Sophie Buhai and Lisa Mayock have new business partners in Li & Fung (the global trading group that backs Rachel Zoe, among other brands), but the arrangement hasn't altered their approach to their eight-year-old Vena Cava
label. Young women familiar with the designers' modern-vintage sensibility will recognize the forties-by-way-of-the-seventies silhouettes—the strong shoulders, the high waists, the maxi lengths. Buhai and Mayock cited 1970's neo noir films, "even Drive
," as inspiration this season, specifically those movies' "sunny facades and dark undertones." Mostly, though, the light won out here. The lineup's most resonant pieces came in a graphic floral print—vibrant yellow and turquoise on a ground of black. And there was optimism, too, in a black crepe tuxedo with big gold studs, the jacket of which featured a zip above the hips. With tails or without, the girl who wears it is practically guaranteed to be the life of the party. Tailoring plays a bigger role than ever in this VC collection, which should serve Buhai and Mayock well given the direction of the season as a whole. Still, it's their way with a little dress that's gotten them this far. For Fall, the standout comes in marigold, with a nipped waist and short sleeves.