Look at the Vena Cava website and you’ll notice that they only create about 1-2 collections per year, and yet still maintain a strong presence in the fashion world with their unique and young approach to design, combined with a mature and sophisticated execution.
Designers Lisa Mayock and Sophie Buhai graduated from Parsons in 2003 and, amazingly enough, were not among the students chosen to showcase their thesis collection.
Luckily a friend of theirs who was in the Fashion industry helped them develop a private show which the Fashion Director of Barney’s and press from the NY Times attended.
Just three weeks after graduation they began their first Vena Cava collection from their living room in Brooklyn.
Vena Cava has opted for live installations to present each season instead of the traditional fast-moving catwalk.
Their first documented Fall 2006 collection was presented in a townhouse where the designers used four themed rooms with objects from their own houses.
Spring 2006 moved the girls outside to the backyard on a green lawn set, where models nibbled on picnic lunches, read stylish art books and took lazy summer afternoon naps.
Spring 2008 has come full circle as Vena Cava returns to the catwalk, but not without a touch of their unique charm. Thirty models were surrounded by a set of larger than life cutout images of Marlene Dietrich, Woody Allen and various vintage props inspired by the film noir and MGM glamour era – think twisted Hollywood Babylon party with a lighter, more kitchy mood.
The big hits were designs that incorporated menswear into a company that’s always been known for soft, feminine dresses. Geometric trimmings and accessories gave the soft fabrics an edge while allowing the clothes to maintain an easy California simplicity.
These young designers continue to grow and impress fashion mainstays with their inventive designs and interesting combinations of color. I’m waiting in anticipation with hopes that a fall/winter 08 collection will pop up unexpectedly, perhaps somewhere just around the corner.
Photos courtesy of the Fashion Spot forums.