Vena Cava Spring 2012
Vena Cava Fall 2011 Collection
Photo: Marcio Madeira / firstVIEW
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by Chioma Nnadi
Photographed by Evan Sung
SEE THE SLIDESHOW
Pinned to the inspiration board of Vena Cava’s downtown studio is a picture of the perennially chic Linda Evangelista circa 1993, dressed in a deep plum velvet coatdress, so it comes as no surprise when a model reminiscent of a young Kristen McMenamy—another 1990s favorite—shows up for their photo shoot. “We dug out all our old fashion magazines from the early nineties,” says Lisa Mayock. The outfit that Linda Evangelista wore in that tearsheet happens to have been Ralph Lauren, but Mayock and co-designer Sophie Buhai cite Giorgio Armani’s languid aesthetic from that time as a more accurate starting point. “It’s about the elegance that was happening back then, and not the grunge,” says Buhai.
Mayock and Buhai were in still in high school at the dawn of that decade, so their memories are also colored by personal coming-of-age fashion moments; experimental prom outfits, and amateur adventures in beauty (“lots of glitter on my face and a half a tub of Vaseline in my hair!” says Buhai). “I think there is a real freedom to how you dress in high school—you’re paying attention to fashion magazines, but you can’t buy any of those clothes,” says Buhai. “You end up getting creative.” The designers are taking the opportunity to channel some of that playful nostalgia with long dévoré skirts cut with their signature triangular pattern and black lace dresses screen-printed with an explosion of tiny white dots. They’ve worked with New York milliners Yestadt to top each look with a structured mushroom shaped beret, a modern update to the ones they used to dream about from the pages of Vogue.
by Esther Adams
With November’s dipping temperatures turning us—and our closets—over to cooler climes, it’s time to address that annual dilemma: what to wear through winter and beyond? No one wants to bankroll a complete wardrobe revamp or rid themselves of suddenly insubstantial summer staples (the beloved any-occasion shorts, the diaphanous elongated skirts), so Vogue asked a cross-section of New York designers to pluck a transformative piece from their resort collections, starting to hit the stores now, that will not only play a pivotal role within a winter wardrobe, but cut a dash next spring.
Vena Cava Resort 2011
“We love seeing this dress paired with a dark turtleneck, tights, and flats, or with dirty old boots for a more casual look,” say Vena Cava designers Lisa Mayock and Sophie Buhai. “Bright poppy-red looks so good with dark, wintery neutrals!”
Jason Wu Resort 2011
“My animal-print dress can be worn anytime,” Jason Wu says. “It looks relaxed under a parka and with flats and then instantly becomes dressy under a luxurious wool coat with vampy heels.”
Alexander Wang Resort 2011
“This trench is one of my favorite pieces,” says Alexander Wang. “I love it because it’s both classic and seasonless.”
Rag & Bone Resort 2011
“The bright-red Carmel dress is a perfect layering piece,” say Rag & Bone designers Marcus Wainwright and David Neville. “It works alone or under a chunky sweater for winter—plus, it flatters any body type.”
Thakoon Resort 2011
“You can’t beat this curtain-pleated trench—it’s a cover-up that really stands out,” says Thakoon Panichgul. “It looks best when everything else is simple: a sweater worn with either a long skirt or skinny pants.”
Derek Lam Resort 2011
“A suede skirt is a fantastic transitional item,” Derek Lam says. “The natural color lightens up a darker winter wardrobe.”