grand Tour is the perfect choice for frequent fliers. Then we’ve got Dauphine (inspired by the imageries of Sofia Coppola’s film Marie Antoinette), which has a freshly sweet, rosewater-scented scent that is perfectly fits hot climate. But for many, the most sensational is Smoker’s Perfume. Goest made a fragrance specifically for smokers, and it isn’t meant to cover up the smell of smoke, but to enhance and beautify that strong scent on clothing, hair and skin. It completes the smell of cigarette smoke, which makes the only fragrance of its kind. Even though I don’t smoke… I find this exciting.
I thought that the world of niche perfumes has seen it all. Well. Goest is a proof that olfactory sensations have no limits.