(model photos: Carly J. Cais for FashionTribes.com; gems photos: Johnbetts-fineminerals.com)

Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week is coming up and I better get this posted before we start thinking about Spring 2010, mmmkay??

Vena Cava’s Fall 2009 Collection was shown off-site on Valentine’s Day during New York Fashion Week. Paired with eye-catching hard silver accessories by acclaimed jewelry designer Robert Lee Morris, the floaty-but-with-an-edge dresses appeared shimmery and overall, dark, showcased in the small gallery space as a standing installation. Via Spiga, who collaborated with Vena Cava to provide the footwear, added studded-toe ankle booties, flat oxfords, and suede knee-boots to complete the gritty look – which were in addition displayed separately in a glass container that served as the bar. The Vena Cava design duo also collaborated with Marisa Tesauro, who created a glittery backdrop for the shoes with fragmented piles of shredded CD’s from a CD recycling company in Seattle.

According to designer Lisa Mayock, the collection was inspired by the Hall of Gems and Minerals at the Natural History Museum, creating a lot of faceted, angular shapes in the pieces. Using a number of different layered materials such as velvet, metallic fringe, tie-dyed wool, rainbow sequins, holographic leather, chains, mohair, chiffon, and two new prints (including a photographic print of rainbow obsidian and a hand-drawn stalactite print), the designers also drew inspiration from New Age music and reinterpreted everything in “a harder, more goth-y” way. They began to experiment with this look emerging from their Spring Collection by adding leathers and skins and pushing the boundaries towards harder and tougher. Overall the focus remained true to the Vena Cava trademark: creating pieces that are comfortable, wearable, and flattering, but are also imbued with a strong sexiness. Of special note were the neutral-toned metallic-fringed dress; a revolutionary faux feather/fur hybrid jacket; tie-dyed tights in a slate/cream pattern; and a floor-length rainbow obsidian-print halter dress.

The look for hair and makeup was also stand-out and unique. Fabulous lead hair artist Ted Gibson worked with the design duo on a look that they termed “rockabilly chic;” creating a downtown girl style with hair slicked back on the sides with a small pompadour at the top. Taking that classic 80’s influence but toning down the severity, he used his signature Tame It shine lotion ($31) in order to create the necessary texture in the hair, and then Fix It Gel ($28) on the sides of the head to create the shape. He finished the look off with a little bit of Beautiful Hold Hair Spray ($28) which added texture but remained pliable. To recreate the slick Vena Cava look at home, he recommended just using the texturizing Tame It shine lotion for the requisite texture to their downtown chic look – no curling iron required!

Celebrated makeup artist Vincent Longo wanted to create a bright eye that popped in order to contrast the dark and muted colors in the collection. “To create excitement and this burst of freshness,” he said, he drew a thick orange line (Silky Orange Liquid Shadow, $24) overlaid with a black liner (Nerino Vibrant EyeLiner, $18) in on top to provide depth and definition for the lashes. The rest of the face was kept matte, nude, and very porcelain-like using Liquid Canvas Healthy Fluid Sheer Matte Foundation ($48.50), framed by a strong brow, and finished with a nude lip (Velvet Riche Lipstick in Hush Delight, $23). For Fall ’09 the artist says eyeliners are playing into the makeup far more than they have been previously; orange is a must-have on the eyes; and any product that will contour the eyebrows is a necessity in your makeup arsenal. (Recommended – as seen at the show: Everbrow Micro Pencil with Sharpener, $20.)

Nonie Crème, Creative Director of butter LONDON custom-mixed the color she dubbed “British Racing Green” for the show. She took a dark green from the butter LONDON collection and then painted a solution on top of it to flatten out the color, toning down the shine to it but creating a resonant depth. Like a tonal silk, the color showed up on the models’ nails a deep sage that shimmered with murky greens and forest emeralds depending on the angle. For those of us who aren’t as talented with mixing our nail colors, British Racing Green is now available for purchase exclusively on Beauty.com here.

Visit http://vivavenacava.blogspot.com/ to learn more about the runway show, or www.venacavanyc.com for more information about the brand and past collections.

Some more looks from the show:

(Photos: Don Ashby, Style.com.)

What do you all of you think of the collection? Would you buy any pieces from it? Are you waiting to see more from this brand?

-Carly J. Cais


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