Vena Cava's Lisa Mayock and Sophie Buhai threw a happening house party on Saturday, showing their collection in four themed "rooms" that contained items from the designers' own homes. "Clothes are so personal," Buhai explained. "We wanted to create a relaxed environment where the clothes could be seen worn like they would be in real life." The installation was indeed homey, but the outfits were nothing if not sophisticated.
This was a breakthrough collection for the Parsons grads and Ecco Domani winners, who sat out fashion week last season while building their store accounts. Since their 2004 debut, Mayock and Buhai have been refining their aesthetic, which revolves around easy, feminine dresses and tops, often with triangle cut-out necklines, usually in (printed) silks. Fall found them entranced by Biba: A lilac lingonberry-print dress with a button placket nodded toward the cult British label and was appropriately featured in the "Boudoir," where the models wore groovy headscarves and false lashes. The "Withdrawing Room" played host to loose seventies-style pants, and a dressier coat, gold brocade skirt, and pleated tank ensemble. A leather jacket and dresses with Empire waists and appliqué hem inhabited the "Game Room," while gowns were the focus in the more formal "Dining Room."
The setup of the show emphasized the idea that the collection had versatilitythat it would work as well on a dinner date as a weekend in the country. The most pleasing thing about these clothes, though, was that they were both fresh and familiarthe sort of pieces, in fact, you could easily imagine (and want to find) hanging in your own closet.