Vena Cava Spring 2011

Where & When: Thursday, September 9 at noon, Milk Studios
Runway Recap: If you are a regular Cheryl Shops reader, you'll know that Vena Cava is one of my personal favorite lines; the silhouettes are equally sexy and understated, their colors and prints are interesting, and the clothes just have a chic look to them. Designers Lisa Mayock & Sophie Buhai, always tapped in to what cool girls want to wear, were influenced by the Memphis design movement of the '80s, which translated into bright but offbeat colors, geometric shapes, and an overall minimalist bent. The collection was very controlled and well thought-out, and it also showed a certain maturity (that's as in experience, not as in something that won't appeal to their hip demographic). That said, it should also be noted that Vena Cava can take offbeat, even grandmotherly things--colors like salmon and ochre, shapes like culottes and midcalf skirts--and make them instantly desirable.
Standout Look: While there were some great tailored pieces in the collection, the dresses really caught my attention. This one has a somewhat unusual color combination at the neckline, paired with a free-form (but not shapeless) silhouette. Also, overall, I loved the styling in the show--wide cloth headbands, chunky geometric necklaces, tied belts, and chunky wooden wedges.
Bonus Points: I was lucky to get into this show--MAC at Milk is a notoriously small venue, and even Susie Bubble was relegated to the standing-room-only area with me. That said, I was actually happy to stand, because for once, I could see down to the shoes, and my photos turned out pretty well. One thing that helped this: the mellow music and the models' languid pace, a refreshing alternative to the usual breakneck stomp.
Where to Buy: Click here for stores.

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