"If we were acoustic before, now we're digital," said Sophie Buhai, applying an apt metaphor to the evolution of Vena Cava (which she designs with Lisa Mayock) from pretty and print-strewn to sparkly and somewhat darkly punkish. As if to drive home the point, bedazzling shreds of 30,000 CDs repurposed by the artist Marisa Tesauro filled the inside of a triangular show platform that supported 21 models in specially created Via Spiga shoes and clothes that were all grown-up sexy.
Titled "Crystalarium," the collection was inspired by a neighbor of Mayock's who worked as a "gem huntress" in the eighties. Back were the tough leggings and the signature long dresses with cutouts showing slices of skin; new this season were motorcycle jackets, exposed zippers, studs, holographic sequins, and metallic fringe.
Holographic sequins might sound like a chancy move, but these girls have never played with fool's gold. The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund award runners-up for 2008 have great sell-through with their "wearable novelties," as they phrase it, so for Fall they focused on adding "never-seen-before detailing" to familiar silhouettes and staples, making the ordinary quite a bit more extraordinary. There were perhaps fewer surprises than some might have liked, but the show was easy to take a shine to.