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With Reese Witherspoon, Anjelica Huston, Jacqui and Gia Getty, Mena Suvari, Sheryl Crow and Owen Wilson willingly gushing for their pal on camera, Tara Subkoff’s homecoming Tuesday afternoon for Imitation of Christ (she actually premiered the line at a L.A. Metro station four years ago) had all the pomp and circumstance of a film premiere. It played into the former actress’ scheme of all things classically Hollywood. That included the “Star Wars” theme endlessly blasting and a “security” crew engaging in pat-downs at the door and other intentional McCarthy-like behavior (Subkoff’s words) before and during the rerun of the ready-to-wear, which had debuted in New York.
This story first appeared in the April 3, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
New were another round of resurrected vintage looks and a sexed-up Esther Williams swimwear collection presented on teenage synchronized swimmers in the Avalon Hotel pool — a last act that brought down the house.
The celebrating first got under way the night before, when Mercedes-Benz LA and 7th on Sixth’s exec director Fern Mallis held court among the Los Angeles industry, particularly its roster showing this week, including Magda Berliner, David Cardona, Cornell Collins, Kate O’Connor and many others, at the Hollywood Canteen. “I’ve got four days to finish,” designer Rebecca Rich explained as her reason for sneaking away from fittings in exchange for a cocktail break on a Monday night.
Reese Witherspoon, an old friend of Imitation of Christ designer Tara Subkoff, showed up at the Avalon Hotel pool with only one concession to fashion: a mini version of the new multihued Louis Vuitton coveted spring printed purse. “I got it two days ago,” she said beaming, like a proud parent (which she’s apparently going to be for the second time). “This is my new thing — the small purse. I’m going to wear it with everything, even though it’s stuffed to the gills.” Indeed, Witherspoon couldn’t even close it, it was so overstuffed with cell phone, etc.
It was Witherspoon’s very first Imitation of Christ show. “I generally don’t go to fashion shows,” she said. “And every time Tara has shown in New York, I was somewhere far away, shooting. But I did want to show up to support her. And I have to say, I’m shocked by the turnout! I’m really happy for Tara.
“She and I used to be roommates in an apartment eight years ago, when we both first got to Hollywood.
We were doing this movie, ‘Freeway,’ together, and she was one of my very first friends here. I mean — a great friend, and she still is. Anyway, she always had this fantastic style and was very artistic. Everyone kept telling her she had to become a designer! It’s great to see her doing so well.”